On Valentine’s Day, my wife and I ventured out into the cold again. As we put on very thick gloves to prevent frostbites, we found it very difficult to handle those tiny buttons on our digital cameras. So we bared our hands to shoot some more pictures of the impressive ice formation. In return for our numb fingers, we were rewarded with a few more photos with interesting ice formations. Over a cup of coffee and a delicious apple torte, we always preview, compare and critique each other’s photos. Rain and milder weather are in the forecast. So this could be easily the last instalment of winter photos. Enjoy.
Winter has finally arrived. Extreme cold has gripped the Arrow Lakes region with temperatures hovering around the minus 15 C mark. Luckily, the cold weather was still tolerable, as the sun was casting its brilliance over the winter landscape. My wife and I all bundled up walked along the lakeshore at the Fauquier boat dock. The freezing temperatures had worked hard to cover driftwood, boulders and boat launch with a thick layer of ice. Then I discovered icicles in all kinds of forms and shapes which I captured with my camera. The following is just a small sample of Nature’s artwork. Enjoy.
Last week before the weather changed our natural playground into a deep freeze, my wife and I went for another hike along the shoreline of the Lower Arrow Lake. As always we took our cameras along. I also had my camcorder in my pocket. I placed it on a tripod and pointed it to the near-by mountains where the morning fog was just lifting. The 15-minute video was later reduced in time-lapse fashion to less than two minutes making the fog lifting look more dramatic. Enjoy.
Then suddenly in the summer of 1950 an opportunity presented itself to Ernst Klopp. An elderly farmer by the short name of Ös decided to retire and leased his farm house and a few parcels of land not more than 6 ha in size to my father on credit. By comparison to the 3,000 ha Ernst had administered in Gutfelde, the total of arable land available for farming was minuscule. The house was adequate and a vast improvement over the upstairs dwelling of the ‘poor house’. It came with a large barn with a hay loft, a sufficient quantity of farm implements, a fair-sized kitchen, the ubiquitous manure pile in front of the kitchen window and an outhouse. The only luxury item that I recall was the large tile stove (Kachelofen in German) providing warmth and a cozy ambience for the entire dwelling. Many of my sweet childhood memories are going back to the Ös farm, as we often irreverently called it.
So here my father Ernst Klopp tried with little prospect of success to pick up his life-long dream again to running a farm under his very own management. Having no capital to spend on much needed supplies, he heavily depended on loans, which created a heavy financial burden. He must have counted on the help from my older siblings for turning the farming operation into a successful venture.
Soon after his high school graduation Karl left home to study economics at the university of Braunschweig. Adolf, my second eldest brother, barely 18 years old found work at the Bizerba Factory in Meßkirch. Since that time in the early 1950s the Bizerba Company GMBH has developed into a world leader in weighing technologies for industry and trade. Adolf had to contribute most of the money he earned in order to keep this fledgling farming operation financially afloat. Three years later, Adolf was getting tired to support what in his opinion was a hopeless enterprise. Together with another refugee son by the name of Waldemar Klein he immigrated to Canada. Soon thereafter, my sister Erika also left home to take up nurses’ training in the City of Hamburg. In 1954, Gerhard managed to get an apprenticeship placement in a prestigious institute of technology in Switzerland.
This has so far been the mildest winter, since we moved here over forty years ago. In the early 1980′, we experienced massive snowfalls with snow piling up all the way to our kitchen window. In the extreme cold weather often lasting several weeks in a row, the lake would occasionally freeze over and our ferry barely managed to break the ice in the morning. It seems that such extreme weather is now part of the past. After a night of wet snow covering the ground with a white blanket, rain, quite heavy at times, returned to our area at the Arrow Lakes. When it let up a little, my wife and I went out for our daily walk equipped with our cameras hunting for rain drops. Here are the results. Enjoy!