Monday 19 June 2023

Sötenich - another, another day

 A very large number of villages were affected by the deluge. I was personally affected by maybe 5 villages . two: Euskirchen and Kuchenheim,  I won't be describing - but of the other 3, it is now the turn for Sötenich.

This sign is typical of the efforts to rebuild in countless communities. The kilometers are from Köln/Cologne and Sötenich is about half way to Trier.

The stream looks innocent.

And largely it was - it was the volume above the ground that could not flow away.

Waterfalls  "happened"!

This just "happened" out of the hillside at the top end of this road.

Note the red truck on the left. I shall do a sequence ending up this road near the top right building looking back down:

The flooding here represents a huge volume - can you imagine all of Lake Simcoe and Couchiching watersheds? North of Oakridges Moraine? North of the GTA?

The Romans worked very hard to get the water from Grüner Püz out of the Urft watershed into the Rhein valley - that river is some 50 - 70 km East -

The photos I took were not far from the bridge crossing the Urft in the upper left on this map.

Some during and after photos from the Sötenich web site:

I saw this little engine - used, I think, in the lead mines. It is so massive/compact/dense that

it did not move in the flooding.

Neither did a piece of aqueduct move - it had been and is still - on display near the bridge.:

My friends lived up the hill from this stream, the Urft, but still found the water more than ankle deep on the hill side during that night. When we melt the glaciers of Greenland, the Himalayas, and Antarctica, we shall see how water backs up - and backs up rivers, too.

I'll take a break before tackling my local "it can't happen here" problem. We know the answer: yes it can! But we need to remember this every day. Remembrance Day is not just November 11 in some societies, is it? And wear an Orange shirt, too.


Saturday 17 June 2023


 As a break in the seriousness of climate alterted by human activity, I wish to illustrate how the "hand of man" works in nature photography.

Various Human Activities That Affect an Ecosystem
  • Agriculture. ...
  • Deforestation. ...
  • Overpopulation & Overconsumption. ...
  • Plastic Production. ...
  • Emission of Carbon Dioxide and Other Greenhouse Gases. ...
  • Destruction of the Reefs. ...
  • Production of Black Carbon

Here is a Bluebird sitting on a fence post:


 The Adjudicator notes the sawed off pole and the bird house:

Note the curved stick rising to the left of the post.

Why won't the bird sit or pose on it?

        - the birders would be so thankful, wouldn' t they, Arni and David, and John?

No comment:

Utter disdain?

Such is life and climate heating, Sötenich coming soon-



Tuesday 13 June 2023

Odendorf - another day

 "Klimatisch ist der Odendorf-Rheinbacher Raum vor Zülpich und Euskirchen als das regenärmste Gebiet des Rheinlandes ausgewiesen. "

Or in English, this is a dry region with much less rainfall than in the Rhein valley.

about 700mm/year vs 1200mm/year in Bonn, Germany

 Toronto, Ontario, Canada: Annual average precipitation is 831 mm

The rainfall in Barrie is significant, with precipitation even during the driest month. This climate is considered to be Dfb according to the Köppen-Geiger climate classification. The temperature here averages 7.2 °C | 44.9 °F. The rainfall here is around 940 mm 


So there is nothing unusual about being here or there, in any year.

Odendorf is some  dozen kilometers from Heimerzheim on the tributary, the Ohrbach, of the Swist, and some 40m higher in elevation.


How to get from Odendorf to Heimerzheim by bus, taxi or car

How far is it from Odendorf to Heimerzheim? The distance between Odendorf and Heimerzheim is 8 km. The road distance is 9.3 km. Get driving directions.
Can I drive from Heimerzheim to Odendorf? Yes, the driving distance between Heimerzheim to Odendorf is 12 km. It takes approximately 9 min to drive.
Historical records of Odendorf go back to 893 while the archeology record goes back some 6000 years. The Roman aqueduct is just a couple of kilometers to the south of the village. More about that on the next village.
We lived in Odendorf between 1979 and 1990 but remained connected up to the present, more than half of our lives.  This is what struck me when we returned on Wednesday May 3, 2023.

This was what I expected:

 And this is what I had seen from Canada:


 And the aftermath:


 And what I saw -

Now let us look further left , beyond the bridge for the high water mark:


On Gründonnerstag, 1997, I walked along here to photograph the Comet Hale-Bopp_

the church:

The Ohrbach is just a meter or so in front of me.

The Zehnthaus -

These photos were shot on film and then digitized.

But it is the places that are missing, the people who cannot answer my queries ...

Very moving,

so much more to consider,

but I won't. dear friends,


Tuesday 6 June 2023

A Tale of Three Villages - Chapter 1.

 When I started my "ebook", "Reflections - Nachdenken/neknedhcaN"   - I realized that I would need several approaches to increase the awareness of people to climate change.

The Arctic is so far away from the experience of most people that I must create an "arctic experience" much further south, So this chapter, a tale of three villages and the flooding that  occurred here just over night, Wednesday/Thursday July 14/15 2021, intends to illustrate on a personal level what might occur "here", This is personal - you are invited to board the next "Ark" . Noah aka Irving Finkel


This chapter is also dedicated to Armin, long time neighbour, writer, and guide for the

second village, Odendorf.


I begin with another village, Heimerzheim. The village is the lowest of the three at 131m; it is also the youngest with an historical mention in 1074. I visited the town on Saturday April 1, 2023, nearly two years after the flooding to witness what had happened and what was happening.

Let me begin with my photo of our son's "Kindergarten" which he attended nearly 40 years earlier.

 It is the yellow building - I do not know if it has reopened. 

Here is an aerial view just after the flood with the building in the upper left, the pathway on which I was standing to take my photo being the gray "vertical" line right of centre appearing from the tree cover. The bridge is washed out.

 The photo is via Goggle - I do not know the source.

There is also a recording made from a drone at about the same time.

Zerstörung A61 und L182 nach dem Hochwasser | Drohnenaufnahmen von Swisttal-Heimerzheim

 About 2 minutes to 3min into the drone video one can see the yellow building that once was the Kindergarten, At the end another video is offered: A slit screen drive down the Ahr

- a before and after comparison. I cannot express the pain to those who have walked the Rotwein Wanderweg, or who have run in Dernau  on the 17th of June, Tag der Deutscheeinheit, I think it was called. I have actually won a bottle of "Läufertropchen"


The Indigenous People remind us to plan ahead for seven generations. Less than 40 years have passed since our son went to this school.

Our walk on Saturday began at the foot of the hillside. A lovely Forsythia was in bloom

The stream, the Swist, is out of sight, maybe 200m away. The village lies ahead of us and to the right. The flooding reached the bush.  The rest of these photos would have been taken in very deep swift-flowing water on that morning. Fortunate to be able to stand in the gentle rain on this occasion.

The dark mark on this surviving building records the level the muddy waters reached - note that the car would have been under water - it would have been swept away had it been there  that night. In the aftermath containers were used to house people and shops.

It is difficult to imagine - even as I stood there in the street - that the water could rise from a typical depth of 70 to 80 cm to the depth here of 7 to 8 meters.

On this day April 1, 2023, the stream was comfortably in its bed while Koi swam with the ducks.

This was quite emotional for me - to witness and two months later to describe. I shall take a pause and resume with Odendorf on another day.

Thoughtfully yours,