Insight No. 100: “Your Opinion – Your Vote.” +++ European Elections 23rd – 26th May 2019 +++ Europe Matters!

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Left vs Right ….is there any centre left?

I am sure, all of you have got an opinion.

Thus, please participate in the European elections 2019.

These EU elections (23rd – 26th May 2019; in Germany: 26th May 2019) will set the course for the future of European nations and the European Union.

Basic decisions will be made in the following 5 years…
Considering the dispute about the future scope of cooperation within the EU covering topics like: trade & customs union, freedom of movement, inclusion in terms of common social standards & workers rights, joint foreign policy, harmonized asylum / migration policy, EU armed forces, tax law, joint R&D and digital transformation, climate change issues, further EU East expansion etc., everybody should participate. Europe matters.

Of course, the EU needs to be reformed asap. Do you really want stakeholders to do it, you cannot support?

Even in the event that you want an EU exit, you have to vote. Fastest way to destroy the EU is to foster a Dexit, by the way. Maybe, a complete liquidation of the EU will provide the opportunity to create a better EU version, who knows? Okay, I do not want to become polemic and speculative. Whatever you prefer, vote!

Facing growing extremism, nationalism and emotional tensions between EU-hostile right-wing and left-wing parties like a “tug of war” across Europe, everybody has to show his/her colors in my view.
Otherwise, non-voters should be silent and should not complain anymore.

Sorry, I couldn`t resist….
A good sense of humor is the superior stress management tool….let`s love & hate each other passionately.

Shared No. 110: First e-Book “Seasons Of Friendship” — by the illustrator & author John Spiers (Blog: My Life With Gracie)

Cartoons, Creatures, humor, Insights, Kunst, Nature, Psychologie, psychology, Tipps, Zen

Heart-warming wisdom and charming dialogues between Gracie and her feathered sisters and their loving human father John Spiers …

“Seasons of Friendship” is the very first book with beautifully illustrated stories from John`s tiny urban coop.
The perfect giveaway to express your appreciation not only to your friends but also to others who might become your friends soon…
And do not forget to be your own best friend too!

All royalties from the first publication “Seasons Of Friendship” until the end of the year will be given to the women’s group at St. John’s Church in Portsmouth / USA, as agreed with John`s big-hearted Buff Orpington hens Gracie and Bessie.

For more details about the e-book “Seasons of Friendship” (Barnes & Noble), cuteness & kindness overload and food for thoughts, feel free to visit John Spiers Blog: “My Life With Gracie”

You can learn a lot from a chicken, especially when it’s a chicken like Gracie! Timid and shy, Gracie stayed mostly to herself and away from the other young chicks. Without her best friend, Bessie, she may never have survived those difficult first weeks. The stories in this collection take place over a single year […]

“Seasons Of Friendship” — My Life With Gracie
Group Portrait of John`s chicken family
including fluffy Blanche (middle row, left side), who unfortunately passed away Eastern.
We will miss you!
Amelia & Bessie

Postcard No. 6: “The Spreewald” – Time-out at the Gates of Berlin (Germany)

Nature, Reisen, Tipps, Travel
Boote im Spreewald

Hello to all of you,

Did you know that you can escape from the hustle & bustle of Berlin easily and quickly? The SPREEWALD (German for ‘Spree Forest’; in Lower Sorbian: Błota, i.e. ‘the Swamps’) might be your final resort located about 100 km South-East of Berlin.

The picturesque Spreewald in Brandenburg was designated a biosphere reserve by UNESCO in 1991. Actually, about 18,000 species of flora and fauna have been counted.

It is well-known for its unique, traditional irrigation system, consisting of more than 200 small canals (called Fließe; total length: 1,300 km) within the 484-square-kilometre (187 sq mi) area. The landscape was shaped during the ice-age. Alder forests on wetlands and pine forests on sandy dry areas are characteristic for the region. Grasslands and fields can be found as well.

About 50,000 people live in the biosphere reserve (1998). Many of the People Living in the Spreewald are descendants of the first settlers in the Spreewald region, the Slavic tribes of the Sorbs/Wends. They have preserved their traditional language, customs and clothing to this day. In Lübbenau, there is a Special Museum that introduces the old culture of this minority. An open air Museum in Lehde showcases an entire reconstructed traditional Spreewald Village.

The Spreewald is a popular tourist destination that offers two aqua parcs including Wellness & spa and Fitness facilities in the area. The Spreewald is also known throughout Germany for the production of natural organic products like pickles, cucumbers, mustard, herbs etc..

You can explore this fascinating nature by doing idyllic boat trips in traditional punts or by yourself with a canoe. By land you can discover this beautiful countryside on a walking tour or by bike.

THE SPREEWALD – A TIME-OUT AT THE GATES OF BERLIN.

