Germany: A Love Affair

This past November 9th marked 25 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall. That historic day in 1989 saw the reunification of a divided country following three decades of Cold War hostilities. The transition wasn’t perfect, but it was a non-violent and triumphant event for a small corner of Europe that, throughout much of the 20th century, had seen (and often instigated) more than its fair share of violent, non-triumphant happenings.

I was a freshman in high school when the Wall came down. My German I course was the last class of the day, if I remember correctly, and although it was my favorite class, I nevertheless was an ADHD-addled teenager without much interest in actually learning. My German teacher, Frau Francik, entered the classroom, beaming, and said that something very important had happened. She spent the entire hour explaining the history leading up to the day’s monumental event. She shared her memories of leading a class trip to Germany and crossing Checkpoint Charlie, the designated border crossing for Americans between East and West Berlin. We were impressed and not a little bit scared.

It wasn’t until my junior year of high school that our class had the opportunity to visit Germany over Spring Break. Frau Francik decided to focus on just Bavaria this time around, saving a still-in-transition Berlin for another time perhaps. Alas, I didn’t have the money to go, but I promised myself that one day, I would make it to Germany.

It was a promise I kept…many times over.

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Fall Colors – Part One

October has arrived, and the fall colors are just starting to peak in much of the United States. Over the next two weeks, I’ll be taking in some of what Tennessee has to offer in this regard. Meanwhile, I thought I’d share some of my fall color photo captures from a few other corners of the world.

If you’re curious, these were shot using three different cameras, a Nikon DSLR and two not-quite-pocket-sized Canon Powershot cameras. I typically use “P” mode if the light is cooperating, but will switch to “Manual” for trickier shots, or if I’m using a tripod.

Santa Monica Mountains

Fall colors arrive late in LA, usually around Thanksgiving, and usually peak just before Christmas. You won’t see a lot of orange leaves, but we do have yellows and reds. They don’t overwhelm like I imagine New England’s fall foliage might, but they add nice shadings to a oft-parched landscape.

Continue reading “Fall Colors – Part One”