Thursday, 30 July 2020

Solar Energy and Other Things

This post is a mixed bag of pictures and things I did and saw between the 18th and the 22nd of July.

But first things first - I said I was going to show you my new short hair cut. It is not all that "new" - I've been having my hair cut short almost every year, as it is just not good hair for wearing it long. Now it really is dry within ten minutes out of the shower, which is very practical when I have a late shower after an evening run, or want to be ready to leave the house early-ish in the morning. Don't mind my daft facial expression - I can't help it!


My sister took this picture of me on July 22, after we had finished eating delicious veggie burgers at the farm shop / restaurant nearby, nicely breaking up an after-work walk.

Let's quickly pop back to July 18, a warm and sunny Saturday. O.K. and I spent the weekend at my place, and went on an evening walk to a beer garden (which was overcrowded, but we found a table on the terrace of a nearby pizzeria) and to enjoy the sunset, which we did:




On the 19th, we walked through the deer park and the palace grounds, where I took the pictures of the sand sculptures in my previous post. Just before entering the deer park, I could not resist taking a (not very good) picture of this sunflower field:


Monday, the 20th, was spent entirely in Stuttgart. It was rather hot and not the ideal day to be in the big city, but I didn't have a choice; another one of my clients had asked me to work with them for the day. All went well there, too; there were only a handful of us sharing a large, airy conference room, and of course nobody shook hands.

On the 21st, a friend needed to talk and came visiting after work. She stayed for about an hour, which meant I was out walking a little later than usual - just in time for the most beautiful evening light:




The next day, Wednesday (22.07.), saw me once more walking on the fields with my sister. I was home at 9:30 pm after a nice meal and a beautiful walk in good company.





For the last part of our walk, we chose the solar "farm" at the outskirts of town. This was or is a big project for Ludwigsburg. According to the information board, it is part of a communal project to protect the climate, by the name of SolarHeatGrid. The fields with rows and rows of solar panels were finished earlier this year, and they claim it is the largest outdoor solar thermal site in Germany.
The picture shows only one of several fields. They may not be to everybody's taste, but seen from the viewing platform and walkway constructed at one side, they have their very own aesthetic value, I think.
Also, if it's good for the climate, it is good for us!



The board informs the interested reader that the entire SolarHeatGrid project saves 3,700 tons of CO2 every year, the equivalent of 1.6 million litres of fuel, a forest area as large as 470 football fields or 500 trips around the Earth by car.

18 comments:

  1. I always enjoy your skies - I always enjoy skies. The field of sunflowers looks lovely when it's at the large size although it's a bit lost when it's small. There is something about sunflowers which happifies everyone....surely. I liked the cat on top of the tarpaulin on the haystack. Do you get asked if you play the piano? You have beautifully elegant fingers. I have long fingers too and used to be asked constantly if I played the piano. Short hair is practical. At least you have the choice as to its length ie you have hair.

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    1. Yes, sunflowers happify everyone who looks at them, I suppose - they certainly do it for me!
      Nobody has ever asked me about my fingers; I have indeed played the piano from when I was about 15. Leaving school and starting to work, and then other things in my life taking over, I sold my piano many years ago. Nowadays, my fingers get all their exercise from the computer keyboard.

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  2. Love the photos--especially those of the evening sun. Such a peaceful time of day for your walks by the looks of it.

    Tried practicing my limited German language skills on the sign. Understood about 1/3 of it so was happy for the rest of your translation.

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    1. Evening light is my favourite, and so convenient that it is also the time when I have finished work and can go for a walk.
      I didn't know you know some German, Mary!

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    2. Ein bisschen. Ich habe drei Jahre in Deutschland gelebt, als ich Jung war. (Needed a little help with that last sentence ;). Took German in high school, too, when we moved back to US.
      A bit better at reading some German, than writing or speaking it. Though I did try when I was there last year with mixed results. Sales clerks took pity on me. But I tried! Strongly believe one should show respect by learning basic phrases and cultural norms when visiting another country.

