Today is All Hallows Eve or Samhain (pronounced SAH-win or SOW-in). Tonight the old Celtic year will end and the new Celtic year will begin.
We will be celebrating the following three days with lots of calm and some Autumn walks. We cooked delicious seasonal foods and made ourselves some healthy, mouth-watering sweets. A few movies will also be in the mix.
Obviously I cannot yet present any pictures of the walks that will follow these days, but I can share some impressions from our most recent ones.
I do not know if this was due to the current situation with one of our neighbours who often produces a lot of stress and threatens me to an extent that I do not even go out in the stairwell by myself, anymore, or if it was due to the energies of big shifts which are currently reaching our Mother Earth or if it was because of some personal development… probably it was a bit of everything… However, it urged me to go outdoors, last weekend, and Kim happily joined in. So we took three fairly extensive walks on three successive days.
On Friday we visited my old stomping grounds in the West of Hamburg, Germany, again, and took a walk through the Autumnal landscape conservation area of the Osdorfer Feldmark. After enjoying a coffee at a nearby bakery we continued to walk through my old neighbourhood which is adjacent to the Feldmark.
The Autumn colours are coming through late, this year. In fact, nature seems to have taken a later turn in 2016 and we even see the last wild strawberries ripening on our balcony.
Peculiar during our walk through the Feldmark was that a lot of crows were hanging out in the area which gave everything a Halloween-y touch. These birds really have a special presence and they often present a message of awareness to us.
On Saturday we were planning to take a walk through Jenischpark but it was drizzling so strongly that we opted for the nearby Loki-Schmidt-Garden, one of the two botanical gardens in Hamburg, as they have a lot of pavilions there where you can find shelter from the rain.
We were amazed by the beauty of the Autumn colours in the Garden and actually walked about an hour before we found shelter in a little mobile greenhouse which gives protection to an oil tree in winter and has a few tables and chairs inside. We had the place to ourselves and enjoyed a little picnic which we had brought from home: Herbal tea, cold noodles from the previous day, homemade pumpkin scones and a banana.
As it was raining too much I could not take any photos from the walk so you can choose to believe me or not if I say that it was really beautiful in spite – or maybe even because of the rain.
After our little picnic we returned to the entrance of the park. We at least wanted to take a look at Westerpark and its old fruit trees.
Originally, the Jenischpark, the Loki-Schmidt-Garden, the Westerpark and a part that to my knowledge now is a golf course once were all one estate. It belonged to Baron Caspar Voght who wished to combine the aesthetical and economical aspects with social responsibility and agricultural use. That was a bit more than 200 years ago.
At some point he began to sell off parts of the estate and in the late 1820’s he sold the major remaining part to Martin Johann Jenisch. This is now the heritage protected Jenischpark with an integrated nature conservation area. The park is really worth a visit with its beautiful trees and a view towards Elbe River.
After Mister Jenisch passed away his heirs were planning to sell the grounds in the late 1920’s. At some point in the 1930’s the city of Hamburg took care that the area once owned by Baron Caspar Voght would stay preserved and bought the whole Jenisch estate. This is how the Jenischpark and the new botanical garden – today known as Loki-Schmidt-Garden – became available for the public.
Loki Schmidt was the wife of one of the former Federal Chancellors of Germany. Her and her husband Helmut both grew up in Hamburg and lived here until they died. Both lived into their 90s with Loki being very engaged with botany and she also spoke up for reforming the school system so that it allows more creativity. To my knowledge the Loki-Schmidt-Garden is also a landscape conservation area.
Later, the Westerpark was being made into a park, again. During Baron Voght’s day they must have had a vast tree nursery in that area and I read they were experimenting with new ways of agriculture, too. In memory of this the fruit trees you can see, today, were planted. They are mainly apple trees but a few others can be found amongst them. I could not find any information about the preservation status of Westerpark but I truly hope it will become a landscape conservation area, as well.
There is a train station which provides access to the area by public traffic. On one side of the station the Loki-Schmidt-Garden spreads out, on the other side the Westerpark begins. It is possible to walk through this park to get to Jenischpark, too – which we did.
As you can see, I was able to take a few pictures through this stretch, as the rain had stopped. When we reached Jenischpark, the rain took up, again, and we decided to call it a day.
On Sunday we had planned to take a short walk through the Altonaer Volkspark to enjoy a whiff of Autumn colours as the park has a lot of forest.
The weather was beautiful, for a change, and many people were out to enjoy the day.
At some point we took a turn I had not taken in a long while and we lost orientation without noticing, at first. Only when we came out at a street at a completely different end of the park where I had been only once before (after I had gotten lost) did we notice that we had walked much further than we originally intended. Unlike last time when I had gotten lost, which was long before Kim and I had met, they now have pretty good sign posts in the park so that we could find our way back fairly easily. On the way we also discovered the nature conservation area of the park which must be fairly new. It is all wild woods, there, so there was not much to photograph as it is not allowed to go into this part of the woods. But I happily stay out of there and leave it to all the other children of Mother Nature who now find shelter at this place.
All in all this must have been 6,5 hours of walking in nature. That is pretty good regarding the fact that we did not even leave the city for it, nor did we yet explore the full vastness of the areas we visited.
I hope you enjoyed these Autumn walks and maybe even feel motivated to go out and enjoy the gifts which Mother Nature provides for you at this time of year.
Do you enjoy Autumn as much as we do? What do you like most about this season?
Are you ready to be guided by love, today?