DaDane of DaWeek

 Created: 07/26/09


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— Back Online; Swiss Alps —

July 26, 2009 – The failed motherboard on my MacBook Pro laptop computer was just replaced, so now I am back up and running. Yay! The warranty had recently expired, but Apple authorized the repair at no cost. How nice was that? The staff at the Gravis Store in Bremen, Germany (where the unit was repaired) spoke good English (as opposed to my atrocious German) and they were very nice to us. Thank you, all.

Okay, so here are some photos from the Swiss Alps. Most shots were taken on hiking trails above the Schatzalp Hotel:

View from the front of the Schatzalp Hotel

View from the back of the hotel

Tourists in front of the hotel

This is what they were looking at

Nearby, a hungry European Nutcracker (Nucifraga caryocatactes) watched, hoping for a hand-out;
some people were giving him peanuts, his favorite, while I fed him pieces of bread

The Nutcracker's winter diet consists of seeds from the Swiss Stone Pine (Pinus cembra)

Another view near the front of the hotel, an erosional landform (a cirque) created by glacial scouring

It's where the snow and ice forming the glacier first accumulated, but the glacier is long gone

Okay, so now let's go hiking behind (and above) the Schatzalp Hotel

One of many waterfalls in the area

A trail marker; these are certainly helpful

Alpine vegetation, moss and lichen

Here's where we are now

Not such a bad view, huh?

An old shed, probably still in use because there are farm animals roaming these hills

You can hear the cows well before you see them; they all wear big clanging cowbells

And they aren't always happy to have strangers in their summer pastures

Although they seem fairly relaxed about it ...

... meaning they won't run off when they see you, but they'll quickly leave if you get too close

Back on the trail

This is ski country

Although the terrian is rugged, wild flowers are scattered everywhere

Alpine trumpet gentian, so brilliantly blue, is in great abundance

European blue lupine also makes a showy appearance

Here's a close-up

and the lupine provides a nice border to shoot through

Am not sure what this is, other than pretty

Some hikers passing by on the way back down

Now we'll make a quick vist to the Rinerhorn for dinner, via the Bergstation skilift,
courtesty of the Goldschmidt Conference

The evening light up there was very dramatic

While the scientists were enjoying their pre-dinner drinks, I ducked outside to shoot

My dinner companions were rather amused by this

Meanwhile, a brief squall was moving in and it was starting to snow

Somebody else came out to shoot; we were the only ones out there

After a wonderful dinner, it was time to head back down

I've put together a slide show that contains about twice many photos as you've seen here.
If you're interested, please click to view.

Next stop, Finland
We are leaving Friday, July 31, for a week in Finland. This will be a real summer vacation for us with no conferences, workshops, or meetings. Have never been to Finland, so I'm looking forward to it. Stay tuned...

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