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    3. I really like your view about the language when visiting another country; it is entirely mine. Yes, reading a language is usually the easier part... then comes writing, then speaking, and when we finally manage to THINK in another language, we have cracked it properly!

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  3. The hairstyle looks good on you :)
    As for that field of solar panels, I've never seen anything like it before.

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    1. Thanks, Monica :-) It is certainly not the best picture to really show the cut, and a bit windswept I am, too, but it shows the difference to "before" well enough.
      These solar "farms" are not unusual in Germany; I know several other sites from driving by (me in the passenger seat, of course) on the Autobahn, and some of them appear much larger than the one in Ludwigsburg, which is why I am amazed by them claiming it to be the largest in Germany.

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  4. You have certainly had some lovely skies.

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    1. It was/is like that almost every evening, Pat.

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  5. You look at peace. After the workload you mentioned in a recent post. An evening walk makes all the difference. What was it Degas said? *Let us praise the light, it is after all a consolation.*

    Delightful to watch that black cat, stalking along its newfound territory, those bales covered in tarpaulin.
    I have a book of photos, taken years ago by a woman in Sweden, who photographed cats in the country wherever she found them.
    As the animal biologist Desmond Morris said, we owe cats so much, for they killed vermin and saved our ancestors from famine.

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    1. Easy to look at peace when one has just finished a delicious meal and there is still some refreshing shandy left in the glass!
      Thankfully, we were not completely besieged by wasps, either, which is the only thing I dislike about eating outdoors in the summer.

      Around that particular farm where the haystack is, we almost always spot cats. They love being up there, it gives them a great lookout.

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  6. Love your short haircut. I find short hair is more easy and cooler, especially this time of year. But it's also very cute on you. Lovely walks and things to see, always changing. I am really in favor of solar energy and wind energy, and all that is good for our beautiful endangered Earth!

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    1. Thank you, Kristi! My hair is thin and there is not all that much of it, so even if it is longer, it does not make much difference in terms of cooler/hotter, but it certainly is super-easy now, drying almost before I am out of the bathroom properly and requiring no styling at all. (Not that I did any styling before! I am very lazy like that.)
      The solar farm has been/still is a controversial project, same as with any wind mill; everyone wants clean energy from renewable sources, but nobody wants the infrastructure in their back yard.

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  7. I love your hair! You look good with short hair. I recently (finally) was able to get my hair cut and I had her cut it shorter than usual. We are having such an increase in Covid cases that we could have another partial shutdown, so my shorter hair should last a while.

    Those sunsets are beautiful! You always get the best pictures! I also see you have befriended a couple of more sweet cats! Cats know a cat person when they see one.

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    1. Thank you, Bonnie! Some people find I look like a man... but I am happy with this super-low maintenance cut.
      I simply can not resist a beautiful sunset. It is something so momentarily in real life that I want to keep hold of it at least with the camera.
      Encounters with cats are always interesting - even if the cat does not want to "talk"!

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  8. Very cool solar field - I've seen a few like this in the deserts in the Southwest, but of course it's only a Tropfen auf dem hei├čen Stein for such a big country that doesn't care much about climate change in the first place. Overcrowded beer garden? No more social distancing in Germany anymore? We only have patio dining here with tables at least six feet apart. Good thing the good weather usually keeps well into November since I don't see any change in the virus numbers as long as people keep their stupid attitudes.

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    1. Yes, beer gardens and other places are overcrowded here. People seem to have forgotten - or simply can't be bothered anymore - about the recommended minimum distance. Some of the always popular lakes have been shut down by police order, because too many went there and nobody kept their distance. I am not one for visiting any of those lakes for swimming anyway, so it does not affect me personally, but I guess many are really angry about it. This past weekend, there were large protests against the anti-corona measures. Tens of thousands of people in Berlin were crowding the street, no masks, no distance.
      Berlin is very far away from me, but it worries me nonetheless.

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