Tuesday, September 30, 2014

October, migrating birds, bookfair, everything at once, secret stuff & the world

It's that time of year again: seasons changing. The trees, the whole landscape changing colour. Migrating birds leaving on long journeys, southbound. One of the "bird migration highways" leads through the very area i visit regularly, the Randecker Maar. Once a vulcano site, the shape of it now lets air cirlce upwards. Birds use the upstream flow as an air lift to the higher plateau they have to cross on the way south.  

(view from the ground towads south, with maize field in the late-September sun)

I knew that there also is a bird watching station in this area, but I didn't realize it's right there, on that small hill that I walk past when I visit the Maar. It's run by professional bird scientists and by dedicated bird lovers. Each day, from dawn to dusk, they sit and watch and count. It's a field study of huge dimensions, running since thirty years. This weekend, they had a day of open door. And great weather for it. Here's a photo, this is the counterpart view of the first photo: the view from top to the "lowland" in the north. The dot in the air is a bird, gaining height by gliding in circles:


Such dedication, to watch and count. Day by day. To puzzle together the larger picture. They also monitor butterflies.. migrating butterflies. I know they exist, but it's different when you know they fly right by there, on long distance journeys.

More journeys, this time of the human kind: Next week is Frankfurt book fair. Publishers and authors from all over the world will be there, flying in from all directions. The guestland this year is: Finland.
I will be there for a day. in Frankfurt / Finland / Bookworld. Here's a photo from last year, tainted to enhance the surreality of it:

The week after the book fair, it's comic fair, combined with work meetings.

And parallel to all that, I am working on a freelance project I am not supposed to talk about. It's a project that is mainly about market research, or rather: consumer behaviour research. It's fascinating: the human behaviour. Our motivations to get and have, to collect objects, to complete challenges. The patterns that surface. So much to reflect, and more to come with Frankfurt and the comics, And with all the web news: the new Napster. Ello. Trends that go viral. And parallel to that, the ongoing stream of breaking news, much of it so terrible. All the refugees. And Ebola. But also this news: 2000 volunteers in Germany who offer to fly to the Ebola regions to help.

Today, I saw this in the web, a retweet from ScienceDump It's pretty much how I feel, too:

Which leads to the question: how to keep track of things, and how to process and reflect, especially when so much is happening?

Standing there at the Maar, I wished to be a bird, for a while.

This morning, my horoscope read as if it picked up the thought:
"This is a good time for any kind of study and education, because you are intellectually eager for knowledge and new experiences. You want to take a larger view of life in order to see how the various parts fit together to make up the whole.
Any new and interesting phenomenon from a world outside your own is likely to attract your attention at this time. It is a good time to travel, because your curiosity makes travel very interesting to you. You are also quite open to alternative lifestyles at this time." 
But first, coffee. And the deadlines for today ;)

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