Sunday, May 31, 2009


Forgive me for briefly straying from my Vienna/Bad Nauheim pix, but today's picture was a must. I was driving through Sausalito this afternoon when I saw, what I thought were, flowers on top of mailboxes at the dead end of Napa Street. The flowers turned out to be orange plastic bags, containing AT&T telephone directories. Colorful, nevertheless. Enlarge the picture if you can and admire the paintings on the mailboxes.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Bad Nauheim

One of the highlights of my trip to Germany was a visit to the Sprudelhof (fountain court) in Bad (spa) Nauheim. Around 1900, its healing waters made Bad Nauheim one of the most popular spas in Germany. Grand duke Ernst Ludwig, seizing the moment, erected the huge Jugendstil (Art Nouveau) facility. Construction took from 1905 to 1912. The fountain in my picture shows Poseidon, the god of the sea, and Demeter, his sister. Now look at their legs. Myth has it that Poseidon pursued Demeter, and she, trying to escape his attentions, turned herself into a mare. Whereupon he turned himself into a stallion.
For years, German socialized medicine allowed patients, recovering from illness or surgery, to spend time at spas. Many of the businesses in Bad Nauheim traditionally catered to these visitors. Today, many of the benefits have been curtailed, and the city is feeling the downturn.
On another note ~ Elvis Presley lived in Bad Nauheim from 1958 - 1960 while in the service. A statue stands in front of his former residence, and people still decorate it with flowers. There is even an Elvis Presley Association in Bad Nauheim.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Vienna Chic

American ladies take note! Here's the latest in Scooter Chic, coming to you directly from downtown Vienna, long one of the fashion avant-garde centers of the world. Note the dirndlish, just-below-the knee dress, the large sunglasses, and the back-pack, doubtlessly containing a tiny laptop. And the low-heel shoes, designed especially for scootering. Hair rakishly done by none other than Madame Fifi. The entire outfit (including scooter) can be yours for a mere 776 Euros. The gold-and-amethyst necklace obviously not included. It is the gift from a former manfriend (whose name has slipped into oblivion). The two women on the left in the picture, are obviously tourists.

Thursday, May 28, 2009


I don't have a clue as to what the two on the ground were doing, but whatever it was, neither the guy with the cap, nor the dog, were at all interested. My best guess is, that they were homeless folk, jes' having a little fun, probably aided by a brewsky or two. It was all taking place at noon, on Mariahilferstrasse, Vienna's busiest shopping street. Meanwhile your favorite photographer was trying to remain as inconspicuous as possible.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


Here are a couple of chimney-sweeps which I encountered in downtown Vienna. I asked them to pose for me and, as you can see from their smiles, they were glad to comply. Chimney-sweeps occupy one of the oldest professions in the world. Perhaps only second to ........! In Victorian times many children were employed as chimney-sweeps, and were quite often abused. In Austria and Germany touching a chimney-sweep is considered lucky, and chimney-sweeps are popular symbols used at New Year's (along with pigs and four-leaf clover). Vienna sports a chimney-sweep museum and a chimney-sweep ball each November. Chimney-sweep in German is Rauchfangkehrer - smoke-catch-sweep!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


What could be more relaxing than taking a nap right in the heart of downtown Frankfurt?

Monday, May 25, 2009


I'm back to my old tricks for a day; tomorrow I'll return to the Europe trip. What you see is painting on Miller Avenue, in front of Tamalpais High School. And no, I don't know its purpose. I just thought it was fine art.

Sunday, May 24, 2009


I just love watching tourists. Especially when they are taking pix of each other. Why is the photographer in my picture leaning back like that? Why does the subject hold her hands behind her? Ah, the mysteries of photography. It all took place in the Frankfurt city hall plaza.

Saturday, May 23, 2009


Despite the world economic downturn, tourism is still well and alive in Vienna. As one souvenir vendor told me, in the typical dialect, "waun de Amerikaner net kumma, kumma halt de Russen" ("if the Americans don't show up, the Russians will"). Now that's Gemütlichkeit for you!
My picture shows a Fiaker (hackney) casually sauntering by the famous Cafe Pallfy in the heart of downtown. Nobody would have the audacity to honk. Many of the streets are cobble-stoned, and the wheels of the Fiakers make an unmistakable sound.

Friday, May 22, 2009

German Insect

I spied this insect on a little hike in a wooded area in Bad Nauheim. I tried to locate it in my Audubon Insect Guide Book but couldn't find it. Next I googled some German insect sites, but no luck. Is is a bug or is it a beetle? And do I really care? Whatever it is, I think it's beautiful and tres chic!

Thursday, May 21, 2009


Probably a Chickadee or Titmouse, joining us for a bite of strawberry cake, in Bad Nauheim, Germany.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Leopold Museum in Vienna

The Leopold Museum, or, perhaps more appropriately, the Leopold Museums, in Vienna, is/are a must for every visitor. And I am certain that a little Googling will give you a good idea of what there is to see and do there. What you would miss, however, are these bottles which caught my eye, in a store-room just outside the museum proper. Since I cannot tell a lie, I will confess that I did Photoshop the colors just a teentsie bit!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


I am not a post-card photographer, yet, occasionally, I give in to the wishes of some of my post-card-hungry admirers.
Here's a picture of Büdingen, a town about 27 miles from Frankfurt. It's an old town, mentioned as far back as 1287 AD, and was fortunate to escape serious damage in World War II. There's a castle, now used as a hotel, and many, many old houses. Note the timber-framed (Fachwerk) buildings, similar to the British Tudorbethan architecture. Note also the seal of the town shown on the right.

Monday, May 18, 2009


I just got back from my trip to Austria and Germany.
Have you have any idea how hard it is to pick one picture out of 900 for my Blog? Well, here it is. I took this one at the Mathildenhöhe in  Darmstadt, Germany. This is a city made world-famous by its beautiful Jugenstil (Art-Nouveau) buildings, Russian church, and reflecting pool. Yet what I enjoyed most was the little boy, wading happily through a puddle, totally ignoring his mother's admonitions.

Sunday, May 3, 2009


This is a shot of two different species of Lichen. I like 'em both (obviously no pun intended). I took the picture last week on Ring Mountain. Here's a little information for those among you with curious minds ~
Lichen, usually slow-growing organism of simple structure, composed of fungi and photosynthetic green algae or cyanobacteria living together in a symbiotic relationship and resulting in a structure that resembles neither constituent. There are about 25,000 species

Lichens commonly grow on rocks, trees, fence posts, and similar objects and require no food source other than light, air, and minerals. They depend heavily on rainwater for their minerals. Lichens can withstand great extremes of temperature.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Hermann and Max

Today's picture comes to you from the HGR Studios in beautiful downtown Greenbrae, where a reportage about the relationship between a Dragon, named Hermann, and a Dalmatian, by the name of Max, is being screened. Here we see Herman patting Max on the head, while saying "that's a good dog"!


Many different species of birds coexist very peacefully. Here we have a perplexed Canada Goose wondering what the heck the Cormorant is up to. The latter is just drying his/her wings. Meanwhile the Mallards couldn't care less. They were up late the night before and are just taking a little snooze.