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.
Some wildflower love from Austria spanning the last couple of months, from first sprouts emerging through the remnant muck of winter, to forest orchids. Check out the Summit Voice photo archives for more wildflower shots from around the world, and visit our online gallery to purchase fine art nature and landscape prints.
Many wildflower species are under the gun from climate change, especially in the mountains, where they will be pushed out of their habitat. Other studies have documented how global warming will affect native plant diversity in California. The changes to plant communities will ripple through ecosystems, affecting insect and birds, as many studies have shown.
Tutti Frutti …
Cherry pie …
Here comes the sun!
Seems like just yesterday it was snowing, and now you can eat ripe cherries off the trees, pluck strawberries in the fields and enjoy summer flowers in the fields. This weekend we spent a little time in the wine and forest country north of Danube and here’s what we found. Check out more Summit Voice travel photography in the Sunday Set archive for more travel pics, or head over to our online gallery at FineArt America for a full selection of nature and landscape photography.
While most people picture majestic, glacier-clad crags when they think of the Alps, the great European mountain range has a softer side at its far eastern edge, where the mountains gradually taper off toward the Danube Valley, just west of Vienna. The temperate climate in these foothills is perfect for apple and pear trees, growing so prolifically that there’s and entire district dedicated to the production of tasty cider. And in the famed Wienerwald (Vienna Woods), thick silver-barked beech trees dominate the forests. Just a bit farther south and west, the first high peaks of the Alps rise up to the summit of the Ötscher, a landmark peak surrounded by deeply carved valleys where crystal-clear aquamarine streams flow through protected landscapes like the Ötscher-Tormäuer Nature Park
. In the last few weeks, the soft greens of spring burst forth in abundance in these landscapes near Austria’s first city, and we’re looking forward to more explorations this summer.
City sights …
Down on the corner …
A short photographic stroll through a city that consistently ranks near the very top worldwide for quality of life. Vienna’s coffee houses and parks are definitely part of its charms, but it’s also a European hub science, culture, literature and tech innovation. And there are connections to my old stomping grounds in Colorado. For example, I spent several years following the story of how parasitic whirling disease wiped out most of Colorado’s rainbows
, and how biologists were working to restore the popular game fish with a population resistant to the disease. Then last summer, as I was working on a story about a massive fish die-off in the Yellowstone River
, my research led me to an Egyptian-born research scientist at the University of Vienna who has been studying various parasitic trout diseases, and linking them with global warming. Turns out that Mansour El-Matbouli also was an instrumental figure in the efforts to breed the strain of rainbow trout that are resistant to whirling disease, and that he had worked closely with aquatic biologists in Colorado that I also had interviewed for my stories in Colorado. We’re facing global environmental challenges, and they require a global and science-based response. It’s a small world.