Thursday, 6 April 2017

Sunday Afternoon Hike

After the Sunday afternoon walk of two Sundays ago, last Sunday O.K. and I went for a hike in the Black Forest, which isn't really black this time of year, as you'll see. (All pictures taken by O.K.)

The route itself wasn't all that long, so it could still be called a walk, but we were up and down rather steep hills and slopes a few times. And we don't really slow down for these, so it is as nearly as much exercise as when we go running :-)

Don't worry, though - we do stop and enjoy our surroundings. It was particularly beautiful last Sunday, when we hardly saw anyone else and the only sound in the woods was birdsong and the babble of little beck along the path.

Do you know this plant? In German, it is called Sauerklee ("sour clover"); wikipedia tells me its botanical name is Oxalis acetosella. We used to eat this when we were children and playing or walking in the woods, and you know I had to give it a try here! More than anything, I was surprised to see it out so early in the year, as I always associated it with early summer, not the beginning of April.

A group of deer were greeting us when we came out of the woods on the other side. They are bred and raised there for the purpose of selling their meat, and I wonder whether their wild cousins ever come to their enclosure to "talk" to them through the fence.

A meal at a small rustic restaurant where we'd been once before gave us enough sustenance to walk back to the car, this time on a different path.

A swing seat in the middle of the woods - with nobody around but us! What a lovely surprise!

The light kept changing and it really was like that when we were on our way back to the car. Doesn't it look like an advert for "Holidays in the Black Forest"?

A spontaneous suggestion of O.K.'s was to get up to the top of a hill called Brandenkopf, 942 m high, and climb the tower there for its views. It was much cooler up there, but we didn't stay long - I had to take the train home later that same evening.

The viewing tower was built in 1929 and adds another 32 m to the height of the hill. It replaces several wooden structures that were there before the current tower but were deemed unsafe after some years. This one is really sturdy, and has sliding windows in the room at the top. You can open them to take better photos without reflection of the pane, or simply to feel the wind that seems to be blowing here always (which is, of course, why there are two wind mills up here to generate electricity). (The English wikipedia article about Brandenkopf and the tower is here.)

Another wonderful weekend, and I am already looking forward to the next one!


  1. How much do you pay OK for the use of his photographs? It is important to comply with copyright laws as you should know better than most others because of your advanced knowledge of data protection matters.

    1. I have his explicit permission, and he sees everything I post. Payment is not monetary in our case...

    2. What an absolutely superb reply Meike. It made me laugh out loud!

  2. How beautiful!! The photos make me want to start singing..."The hills are alive with the sound of music"! I don't know how far this could be from where the movie was filmed but it mustn't be too far, the land looks so much like it.
    The photo of you on the swing makes me smile because you look so happy.

    1. "The Sound of Music" was filmed in Los Angeles and Salzburg (Austria) and surrounding area; Austria is about 500 km from where O.K. lives. The hills that are alive with music are in the Alps, whereas our hike was in the Black Forest - still, I can see why the flower-covered meadows would remind you of the film!
      Coming across that swing in the woods quite by chance was a very happy moment indeed :-)

    2. OH, and I meant to tell you this...Diane Sawyer (a TV journalist that I really like) went to where they filmed The Sound of Music in was filmed there, the mountains cannot be mistaken! Anyway, the scene where Julie Andrews is turning around and the helicopter was about to blow her away? THAT was really in Germany, jus over the border from Austria, Diane Sawyer had to get special permission from the owners to be on their private land. There, that might not be interesting to anyone else but ME! :-)
      Once again, you would love to have me on your trivia team when it comes to films!!

    3. I would indeed love to have you on my pub quiz team, Kay!!!
      Like you, I love such background details; they make a film, book, song etc. more alive for me.

  3. That's a lovely post of a lovely walk. I think that the plant you highlighted is called Wood Sorrel in the UK (by sheer coincidence I was watching a programme last night where we were shown where a huge patch was growing). My memories of the Black Forest are, oddly, quite limited now. I must reacquaint myself with it when I start sorting all my old photos. Oddly my most vivid memory is of a night in an inn right in the forest which was very 'typical' and having wild boar for dinner.

    1. Thank you, Graham - and I am glad my reply to an above comment made you laugh!
      I have heard the name wood sorrel before but never knew what plant it was.
      There are plenty of boar around the area, even in the small leafy woodland near O.K.'s village, where we go for runs and walks so often. We've not met them personally yet (nor am I keen on such an encounter), but we often see traces of their activities.
      It's been a long time since I've last had wild boar for dinner!

  4. Wow, you were high up. Beautiful views (and good photos)! I do know that plant, it used to grow in the woods right behind our house in my childhood/youth.