Mist On A Lake – November 9, 2016

November is often seen as boring month (for photographers) due to a lot of grey and dull days. Daylight is also very limited. However this time of the year is often underestimated. There are wonderful plays of colors and many different moods with colored leaves, intense sunsets and fascinating meteorological phenomena. The lower light can also create very interesting effects. Unlike summer layer clouds often fill the sky. This could be very interesting for pictures when the sun is very low and the clouds are illuminated from beneath. After a very cold October and early winter days in Upper Bavaria there was a dramatic sunrise on 9th of November, 2016 in the “Ammersee Region”, a popular tourist destination during the summertime. However there is a lot to see at any season due to a spectacular and many-faceted landscape. Not far from the alps this is a lovely countryside with lakes, bogs, forests and hills which were formed during the last ice-age. At the southern end of the second-biggest lake of the region, the “Ammersee”, the river Ammer enters the lake. The south-end of the “Ammersee” is an important nature reserve. Many different birds could be found here. There is a huge marshland and a peninsular called “Schwedeninsel”, which demonstrate the constant change of a landscape formed by rivers from the alps.

In the surroundings of the “Schwedeninsel” wet fog appeared before sunrise during this days and was illuminated in different colors later. It was a very impressing experience, and the wet fog created a truly magical atmosphere. Temperatures were below zero during the night. In November sometimes the water is still warm compared to the cold air. These are the conditions for such weather phenomena during autumn like mist on a lake. Often the mist disappears later when the sun warms the atmospheres. Thus it is important for photo- and videography to stand up very early. The lakeside promenade in Diessen on the southwest side of the lake was a very good place to watch or to make some photos. Further on there is a watchtower at the south end which could be reached by foot. Diessen and the southern and west region of the lake is easily accessible: During summer the tourists arrive with an extravagantly restored steam paddler. For the rest of the year there is a train station nearby with trains arriving every hour from the city of Augsburg. The motorway is a 20-minutes drive away. On the other side of the lake there are bigger hills. On top of one hill of the east-side of the Ammersee is the famous “Andechs”-Monastery. Hills and lake have also an effect on the microclimate in the region. It’s possible that there is snow in the upper regions of the hills but it’s always a bit warmer when you get closer to the lake. Mist or fog mostly appears when there is very little wind. The 9th of November was a short window after low pressure from the west brought rain and snow and before the next active front appeared. Often it’s the short time when weather calms down to experience such spectacular settings.

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CLEAR AUTUMN SKY AND A KITE FESTIVAL IN STÖLLN, BRANDENBURG, GERMANY (VIDEO)

End of September is a good time for kites. Sunday, September 27, was a day with a clear blue autumn sky and some wind. Compared to the heat-wave in Summer September and October was cold in Middle-Europe. It was also not much rain. The drought which lasts now for months became a problem for some farmers. “Kite-Pilots” and families however certainly enjoyed the weather and gathered in Stölln, which is west of Berlin for a kite-festival. Artists came from everywhere, even from Tasmania. The “Gollenberg”, a hill in the “Westhavelland”, has also a very special history. Pioneer Otto Lilienthal made his first experiments with his gliders here. Unfortunately he also had a deadly accident on the Gollenberg. Today, the Gollenberg is an air glider airfield and was host of the German Gardening Exhibition BUGA in 2015. Foremost its an excellent viewpoint. Visitors can look really far. The clear autumn air allowed to enjoy the panorama. There is also a traditional weather-station on the “Gollenberg”. West of the “Gollenberg” are the rivers Havel and Elbe. From this little hill the typical lowland of the North of Germany could be studied. Its interesting that standing on the Gollenberg does indeed feel a bit like standing on a mountain, even its a small hill. But the thing that the whole surroundings are very flat, like in the Netherlands and therefore looking down from the Gollenberg appears maybe higher than the hill actually is. On top of hill is a memorial for Otto Lilienthal, which is a 20 minutes foot walk from the airfield. There is also very interesting vegetation on this hill. Unlike the surrounding meadows and wetlands close to the river Havel, the hill is a sandy hill with dry meadows. The impression is a bit like standing on one of the dunes at the Northern Sea. In the Westhavelland is also the first dark sky park of Germany due to its excellent conditions for astronomers. In the village of Stölln there is a Otto-Lilienthal-Museum telling his life-story. Video shows some coverage of the day of the kite-festival and the scenic view from the top of the Gollenberg hill.

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