Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Nature Notes: Wittenbergener Heide

the Wittenbergener Lighthouse marks the starting point of our trip through the Wittengbergener Heide, a nature reserve in Hamburg that includes inland dunes, heath and light forest.

a spider cocoon (I think) from last year

there were many of those holes in the dune area - we didn't see what made them, but I suspect Typhaeus typhoeus, a species of dung beetle that builds tunnel of up to 1.5 metres and feeds its larvae with rabbit dung

a view over the heather, right after we were screamed at by a group of 15 Eurasian Jays (Garrulus glandarius)

Eurasian nuthatch
a Eurasian Nuthatch (Sitta europaea), making it clear to everybody that this was his territory
Eurasian nuthatch
You can listen to a call here

the view over the Elbe - the opposite shore is the island Neßsand

horse ant
a horse ant (Formica rufa), it's quite a big species with workers measuring 5-9mm and queens 9-11mm

sand bee
a sand bee, I think Andrena cineraria / Ashy Mining Bee, but I'm not 100% sure. It was warming up and not yet ready to fly.

Nature Notes is hosted by Michelle at Rambling Woods

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Nature Notes: Leaf Scorpionfish


This is a Leaf Scorpionfish (Taenianotus triacanthus). They come in many colours and can change colour when they molt (they don't have scales). When they feel threatened, they sway, like a leaf or a plant in the water. The fins on their chest can be used to walk over and to hold on to the bottom of the sea.
I like their eyes in particular.


Nature Notes is hosted by Michelle at Rambling Woods

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

ABC Wednesday: L is for Laeiszhalle

The Laeiszhalle is the biggest concert hall in Hamburg and one of my favourite buildings. It was built after the shipowner Carl Laeisz (who owned for example the Pamir and the Passat) left 1.2 million Mark to the city of Hamburg, asking that a concert hall should be built.
Two reliefs show Händel, who lived and worked in Hamburg for some time and Brahms, who was born here.

I've been to the Laeiszhalle for the first time when they showed the 1925 Phantom of the Opera, with the original score played by a full orchestra - it was amazing.
There's room for 2023 people in the main hall, which you can see Here and there are several smaller rooms. It also houses a museum where you can try out various instruments.
Laeisz is pronounced similar to the English lies, with a sharp s, but to make things easier, you can just say Musikhalle and everyone will know what you are talking about.

See what else L stands for with ABC Wednesday