Adrenaline sport: Slacklining

Have you ever seen people in a park doing slacklining? A quite funny but also relaxing sport. It is easy to learn if the line is short. All gets the more difficult, the longer the line is. If it is stretched in the height, it is called a ‘highline’ – and of course it is even more difficult thanks to the height, the stronger wind etc…

Two years ago, a good friend built up a quite impressive highline in Switzerland:

A 54m long line, exposed between two mountains. Fascinating, right?

But compared to a highline, that my brother found few days ago, this pales. 25 cm of height, 65 cm long, stretched between to flexible poles, shaking with every windgust easily about 10 cm forth and back.

Highlining in nature

The artist and builder? A just 4 mm big spider. It built it up in one single night… Poorly the wind was too strong to take a photo of the spider – and when I came back, it was already gone. Probably already searching a new challenge.

Now the interesting part: How long is this line compared to a line for human beeings? If we would enlarge the spider to a size of about 1.80 m like a normal person, the line of the spider would have a lenght of almost 300 m, built in a height of 120 m and shaking easily 50 m back and forth. And I bet, the little spider never fell down! Impressive?

Adrenaline sport: Slacklining

BWE: Winter in Finland

Together with Thomas L., I spent some days in Finland in March. At this time of the year it is cold – VERY cold. – 10 – 15 °C during the day are normal. And photographing at a birdfeeder means sitting and waiting for the birds. You can dress whatever you want – it will be cold.

BWE: Winter in Finland

BWE: Chemical defence

Many creatures have special features we are not aware of. Look at the beetle in the photo – do you think, it is a special one? No? Indeed it is! To experience this special feature, I wanted to encounter the little beetle – many thanks to Claus W. who finally helped me to find it!!

It is small, less than 10 mm and it’s name is Brachinus crepitans – in english Bombardier beetle (in German Bombardierkäfer). This name tells the truth: it is able to mix two different chemicals (Hydroquinone and Hydrogen Peroxide) in a special reaction chamber in its abdomen. As soon as it adds special enzymes, the beetle spouts this fluid out against a potential offender. This fluid is acidly, ill-smelling, has about 100°C and while the intense reaction there is a pop.

It is even possible to hear this pop! Listen to the little explosion here.

Amazing, isn’t it?!

BWE: Chemical defence

BWE: Photographing the elusive Hazel Grouse

Did you ever try to find a Hazel Grouse? Probably not… I can tell stories about this search – it is one of the most difficult birds to find in Middle Europe! If you just want to watch the bird for some seconds, you should schedule some days – and there is no guaranty that it works.

I already tried it in 2010 for five days in the Bavarian Forest – but I just got poor photos.

As I like Grouses I tried once more to photograph them. In April, I was lucky enough to finally get photos of a Hazel Grouse pair in Poland.

The cock has a very strange song. I took sound recordings of the bird in the photographs – if you want to listen to it, click here. It is the high whistling – you will recognize it!

BWE: Photographing the elusive Hazel Grouse

BWE: The Julian Alps in Slowenia

The Alps always fascinated me a lot. In September 2014, I decided to give the slowenian part a chance. As there was very bad weather when I arrived, I drove at once further to the south. On my way back, I was a little bit more lucky with the weather – but I had poorly just one day of time left. Nevertheless, it was a nice day.

Take a look and enjoy the beauty of the eastern Alps!

BWE: The Julian Alps in Slowenia

BWE: Neuwerk – centre of the Hamburg Wadden Sea

In October, I visited the small isle Neuwerk for the second time. This small isle has it’s own character – it reminds me slightly of the holms in Nordfriesland. The ‘Verein Jordsand‘ takes care of the refuges of the Isle. This association offers guided tours – realised by the young employees.

BWE: Neuwerk – centre of the Hamburg Wadden Sea

BWE: Montenegro – a mediterranean surprise

Did you ever think about travelling to Montenegro to discover its nature? I did, I went there – and I loved it! Its amazing coast, its wonderful mountains, its silence outside of the cities.

Here a few photos from this trip.

BWE: Montenegro – a mediterranean surprise