Tag Archives: flora and fauna

That time of year again

2 Jun

Two days ago I caught a whiff of a sweet fragrance as we set out on our morning dog walk. Yesterday it was clear it was the linden blossoms of one particular tree that gets a lot of sun. Today it reminded to let you know — it must be June, the linden trees are out.

Happy June!

This year’s flower pick

7 May

Every year the MA 42 (the “Magistratsabteiling” of the City of Vienna responsible for public parks and gardens) choose certain mixtures of flowers that they plant everywhere. The daffodils and red tulips are gone, but these have come out. I have no idea what they are (I am the kind person who is happy to work in a garden as long as someone else tells me what to do), but they are tall (about a foot and a half) and look like something out of Dr. Seuss, if you ask me. Fun.

Autumn colors coming to the Vienna Woods

23 Oct

And we have a long weekend. 🙂 October 26 is a holiday (vote in Parliament for Austrian neutrality, 1955 or something).

18 (2nd half) & 19 – Aspern Nord U to Wagramer Straße

13 Jun

Today we carried on with the second half of Trail 18 and more than all of Trail 19 (we missed a sign and probably went about 2 kms out of our way). And today I have photos! 🙂

It was a beautiful sunny day (although with such a wind that a friend sent a message: “Hopefully you will not get blown away!”) with beautiful flowers (see above), including lots of elderflowers (visible on the left of the photo below), which my hiking partner collected to make syrup, and some interesting wildlife. We saw a bird that neither of us had ever seen before and I couldn’t find in my field guide and which I think may, in fact, be a pet that escaped and is now living it up in the fields of the 22nd district. In shape it had some similarities to a dove but was much larger, had bright blue markings on its head, and interesting black and white striping on its tail. If anyone has any ideas, please let me know.

We were still in a very flat part of Vienna with scattered small bodies of water. It is still quite rural (see below) and had horses! As with other parts of the Rundumadum trail, I was amazed to see food being grown on a relatively large scale (the 10th district also has proper fields with grain and vegetables). From the underground train you can see extensive greenhouses and the paths we took today were almost all through open fields. Really extraordinary for a city of almost two million people. Long may it last.

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This was such a nice stretch that I would like to come back and perhaps even swim in the Süßenbrunner Teiche (ponds).

Trail 18

Distance: 4.1 km

Time: 1 to 1.5 hrs

Link: https://www.wien.gv.at/umwelt/wald/freizeit/wandern/rundumadum/etappe18.html

Trail 19

Distance: 5.1 (if you do it right ;-))

Time: 1 hr 15 mins to 1 hr 45 mins

Link: https://www.wien.gv.at/umwelt/wald/freizeit/wandern/rundumadum/etappe19.html

The Linden Trees

7 Jun

This afternoon I caught my first whiff of the linden trees in blossom. They’re late this year, but then we have had a cool spring (thank goodness, in my book).

A blackbird’s song

18 Mar

There’s a bird whose song I’ve been delighting in on our morning walk. He sits on an old TV antenna atop a roof and fills the morning air with what sounds like rapture.

I thought he was a thrush but also, thinking of Romeo and Juliet, considered that he might be a lark. I even wondered if he might be a nightingale.
This morning I decided to find out so I checked out the bird songs from all those birds, and a few others, on YouTube. (Technology is good for some things. ;-)) None of the songs seemed quite right. Then YouTube suggested the song of the “Amsel” (blackbird) and that was it! 🙂 Wikipedia then informed me that a blackbird is part of the thrush family (as is, I believe, the nightingale), which made me feel I wasn’t entirely wrong.
A nice way to start the day, including having a bit of time this morning to go down this particular rabbit hole. 🙂

The Color of Politics in Vienna

24 Sep

I can’t help thinking that the choice of color here is not random. Vienna is voting on October 11 and I can imagine that many of the people who work for the parks and gardens department are at least originally Social Democrats. (As I have observed before, it’s not called Red Vienna for nothing. ;-))

Schau dir “Winterreise, D. 911: No. 5, Der Lindenbaum “Am Brunnen vor dem Tore” (Mässig)” auf YouTube an

10 Jun

It’s that time of year again. The linden (or lime) trees are in blossom and seducing all with their powerful and sweet fragrance. In their honor, here is Schubert’s song “Der Lindenbaum” sung by my favorite Lieder singer, Olaf Bär, accompanied by the inimitable Geoffrey Parsons. Ah.

