Thursday 10 December 2020

Tutorial - Walking on Air

 One of my readers in Europe wrote asking whether one could learn to walk on air by starting on water, on water because it is softer if you don't miss. His example was:

Gute Frage, Volker.

So here or "hier" in Canada, I use a Canada goose, one of the snowbirds that is quite common here or hier.

It appears to work, and at about the same height above ground that I achieved. However, when I asked a student to try this watery technique these were the results:

I think "Ouch"! Probably difficult to get speed up with the snow-shoe size footwear. The Canada goose footprint is comparable to my running shoe size footprint.

Thanks/Danke Volker.

Any other questions or comments?


Monday 7 December 2020

Walking on Air, #301

 This has been a difficult time for learning and socializing/traveling. With time on our hands we turn to alternatives. For my friends who would normally fly south, as Snow Birds, I am offering a couple of courses: #201 Walking on Water. Part 1 Water above freezing.

and this course, #301 Walking on Air. The motivation for this comes from the well-known guide to flying without an airplane

The course, #101 Walking on Land is not being given this year although my brother has been asked to give a version of it for people trying to cope with Covid19. Maybe you can find him if you include Carleton in the search, and maybe seniors? 


As an introduction, let me start with a sequence of 3 photos of me walking on air:


 As you can see from the space between my shoes and my shadows, I am airborne, Also, by comparing my position relative to the flowers beside me, you can see I am "flying" along. Now, this is critical, because walking on air involves two crucial steps, throwing oneself to the ground and missing. I am using the natural gentle downward slope to get myself going in the learning phase.

There is no trick to this - like wires or mirrors or even Photoshop. As a kind of proof I next show myself in public along the Rhein River near the Kennedy Bridge in Bonn Germany. The event had a cap of 1000 participants. And since I had 100 Euros for cancer research, I felt I should not take a place away from someone who would otherwise not donate. Hence I do not have a number:

When one has this kind of control, one is also obliged to act responsibly - so in this obvious competition one does not take short cuts that the untrained person could not take. So I actually flew around the 10K course in the slow flight time of 45 minutes. Still it was for charity and not for personal gain.

How long can one walk on air? I do not know - it is not too demanding, less friction than walking. The longest that I have done it was in May 2008 when I covered the 74K Rennsteig in Thuringen

It is interesting for "flight patterns": the first 25KM are uphill starting at 220m in Eisernach and leveling off just below the 1000m level at Inselberg - I suspect it gets its name from appearing as island poking above the clouds. This event was for me a once in a lifetime experience. It started at 6AM and I finished at 14:35 in the middle of the pack of 1700 finishers. At about 11AM I was "caught" by a trail camera!

Still flying, walking as light as a feather . the "R" in the background is for the route, "Rennsteig", which is some 170km long. I have covered some 116km of it, plus a few of the side trails while getting caught in the updrafts! Do be  careful.

My final example shows that walking on air can sometimes be exceeded by a walker! This hurt me. This was at Einruhr


 I was not a happy frequent flyer, was I!

There is a curious spelling - the river is Rur but the town has an "h" in it. And the Ruhr Universit├Ąt Bochum is on the Ruhr River, several 100km away to the East.

So I was never a teacher - those who can, do!


PS Not all my students succeed the first time:

This Trumpeter Cygnet eventually got it right/upright, too!  wob

Cold Shoulder

 I am wondering how I might help this year during the Christmas Bird Count. I have been known to get excited about spotting a robin, so I am a rank amateur at birding. 

I am maybe 5m away from this Barred Owl - yes I venture bravely to ID it!


I don't think it was very impressed with me:



The cold shoulder:

Does not look very much like a shoulder, does it? So much for my knowledge of birds!


Thursday 3 December 2020

Palm Beach, Orillia.CA - as in California dreaming on such a winter's day

 While the snow birds circled over  head waiting for a favourable wind for summer I wandered across pristine white beaches -

The palm trees hardly moved in this idyllic landscape

The joys of being retired and able to get up, out and be as one with NATURE.


PS Photos were taken at "Sunrise"!

Tuesday 1 December 2020

Another First of the Month!

 It does not seem that long ago, Sunday November 1

when I saw scenes like today's:


 The day started more like this:

And the outlook was white - could not see 1km to the channel marker.

There are 2 Trumpeter swans flying behind the trees. Maybe you can see the one on the right third behind some leafless branches. The other is at the same height but hidden by some of the Willow.