Vines, winds and wheels

By: barbamz , 10:16 PM GMT on August 17, 2014

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On a bright and summerlike day in April I took you to the first of the newly marked "trails of the hills" ("Hiwweltour" in local dialect) in Rhenish Hesse which is the scenic hinterland of my town Mainz.

This Sunday was dedicated to walk another of those hill-trails further to the southwest. From Mainz you have to drive about 45 minutes to get there.


Map of the trail (a bit more than 7 miles) around Eichelberg (acorn hill).

Rhenish Hesse is also called the "land of vines and beets", but with its hills it's also the land of wind. When you scroll down the following photos you'll notice that wind turbines now are nearly everywhere, contributing to Germany's "energy transition", and as well you can spot at least one big photovoltaic panel. Well, the latter didn't have to work too much today as it was mostly cloudy, but the wind generators had to deal with quite a lot of winds. Fortuntately it stayed dry. So it was a very pleasant day for walking. But undeniably there's already a whiff of autumn in the air ...


So called "Raven's Pulpit" with Furfeld in the background; already the celts had settled at this place.


Pine trees on the top of the hill, bent from westerly winds.


Sunflowers and wind turbines near Furfeld.




Likely no lack of wine this year :-)












Church of former Sarlesheim which was extinguished in Thirty Years' War.


Neu-Bamberg with ruins of its former castle, founded in 1200 - which make this town by far the youngest settlement of all those villages in the region. Furfeld (as I've already mentioned) or Frei-Laubersheim, where the trail starts, is way older with roots into the age of the Romans.


Energy transition in this little village, using the sun, or the wind:






Adjacent gravel quarry.


Many old sandstone quarries in this region are today a paradise for flora and fauna.


Picturesque old sandstone quarry near Neu-Bamberg. This region is also called Rhenish Hessian Switzerland ;-)

Lots of photos, folks, sorry lol. Nevertheless I hope you've enjoyed the gentle beauty of this multifaceted landscape. Have a nice week everyone.



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12. WunderAlertBot (Admin)
11:04 PM GMT on August 25, 2014
barbamz has created a new entry.
11. barbamz
8:25 AM GMT on August 23, 2014
Hey, WW, Mike, GG, thanks for stopping by. I see you're all impressed with the WWII bomb thing. Well, nothing unusual in Germany. My printed newspaper had the number, that from 1,35 Million tons of bombs, dumped on Germany by British and American aircrafts alone, 10 to 20 percent didn't explode. Every year currently between 40 to 60 bombs are discovered and have to be deactivated and destroyed, often accompagnied by evacuations of hundreds or thousands of people in case the bomb was found in a densely populated area. Those bombs become even more dangerous from year to year as the chemical exploders become unstable, while the used Trinitrotoluene TNT inside keeps its threat. Since 1990 20 spontaneaous detonations had been recorded in Austria and Germany.

Germany's Bomb Problem
Outside Berlin, a building boom hits a snag: unexploded ordnance.
Joshua Hammer Feb 24 2011, 10:54 AM ET



Removal of a Russian bomb near Berlin in Mai 2014.

On the brighter side of life: We hope to walk another "Hiwweltour" tomorrow (Sunday) ... :-)
Member Since: October 25, 2008 Posts: 55 Comments: 6006
10. GardenGrrl
2:14 AM GMT on August 22, 2014
Holy Hidy Holes Batman! Can't believe there are still bombs showing up.
Member Since: March 25, 2007 Posts: 256 Comments: 9572
9. clearlakemike
1:07 PM GMT on August 20, 2014
Quoting 7. barbamz:

And this happened yesterday only a couple of miles away from my place (I've passed this spot countless times in the last years when visiting my parents - you never know what's hidden under your feet, ehhm tires).

Bomb shuts down A3 motorway
The Local, Published: 20 Aug 2014 08:54 GMT+02:00
A controlled detonation of a 500-kg bomb from the Second World War has left a 20-metre-wide crater in the middle of one of Germany's busiest traffic corridors on Tuesday night. ...




The gift that keeps on giving...
Member Since: November 21, 2004 Posts: 145 Comments: 1992
8. WeatherWise
12:48 PM GMT on August 20, 2014
Oh, my! Re: the Bomb - after all these years. That is so true, we do not know what is under us as we are out and about. I love your blog - all of the lovely photos - the sunflowers, the windmills, the lush grapes in the vineyard, the flowers within the vineyard and out and the most amazing shot - those perfectly straight rows on the farm even though they go up hill and down and you captured it perfectly. I am talking about the one with the cattle in the foreground. The depth in that photo is amazing. All of the photos are great and give me a good picture of the area. Thank you for sharing. I hope all is well with you, these days. Happy Wednesday!

A Pretty Flower for You - A Yellow Canna Lily:


>

Member Since: February 28, 2003 Posts: 41 Comments: 1369
7. barbamz
11:47 AM GMT on August 20, 2014
And this happened yesterday only a couple of miles away from my place (I've passed this spot countless times in the last years when visiting my parents - you never know what's hidden under your feet, ehhm tires).

Bomb shuts down A3 motorway
The Local, Published: 20 Aug 2014 08:54 GMT+02:00
A controlled detonation of a 500-kg bomb from the Second World War has left a 20-metre-wide crater in the middle of one of Germany's busiest traffic corridors on Tuesday night. ...

