I’ll comment on the Lower Saxony state elections tomorrow, once they’ve actually figured out who won and where things are going. My reaction is pretty “meh” anyway.
I already voted by mail-in ballot some time ago. So instead of going to the polling station today, I visited my parents and went hiking in the woods with my Dad. We went to the Westermark forest near Syke, which is our usual hiking ground. I also took my camera, so here are some pictures of snowy winter woods behind the cut.
The following photos were taken in the same forest as these perennially popular snowy winter photos from two years ago. It’s also pretty close to the place where I took these photos last fall. However, there was less snow today, because a week of continuous frost let it shrink (though we’re expecting more snow tonight). And because the day was overcast and ever so slightly misty, the mood is more sombre than two years ago as well.
Snow covered path in the Westermark woods near Syke in North Germany
Pale winter sunlight falling through barren trees onto the snow covered ground.
A look up into the trees with their bare branches. Note the nesting box.
In the very heart of the Westermark forest, there is a random field. Here is a look across said field.
The field at the centre of the forest seen from another angle.
The trunk of a dead birch tree with the field in the background.
Close-up of a forked birch tree with some dead branches.
Dead trees and branches piled up in the wood as a habitat for various small animals.
At the edge of the Westermark forest, there used to be a youth hostel, now long defunct. The many youth groups who visited the hostel over the years left their mark on the forest, often by carving into the trees. The carvings on the trunk of this particularly large tree celebrate the local football club Werder Bremen. There are also two dates visible, 1979 and 1957, indicating for how long the hostel was operational.
A half fallen tree and a snowy path.
I always call this hut the witch house, because when I was a little girl, I would imagine that a witch lived in the Westermark woods.
This smaller path was a favourite when I was a kid, but now it’s overgrown to the point of being inpassable.
Trees and a field at the edge of the woods. Note the arrow on one of the trees.
At the edge of the woods, looking out across the farmland beyond.
A typical timbered farmhouse at the edge of the woods. At the top of the gable, barely visible, there are two crossed wooden horse heads. Originally, these ornaments were supposed to keep incubi and succubi away, nowadays the persist mainly for tradition.
The house at the end of the world
View across endless fields with a farmhouse on the horizon. This is an example of the typical Geest landscape that covers much of North Germany. A “Geest” is a sand deposit left behind by glaciers during the last ice age. People have been living here at least since the bronze age BTW.
View across the snowy fields with a hunting stand in the middle. Hunting stands are very common in rural parts of North Germany. This one is unusual, because it is mounted on a trailer and therefore mobile.