MA 42 a.k.a. das Gartenamt

8 May

The Parks and Gardens Department in Vienna have pretty much declared summer. They have put out their summer flowers along with a welcome addition of the last few years–a sign telling you what is growing in the bed. One thing I greatly enjoy is watching the flowers grow and fill out until they reach their peak in the fall. 🙂

06 – Bahnhof Hütteldorf to Lainzer Tor (again)

30 Apr

Yes, you read that right. I did the Rundumadum stretch from Hütteldorf to the Lainzer Tor again. This time I was able to walk through the Tiergarten (the Lainz Game Reserve) and get the stamp I need for the “Wandernadel” (the pin you can earn by hiking enough designated paths in the Vienna Woods).

It was a pleasure–and something of a homecoming–to walk through this park I used to go to regularly but hadn’t been through in over seven years. (Dogs aren’t allowed which means that as long as I have had Maylo I have walked elsewhere.) Much was the same–the paths, the picnic tables, and many of the signs–but a lot of lumbering has gone on, as in other parts of the Vienna Woods, and so there were a number of rather forlorn patches I didn’t remember.

I entered through the Nikolaitor (St. Nicholas Gate), remembering my first time when I opened the gate to go in, saw a wild boar standing just meters away, and tried to close the gate again. I couldn’t get it shut because there were people on the other side trying to get out. I let them out, closed the gate, and wondered what to do. Since I knew that people walked in the Tiergarten, I decided to take another look and noticed that there were lots of people, including small children, standing around admiring the boar. Ah, a more or less tame one (photo below). I went in.

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Wild boar, 1989

No boar at the Nikolai Gate on Sunday. Probably the one I saw has long since gone to his heavenly reward. I was unimpeded. I turned right and went along the route I used to know so well. I greeted the first few fellow hikers going by with a friendly “Grüß Gott” only to then remind myself: We’re still in the city. People don’t greet each other here as they do in the mountains. After that, I smiled but said nothing. It was wonderful–much as I love him–to be walking for once without my dog, to go at my own pace (not needing to stop to allow him an intense sniff at something) and to think my own thoughts. I usually try to walk mindfully, but this time I let myself just walk and not try to do or be anything in particular. It was deeply enjoyable.

Because spring came so early and fast this year there wasn’t much to see in the way of blossoms, unlike my first walk in the Lainzer Tiergarten. That was 30 years ago probably pretty much to the day when I took the photo below and showed it to friends at home, amazed and proud of the fact that this was within the city limits.

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Nonetheless, this time I did see a fox skirting around the people excitedly watching it (never seen a fox in the Tiergarten before) and these beautiful purple flowers.

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Before I knew it, I was at the Rohrhaus–the rustic eatery where you can get your card stamped. I briefly considered having coffee and a Milchrahmstrudel (a piece of Topfenstrudel served warm in a sea of warm vanilla sauce),  but they were–not surprisingly given the weather–full, and I suspected there would be quite a long wait. Instead I just asked for the stamp and carried on, thinking I might have better luck at Empress Elisabeth’s retreat, the Hermes Villa.

Even on the way to the Hermes Villa I didn’t see any wild boar, not even a squirrel. But I did see this sign (below), which makes me think perhaps all the animals were resting (“ruhen”) peacefully away from us humans. (The sign makes more sense if you know that in this context “Wild” in German means game, as in, boar, deer, pheasant, and so on.)

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More quickly than I remembered I arrived at the Hermes Villa and saw that outside on the terrace there was a self-service café so I got a delicious cheesecake (actually, more precisely, a “Topfentorte”), and then I carried on to the Lainzer Tor remembering outings with friends and their children to pick “Bärlauch” (wild garlic) and dandelion greens and to read all the informative signs about the trees and bushes along the path.

I arrived at the Lainzer Tor a few minutes before the bus was due to leave to take me back to the bus that would take me to the underground (do you get the sense that this is truly on the edge of the city?) and took the opportunity to check where we go from there. It looks as if Maylo will be allowed on the next stretch and, much as I enjoyed walking without him for once, I’ll be happy to have my hiking companion with me for the next bit.

Distance: 7.6 km

Time: about two hours, even with the coffee break

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P.S. My initial reaction to the boar was apparently not out of place. The British Ambassador had an encounter with a boar in the Lainzer Tiergarten in which he hurt his hand (story here).