Roman and Mediaeval History, Illlustrated Travel Journals, Mediaeval Literature, Geology


27.4.16
  Spring in the Meissner Mountains

I've posted some photos of the Meissner mountains taken in autumn some time ago. Here is a bunch I took two weeks ago, with the first buds of spring appearing on the trees.

Meissner mountains, juniper heath near Rossbach

I'm still having a busy time at work. I hope it will be better soon so I'll have the time to write some longer posts that require research. It's not that I'm running out of landscape photos, but I suspect my readers will get bored if there's not some castle soon. ;-)

A view into the valley

The scenery for this post was taken on the juniper heath near a village called Rossbach in the Meissner foothills. One of the Premium hiking paths is leading through this landscape. The Premiums hiking ways are mostly natural paths that are kept free from obstacles and well equipped with signposts. There are also maps so you can plan tours ahead.

Juniper heath with birches

The areas with juniper heath are interspesed with calcareous grasslands, fields, and grazing meadows down in the valleys. In summer, some rare orchids will bloom on the calcareous grasslands. I'll plan to return for another tour when the heather is in bloom - the hills should look lovely then.

Another - slightly obscured - view into the valley

There is some forest as well, and a river that gets lost. *grin* Since the rock ground in that area is limestone and gypsum kalk, the brook seeps into some particularly porous bit of ground. That itself is not so unusual in limestone formations, but the brook doesn't reappear anywhere - like for example the Rhume Springs - and that is unusual.

A gnarled tree

The limestone dates back to the zechstein time when this part of Germany had been a shallow sea that stretched from eastern England to northern Poland, an area that was known as the European Permian Basin - back then located near the equator. That was 298-252 million years ago. The zechstein is a sedimentary rock as result of layers of calcareous marine fauna pressed together.

A shrubbery dividing some fields

The Zechstein Sea was also responsible for the vast layers of halite (rock salt) that can be found in Germany and Poland. The salt domes around Lüneburg which played a role in the rise of the Hanseatic League in the Middle Ages belong to that strata. Salt can also be found at Werra and Leine where it comes close to the surface in some places.

More juniper heath on the other side of the village

The grassland parts of the landscape are kept open by sheep who are herded to grazing regularly. The area is an interesting mix of natural habitats and man made parts like fields and cherry orchards (the whole area is famous for its cherries). The landscape has developed that way for hundreds of years and is now a nature reserve despite its partial agricultural use.

Juniper tree gate

Karst landscapes like the ones in the north-eastern foothills of the Meissner can also be found in the southern foothills of the Harz (I explained the Zechstein Sea in a bit more detail in that post).

A view towards Rossbach

And finally a nice view towards the village of Rossbach on a sunny spring afternoon.

 
Comments:
Warmest greetings from Poland, Gabriele. I too have little time for posting these days. I have been working on a post for... I cannot recall, and haven't finished yet ;) Life...
 
Man staunt immer, wie sich eine Landschaft so im Laufe eines Jahres verwandelt. Wir schauen auch immer gern mal eine Gegend zu unterschiedlichen Jahreszeiten an. Ich fand den Vergleich durchaus auch hier bei Dir mit Deiner Herbstwanderung sehr interessant. Die ersten Bilder erinnern mich doch sehr an die Vegetation in der Rhön, die ja auch seit einigen Jahren wieder durch Schafe beweidet wird.
Liebe Grüße von der Silberdistel
 
Hey, what's that green stuff? On the ground? Our ground is white still. Although the flowers are trying mightily to poke through the snow....
 
Spring has indeed arrived! Great pix, as usual.
 
I like your landscape photos, Gabriele. These are lovely. Does the brook really not reappear anywhere at all? Presumably the water must soak into some underground porous rock and stay there as groundwater or something?
 
Thank you, Kasia. Yes, esp. longer history post require a fair bit of research and time.

Liebe Silberdistel, der Meissner ist halt nicht so weit von Göttingen, so dass man da durchaus für einen langen Nachtmittagsspaziergang hinfahren kann. Der Harz ist auch nicht so weit, aber die Wanderwege dort sind oft schlecht ausgeschildert.

Constance, it's called grass. :-) Should soon poke out in Wyoming as well.

Thank you, Anerje.

Thanks, Carla. There are a number of disappearing brooks in the karst landscapes, but most of them can be fround reemerging somewhere (you can trace them by adding some coloured liquid to the water and look where it pops up again) but this one couldn't be traced so far.
 
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The Lost Fort is a blog based on my travels in Germany, the UK and other places, with essays on Roman and Mediaeval history illustrated with lots of photos of old castles, cathedrals, Roman remains, and beautiful landscapes. You may also find the odd essay about geology or Mediaeval literature.

All texts (except comments by guests) and photos (if no other copyright is noted) on this blog are copyright of Gabriele Campbell.

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Location: Germany

I'm a blogger from Germany with a MA in Literature and History which doesn't pay my bills, so I use it to research blogposts instead. I'm interested in everything Roman and Mediaeval, avid reader and sometimes writer, opera enthusiast, traveller with a liking for foreign languages and odd rocks, photographer, and tea aficionado. And an old-fashioned blogger who hasn't yet gotten an Instagram account. :-)


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