Member Since: October 25, 2008 Posts: 55 Comments: 6006
6. barbamz
11:42 AM GMT on August 20, 2014
Thanks GG, I'm glad I was allowed to bring some colors into your working day :-)

-------------------------

Some more about the wind turbine thing in Germany (as you may have noticed, in the first pics above some wheels still are under construction):

Record wind power growth before curbs start
The Local, Published: 14 Aug 2014 17:06 GMT+02:00
Wind generation of electricity rose by 66 percent in the first six months of the year before producer incentives were scaled back, energy officials said Thursday.
The growth spurt was mainly centred on the north of Germany and the state of Schleswig-Holstein, which profiting from its northern sea winds accounted for a quarter of the new installations.
But while the state constructed 159 wind turbines this year and generated 443 M/W of power, other states lagged far behind. Baden-Wüttemberg built just one wind turbine and Saxony built none.
The overall boom in the sector was attributed to producers rushing to receive financial incentives afforded under the 2000 Renewable Energy Act before revisions took effect on August 1.
Under the act, renewable energy plant operators received, for example, a 20-year guaranteed payment for their electricity generation. But under the revisions they will now have to sell their green energy competitively on the market.
Growth in the sector is expected to slow drastically as subsidies and rebates are reduced by up to 25 percent, said sector officials.
This will pose an "very great challenge" to further development, said the president of Germany's Wind Power federation Hermann Albers.
The Energiewende (energy switch) is a key policy of Chancellor Angela Merkel's third term at the helm of Europe's top economy.
Under the plan, Germany aims to meet 80 percent of its energy needs with renewables by 2050. But it also faces having to balance the interests of its mighty industrial sector while safeguarding jobs.



Energy policy falls foul of federal auditors
The Local, Published: 20 Aug 2014 11:36 GMT+02:00
The Federal Court of Auditors has sharply criticized Chancellor Angela Merkel's energy policy, saying that the previous coalition government failed to produce adequate financial plans.
In a study reported by the Süddeutsche Zeitung on Wednesday, the auditors note that the federal government has “no sufficient overview of the financial effects of the energy transition” over the coming years.
They expect the costs of the policies to reach tens of billions each year, although that figure includes subsidies for building modernisations and research.
Much of the waste comes from the poor division of responsibilities among ministries.
“Federal ministries are taking uncoordinated, disunited and partly redundant measures,” the auditors said. ...
Whole article see link above.
Member Since: October 25, 2008 Posts: 55 Comments: 6006
5. GardenGrrl
10:15 AM GMT on August 19, 2014
Great blog. Love all the pictures. Have been lurking in and out of if during work to see everything. Makes for a nice break between putting fires out for twelve hours. (Not real fires hopefully), just lots of things that need tending to in a large manufacturing facility. Thanks for putting it up.
Member Since: March 25, 2007 Posts: 256 Comments: 9572
4. barbamz
6:56 PM GMT on August 18, 2014
Thanks for visiting, Bug and Mike.

Bug: Yes, those are hollyhocks (in German: Malven). Got the same sort on my terrace. I was glad to see that some farmers follow the advice to leave some spots alone allowing wild flowers to grow (or even to support them) as buffet for the bees and other insects.

Both: Very sad thing about the birds. Obviously humans cannot live without creating death and damage. I hope they'll find ways to better protect birds and bats. Because on the other hand: back to the solution just to burn oil and - worse - charcoal (as we still do in Germany), is much worse!
Member Since: October 25, 2008 Posts: 55 Comments: 6006
3. clearlakemike
5:29 PM GMT on August 18, 2014
Source.

Emerging solar plants scorch birds in mid-air
Member Since: November 21, 2004 Posts: 145 Comments: 1992
2. clearlakemike
2:21 AM GMT on August 18, 2014
Beautiful, Barb! Thanks for the tour. I was wondering how the locals feel about the windmills' intrusion on the views also. Don't know enough about their impact on birds to comment on that but if what Bug has mentioned is true than that is sad. High rise buildings with their lights on at night are also a big killer of birds.

I know that Germany can only do so much with solar being a "northern country". It is very admirable what Germany has done to build renewable energy sources. Being dependent on dirty/bloody oil is not good. And being dependent on Putin for natural gas might not be the best either. Maybe some day when there is peace in the world the sunny countries can export solar power. I have seen futuristic plans on the drawing boards to even export solar power down to earth from suborbital solar power stations. When the oil and gas countries/companies lose their grip on power maybe we will begin to see these things happen.

Meanwhile, glad you enjoyed the hike and shared it with us. I also enjoyed seeing the vineyards. Reminds me of my late summers in Northern California's wine counties. I had vineyards all around me where I last lived there. Very nice time of year there also.
Member Since: November 21, 2004 Posts: 145 Comments: 1992
1. palmettobug53
11:10 PM GMT on August 17, 2014
Oh, that's not too many photos for me, Barb. Simply lovely.

Were those wild hollyhocks? The purple flowers?

Loved the goats and the sunflowers. Not too enthused by the wind turbines intruding on the view but I guess that's the way things are now.

There's been a good bit of discussion here about wind turbines and bird deaths. The Audubon Society and other birding groups are getting up in arms over them.

I think it's a lost cause, though. Our demands for power will probably supercede their protests.
Member Since: October 7, 2005 Posts: 234 Comments: 25108

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About barbamz

I'm Barbara in Germany (Mainz), and I'm interested in weather already for decades.