Lüneburger Heide

Lüneburger Heide

In my last post I mentioned that we stopped at a flower field on the way back from the Lüneburger Heide. Well, this is the Lüneburger Heide. Part of it anyway. This photograph is of an area called the Totengrund (dead land or ground?). The name is a bit of bluster, there's nothing here that's deadly and there weren't any deadly historic events that happened here either. Most likely, it's to do with the fact that this particular area was not very fertile. It's hard to tell from the photo, but the whole region is built on sand. Fine sand. If it was on a beach, it'd be nice beach sand.

The larger area, the Heide, is a nature park with a nature reserve—actually twenty nature reserves— that is pretty close to a city called Lüneburg. And Heide just means heath.

Every year, around the middle of august, the omnipresent heather plants bloom and the hills and fields become an ocean of purple flowers with some junipers scattered around for contrast. So, heather grows in heaths. Makes sense.

The area is a little more diverse than I've made it sound. There are many stands of pine, oak and beech trees. In an odd way, those trees are a problem. Most of the time, when we hear of a protected area it's big trees or unique animals that are being protected but, here, it's actually the (semi) manmade environment that is being preserved. There is even a name for that type of thing: a cultural landscape, places where man and nature had roughly equal parts in forming the ecosystem.

After the last ice age, the area was mostly forest. Constant grazing by sheep that I assume started out wild and were eventually domesticated cleared out huge areas and those areas were colonised by heather. For a few thousand years the heather and the trees traded dominance with humans and their sheep playing kingmaker. Then, around the year 1000CE, humans really settled down and lost their nomadic habits. That tilted the game into the heather's favour. It's been that way ever since. The sheep are still here and they are allowed to roam the land, relatively free, in order to make sure that the heath doesn't shrink down to nothing, reconquered by pine forests.

In the middle of the area that we went to, there is a little town called Wilsede. The only way to get there is by foot, bike, horse or carriage. Except, that's not exactly true. A more accurate way of putting it is, if you are a tourist the only way in is by foot, bike, horse or carriage. It seems the residents or workers—and there really aren't that many—are allowed to drive in and out. We walked and, between wandering around going to different spots like the Totengrund and following the road to Wilsede and back, it was about sixteen kilometres. I really enjoyed it but I'd bet if we had been able to catch the last carriage of the day on the way out, we probably would have taken it.

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EXIF

Camera: NIKON D300
Lens Type: AF-S DX VR Zoom-Nikkor 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED
Focal Length: 58 mm
35mm Focal Length: 87 mm
Exposure: 1/30 sec
Aperture: f 8
ISO: 100


Taken: 2016-09-10 16:33:51
Posted: 2016-09-14 | 00:19





Lüneburger Heide

Lüneburger Heide

In my last post I mentioned that we stopped at a flower field on the way back from the Lüneburger Heide. Well, this is the Lüneburger Heide. Part of it anyway. This photograph is of an area called the Totengrund (dead land or ground?). The name is a bit of bluster, there's nothing here that's deadly and there weren't any deadly historic events that happened here either. Most likely, it's to do with the fact that this particular area was not very fertile. It's hard to tell from the photo, but the whole region is built on sand. Fine sand. If it was on a beach, it'd be nice beach sand.

The larger area, the Heide, is a nature park with a nature reserve—actually twenty nature reserves— that is pretty close to a city called Lüneburg. And Heide just means heath.

Every year, around the middle of august, the omnipresent heather plants bloom and the hills and fields become an ocean of purple flowers with some junipers scattered around for contrast. So, heather grows in heaths. Makes sense.

The area is a little more diverse than I've made it sound. There are many stands of pine, oak and beech trees. In an odd way, those trees are a problem. Most of the time, when we hear of a protected area it's big trees or unique animals that are being protected but, here, it's actually the (semi) manmade environment that is being preserved. There is even a name for that type of thing: a cultural landscape, places where man and nature had roughly equal parts in forming the ecosystem.

After the last ice age, the area was mostly forest. Constant grazing by sheep that I assume started out wild and were eventually domesticated cleared out huge areas and those areas were colonised by heather. For a few thousand years the heather and the trees traded dominance with humans and their sheep playing kingmaker. Then, around the year 1000CE, humans really settled down and lost their nomadic habits. That tilted the game into the heather's favour. It's been that way ever since. The sheep are still here and they are allowed to roam the land, relatively free, in order to make sure that the heath doesn't shrink down to nothing, reconquered by pine forests.

In the middle of the area that we went to, there is a little town called Wilsede. The only way to get there is by foot, bike, horse or carriage. Except, that's not exactly true. A more accurate way of putting it is, if you are a tourist the only way in is by foot, bike, horse or carriage. It seems the residents or workers—and there really aren't that many—are allowed to drive in and out. We walked and, between wandering around going to different spots like the Totengrund and following the road to Wilsede and back, it was about sixteen kilometres. I really enjoyed it but I'd bet if we had been able to catch the last carriage of the day on the way out, we probably would have taken it.

Show this photo on a map ✈

EXIF

Camera: NIKON D300
Lens Type: AF-S DX VR Zoom-Nikkor 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED
Focal Length: 58 mm
35mm Focal Length: 87 mm
Exposure: 1/30 sec
Aperture: f 8
ISO: 100


Taken: 2016-09-10 16:33:51
Posted: 2016-09-14 | 00:19


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