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Postcard No. 31: “Greetings from lovely Iran / Persia – The Oldest Country of the World (3200 BC)”

arts, Insights, Kunst, Nature, Reisen, Travel

Iran with its inception in 3200 BC, is the oldest country in the world.
Iran will hold the very last oil & gas reserves in the Middle East. It shares the biggest gas field with Qatar
Irans gas & oil production is rising, while other Middle Eastern countries resources are decreasing.
Irans biggest customers are China (= major key account), India, Turkey followed by Italy & Spain.
CHINAs One Belt, One Road Initiative
Saudi Arabia (= enemy of Iran and still highly dependent on its shrinking oil income due to a lack of diversification in contrast to UAE) owns more than USD 200 billion of the US debt (August 2018)
Trump in urgent need of a new self-marketing story and an external enemy
Iranian People

Tipp No. 136: “Wellness & Boredom Busters for Urban Chickens” – a few ideas for your coop.

Creatures, Food, humor, Insights, Nature, Oddities, Tipps

CHICKEN POOLS & BATH TUBS

DUST BATHING

FOOD ENTERTAINMENT & VARIETY

HEY HIDEAWAYS

CHICKEN PLAYGROUND

SNUGGLES & CUDDLES

CHICKEN WALKING

INVITE A PREDATOR

INVITE A SEXY ROOSTER

TIME FOR FAMILY & FRIENDS

HAVE A CHAT WITH YOUR CHICKENS

…maybe, they will share further ideas with you how to upgrade their coop and enjoy life…together with you.

But they shouldn`t talk to strangers…

Keep the gate closed.
Regardless what the chickens say!

Tipp No. 43: “Wattlaufen” – Walking on the ground of the North Sea to the next Island Neuwerk

Insights, Nature, Reisen, Tipps, Travel
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“Intertidal Mud-flat hiking” (Wattwandern) at the German North Sea coast –  a little adventure for the entire family.

Starting from Duhnen or Sahlenburg beach / Cuxhaven you can walk to the next Island called Neuwerk, have a piece of strawberry cake and a cup of coffee over there, and then return to the  main quickly in order not to be surprised by the rising flood / high tide. The clock will be your best buddy in addition to other hikers, who care for each other, of course. The later you start, the bigger and more powerful the tide-ways will be. If you`re a laggard, it might be therefore helpful to have your swimming toggs with you.

It is an amazing experience to literally walk over the bottom of the North Sea through a surrealistic landscape, where it is sometimes difficulty to retrieve the horizon line due to reflections, flickering air and the steaming ground in the summer heat. Heading for the Island Neuwerk, you might experience fata morgana-like phenomena.

Wadlopen

Of course, it is a special thrill to think of the (minor) risk of returning too late…In fact, there will be People who will remind or help you (e.g. to cross tideways “Priel” if the drift becomes stronger). For cases of emergency, there are “rescue baskets” on poles, which are numbered and equipped with radios to call a shuttle service. I am sure that you can hitchhike and ask horsemen for a lift too.

By the way, you can choose guided tours or you can walk on your own. In Cuxhaven / Duhnen, they are also offering tours with carts… or you enjoy the tour on the back of a horse. The latter is the ultimate fun for the horsemen but also for the horses who seem to enjoy the cushioned / elastic ground, the vastness, the fresh air and water too from my experience. Pure lust for life!

It is also fascinating to pass the waterways with big container ships and sailing boats by.  Most of the ground is stable / solid but there are also areas close to the beach at the main, which are very muddy, slimy and slippery… These areas are the perfect playground for kids and adults, who rediscover their inner child again. There are mudflat areas, where you can sink into the soft mud knee-deep or even up to the hips.

In the national mudflat park, you might meet seals, mitten crabs, various shells, rock worms (if you dig deep), jellyfishes, small fishes and different sea birds.

sprechmuscheln

“Mussel bed” and old-fashioned “mouthpieces” = in German language literally: “Talking Shells”
=> … Listen to the shells!

The mud shall be healthy. It is said that the mud ease skin deseases. In any case, the mud is an excellent peeling.

Mudflat walking is also known for its positive effects on your leg muscles and in particular your feet if you walk barfoot like the vast majority of people in the summertime. You will notice it in the evening. It feels like you got several hours non-stop TCM foot massage. You will walk on clouds. Promised.

Besides, expect to fall into a coma-like deep sleep in the night.  Kids & dogs will already pass out in the car on the way back home. Your chance to have some quality time & privacy with your partner after a wonderful day at the seaside…!

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Slippery mud – perfect for gliding, mud battles and more…
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Yes, you can take your dog with you. But please, test him if he can tolerate you and other people walking through deep water or swimming…or if he is too protective and becomes stressed because he thinks his human is in danger and needs to be rescued.

For instance, the Bernese Mountain Dog of my parents could enjoy neither the beach nor the Watt. Surprisingly, he was totally stressed trying to rescue his family and was close to a nervous breakdown, when my dad crossed a tideway.

Possibly, our dog would have felt more comfortable on the top of a glacier but unfortunately, we are not used to high mountains…

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“Mud Spaghetti” created by rock worms
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…sun, wind, water, friends, and horsepower – pure joy!
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No bird cage…but a safe place if the flood is faster than you.
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Carts Crossing a tideway.
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…the direction to the Island Neuwerk.
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Neuwerk – the only destination in walking distance.
385_0008_5540527_310Neuwerk

…Maybe a bit late? No problem. The carts are capable to swim.
Watt-vor-der-Insel-Neuwerk

The Watt in summertime.
watt im winter

The Watt in wintertime
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Cuxhaven – Duhnen beach, the mudflat entrance and exit (showers are available).
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Grounded under full sails.

