In the vines …
All the colors of autumn in one leaf.
I had a chance to explore the heart of Austria’s wine country on a perfect autumn day, following an interpretive trail through neatly tended terraces in the Kamp River valley, north of Vienna. Most of the grapes were already harvested, but a few clusters were still ripening in the sun for a late harvest. Some will be left until they freeze on the vine. That late harvest yields a smaller amount of concentrated wine, its sweetness balanced by high acidity. Check out all the latest Summit Voice travel photography in our Sunday Set archive, and visit our online gallery or more landscape and nature images.
Summer scenes …
Sunset over the Ottensteiner Stausee.
Storm over the Danube.
A quickie photo trek through through parts of Austria reflecting the peak of the summer season, including building thunderstorms over Vienna and the Danube, one more of the poppy fields in full bloom, and some countryside shots. Check the Sunday Set archive for more travel pics, and visit our online gallery for fine art nature and landscape images, available printed on a wide range of mediums.
Can’t let summer end without posting a wildflower set, so here are few shots taken the last few months, from high mountain pastures in the Alps to the banks of the Danube River in downtown Vienna. A couple of the images include insects, and I’m always amazed to see how the diversity of bugs increases dramatically as you get a few miles away from agricultural areas where pesticides are used heavily. We may not think about bugs very much, and yes, some of them are pests, but we will miss them when they are gone.
Acting now could help protect lakes from global warming
The Ödsee in Upper Austria.
Þingvallavatn in Iceland, where researchers have recently discovered a fish pathogen that was previously unknown in this country’s cold, clear freshwater ecosystems.
Sunset at one of the world’s great steppe lakes, the Neusiedler See.
Had a chance to explore some of Austria’s most beautiful lakes this summer, and spent time talking to scientists about how they will be affected by global warming. As it turns out, there are a few thing we can do to try protect them from climate change impacts, but we have to act now, and in the hope that we can tackle the larger problem in the near future by drastically reducing greenhouse gas emissions. But in the short-term, protecting lakes from pollution, making sure their source waters are clean and cool and trying to protect groundwater that feeds into lakes can help make them more resilient to climate change. In some cases, fisheries managers should probably be thinking about trying to create climate sanctuaries for some species, and regular monitoring, linked with adaptive management, can also help control impacts. Read my story for Deutsche Welle to learn more.
Thundercloud approaching …
Serene autumn evening near Aggstein.
Tugboat in Linz.
The waterfront, Urfahr.
The Danube is one of the world’s great rivers, carrying much of the northern Alps snowmelt to the sea and weaving a thread of culture and history from southern Germany through Austria and the Balkans to the Black Sea. These pics show just a short slice of the stream, between Linz and Vienna, but you can find more travel pics in the Summit Voice archives, as well as landscape and nature prints for sale at our online gallery.
For a few weeks each summer, usually in early to mid-July, farm fields in Lower Austria come alive with the poppy bloom. The flowers are planted for their tiny black seeds that are a popular ingredient for a wide variety of baked products in this region of the world. Sometimes they’re simply sprinkled atop braided rolls, but they really shine when they’re ground and mixed into a sweetened paste to fill pastries. The fields in this set are all near the small town of Ottenschlag, and it’s well worth visiting if you happen to be near Vienna this time of year.
Austrian eyecandy …
Pano from Gomde.
Mountain lake, Upper Austria.
About a year ago we visited the Gomde Buddhist retreat in the foothills of the Austrian Alps, using it as a base camp for some daytrips to the surrounding countryside. But some of the best images from that week-long sojourn were taken right around the retreat, featuring sunsets with a soft, caressing sky and spectacular colors. In between hosting Buddhist readings and other events, Gomde is an oasis of calm from a world that seems to be increasingly spinning out of control, well worth a visit if you’re traveling through that area. Check out more Summit Voice photography in our archives, and visit our online gallery to purchase fine art nature and landscape prints.