A mighty tower high in the German forest

In this case the forest is the Schönbuch forest, just south of Stuttgart.

And in this case the tower is the Schönbuch Turm, located at the highest point of the forest, and providing a spectacular view to anyone brave enough to climb it.

Here is the sign you‘ll see along the way to the tower:

And here is what you‘ll see when you come to the tower:

And finally, this is a view from what it looks like at the top!

Burls, galls, and brains

Everyone knows that trees can grow big nodules called burls. A burls is when root cells in the tree start to grow in an unexpected place, like a trunk.

And everyone knows that trees can grow galls. A gall is similar to a burl, but it is caused by a fungus in the tree that causes the tree to grow something like a wooden wart.

But in a recent trip to Unterer Schlossgarten in Stuttgart I was shocked and terrified to see a real human brain growing in a tree!

Could it be that this tree was planted on the site of an ancient cemetery – and by an unbelievable stroke of luck, some of the dead brain matter was absorbed into the tree where it became re-animated and started growing again.

I wonder what the tree „thinks“ about all this?!

I am a goose, not a number

While enjoying the famous Unterer Schlossgarten deep, deep within the bowels of Stuttgart I happened across about a zillion migrating geese, and almost all of them were wearing bands like this one:

I think hardly a goose – except maybe a crazy goose – would be inclined to wear a bracelet, but an absurd question remains: who would invest time putting bracelets on the legs of around a zillion migrating geese?  And for what purpose?

Zwiefalten Flowers

Yes, that’s Zwiefalten – not Zweifalten – and you can see some earlier snaps of this mind-blowing Southern German monastery that I took here. In fact, even the insects surrounding this place must soak up the goodness, because on a recent trip I spotted an insect almost as big as a man’s head. I also spotted a fish in a small brook that was almost the size of an American alligator.

If you step inside, there is a very real risk your brain will explode. And as you can see from the outside, the stunning sights are hardly less interesting:

Extreme danger in the Schwabian Biosphere Reserve

The Schwabian Biosphere Reserve is an amazing, amazing place of nature, where you can talk long walks and enjoy the trees and the flowers and the birds.

And occasionally have a panic attack, such as coming across something that looks like this:

The hidden sign catches your attention, so you move a bit closer and see this:

In German the text reads: Lebensgefahr! Absolutes Betretungsverbot. . . which is roughly translated as “Life threatening danger! Tresspassing is absolutely forbidden! This complete area is forbidden due to its previous use with munitions.”