June 21, 2018

I am always on the look out for new bird sightings!!  This trip did not disappoint me. There was a small park in Bolzano, Italy  and, seriously-  there was a bird house of some sort in every tree.  Most were occupied  by,  what we call in the USA, house sparrows.  But if  I didn’t  keep looking, I  might miss someone new.  Or a surprising  picture like this…

where Mama  bird  is practically   sticking her whole head down  baby bird’s throat!  Or…

I might have missed my  only sighting of a chaffinch, which is supposed to be very abundant in Europe.  But  I only saw one.   Maybe it was because I have never fed the birds hot dog pieces before.   :  )

This white wagtail was in a park in Munich, very busily searching  for bugs in the grass.  It must have been a lucrative spot because he was there for a long time and  could have cared less about me taking photos of him.

In Austria, I saw dozens and dozens of house martins, in the sky and flying  to and from their nests. Martins, like swallows,  spend most of their time in the air and only eat bugs.  They can mate and feed their young in the air.  House  martins  make cup-shaped mud nests, usually below the eaves of buildings.

“Unexpected intrusions of beauty. This is what life is.”   by Saul Bellow

Family portrait of  barn swallows  in Italy.

This shot really shows off  the forked tail.

Feeding time.

This barn swallow’s  nest was under the awning of a gelato  stand/store but she didn’t seem to mind all of the  gelato-loving people  traffic.

Hope you enjoyed this final and all  of my posts from my  Germany/Austria/Italy trip for 2018.

Thanks for reading!









June 20, 2018

The last adventure of the trip was a day trip to Ortisei, about  an hour’s bus ride going up the mountain, from Bolzano.   Very  picturesque and relaxing to explore.

The Italians love their olive oil !!!

Hope you enjoyed!

Thanks for reading!


EARTH PYRAMIDS, South Tyrol Province of Northern Italy

June 19, 2018

Seeing the Earth Pyramids was another adventure  while visiting Bolzano, Italy.  I  took the Renon cable car from Bolzano  up  to  Soprabolzano, on the Renon plateau.  It was a not-too- scary  12 minute ride with beautiful scenery.   Then I took  the Rittner railway to Klobenstein and  walked (following  the signs)  to  the Earth Pyramids. Here is a sample  of the  scenery   from the cable car to the  pyramids destination….

The  earth pyramids are a phenomenon caused by erosion. They consist of cone-shaped pillars formed by deposited clay and a boulder on top – often times  in bizarre shapes. Earth pillars started forming from moraine clay soil left behind after the last Ice Age when the glaciers  covering the valley melted away. In dry conditions  the soil is hard as stone, but, as soon as it rains, it turns into a  muddy mass, starts sliding, and so forms 10 to 15-meter-steep slopes. With more  rainfall, these slopes erode.

However, where there are rocks in the muddy mass, the clay soil underneath these rocks stays protected from the rain. So, while the surrounding material is continually carried off with the weather, the protected pillars literally rise out of the ground to form  earth pyramids.  The biggest pyramids  develop over thousands of years.   But once the boulder falls off its peak, an earth pyramid is  exposed to the rain,  shrinks  with each rainfall and  quickly  erodes from sight. Although while  one pyramid vanishes, another one  starts to form.

This is the picture perfect,  stunning  scenery  beyond the pyramids.

One last tidbit  to the  story – while standing and looking  at this gorgeous view – I heard a cuckoo bird!!  It sounds just like the clock!    Talk about perfect timing!!!     ( no pun  intended)

Thanks for reading!

Hope you enjoyed!










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