Postcard No. 18: “DÖRVEDEN” – Stay Overnight in a TREE INN in a WOLF CENTRE (Baumhausübernachtung im Wolf Centre)

Creatures, Nature, Reisen, Tipps, Travel
The Tree Inn in the 1st German Wolf  Centre
Wolf Pack in Dörveden

Most probably you have never heard of DÖRVEDEN….It is time to change this situation.

Nature, Wildlife Observation, Adventure but with Romantic, Comfort & No Risk?

The Wolf Centre Dörveden in Nether Saxony / Northern Germany is offering an unique opportunity to combine all of these aspects.

Dörveden gives home to Germany`s first wolf sanctuary & breeding station, a science & education centre, a wildlife park plus horse stable for guests and their horses. Among other accommodations (like Tipis, tents, camper vans) the wolf centre offers a luxurious tree inn right next to wolves compound!

The 5 metres-high tree inn  is equiped for max. 4 persons. It possess a furnitured roof deck and offers hotel-like comfort (toilet, TV & internet, heating etc.). The tree inn even contains a whirlpool. But the major attraction is its location, of course. It is an unforgetable experience to observe and listen to the pack of beautiful grey wolves who were raised by hand, as far as I know.  

It is also possible to do a guided tour through the wolf compound for closer observation and for taking pictures. 

The Wolf Centre Dörveden is a romantic destination for a weekend trip with your family, friends or sweetheart.

Here are a few impressions…

For further details: https://www.wolfcenter.de/Presse-10-Company-portrait.html

Tipp No. 112: ECOSIA – The Search Engine That Plants Trees (Awarded German Social Business)

Insights, Nature, Reisen, Tipps, Travel
About 51.000.00 have been already planted

LETS`S PLANT TREES!

Greening the Desert

ECOSIA is a German social business that was founded in 2009 after a trip around the world and the discovery of the high impact on all kinds of life by deforestation. Ecosia won several awards for its clever concept and speedy growth in Europe and beyond. In April 2014, ECOSIA was the first German company to become a B Corporation thanks to its social business model.

ECOSIA uses the profit made from your searches to plant trees where they are needed most. Get the free browser extension and plant trees with every search.

ECOSIA knows that trust has to be earned

That is why ECOSIA publish his monthly financial reports and tree planting receipts online. This way the user can hold ECOSIA accountable.

ECOSIA is planting all around the world

Trees mean a happy environment, healthy people, and a strong economy. Their awesome projects in cooperation with notable local organizations:

  • Restoring watersheds in Brazil
  • Restoring coastal forrests and natural corridors in Madagaskar
  • Trees for healthier forrests and people in Indonesia
  • Empowering women in Kenya – as part of the “Green Movement” against deforestation, land grabbing and corruption.
  • Coffee For Peace in Colombia
  • Protecting the home of the Orang-Utans in Indonesia
  • Regreening the Sahel in Burkina Faso
  • Restoring key watersheds in Ghana in coop. with “TreeAid”
  • Supporting Europe`s biodiversity in Spain
  • From Cocaine to cacao in Peru in coop. with the PUR project
  • Restoring the Atlantic rainforrest in Brazil in coop. with PACTO
  • Food security through tree planting on Haiti
  • Alternatives for Palm Oil in Indonesia
  • Reforesting vulcano slopes in Nicaragua in coop. with Dia
  • and more important projects with a focus on tree planting.

“We plant native acacia trees, because they make the soil more fertile. With our earnings we started a communal savings account for women to borrow and start their own businesses.”
Sara, 42 Mechisho, Ethiopia
From Cocaine To Cocoa, Peru

ECOSIA RESPECTS YOUR PRIVACY

It doesn`t save data about your searches. ECOSIA doesn’t create personal profiles of his users based on their search history. ECOSIA actually anonymizes all searches within one week.

Follow ECOSIAs journey to one billion trees

ADD ECOSIA TO YOUR CHROME BROWSER + DOWNLOAD THE APP FREE OF CHARGE!

For further details, just visit their website: https://www.ecosia.org/

By the way, ECOSIA is also offering a tiny Online Shop….

The headquarters of ECOSIA is located in Berlin.

Tipp No. 23: “Narrative Photography of Emotions” – by Laura Zalenga

arts, Kunst, Nature, Psychologie, psychology, Tipps
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THE ARTIST

“Laura is a 1990 Born portrait-artist from Southern Germany.

Besides photographing projects, she teaches workshops, gives inspirational talks and travels to all over the world – always searching for magical places and special light. It’s her clear visual language, the power of telling stories and showing raw, honest emotions in her photographs that makes her work stand out.

She is convinced that photography is a type of therapy that gives you the ability to heal yourself and others.”

For more details including a huge gallery and an overview of her current exciting projects, please visit her website: http://www.laurazalenga.com