After the ice came the forest - then man came and forever changed the landscape.

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fter the ice came the forest - then man came and changed the landscape. Today's heathland has been created over thousands of years by numerous natural and human influences. The Weichselian and Saale glaciations shaped today's surface structures - ice sheets are the sculptors of the heathland. When man settled here from the Neolithic age and began to cultivate the land, the forest was pushed back and the heathland developed. Artificial fertilizers and the cultivation of potatoes gradually change the agricultural landscape again and by the end of the 19th century, many heath areas are reforested.

It is that time of year again – the Heideblütenfest! The drought of last year took its toll on the blooms last year and my first festival was disappointing. This year we have had a bit more rain and I am looking forward to the aforementioned beauty. This year we will take the bikes – it is supposed be a nice day and the 45-ish minute ride will be nice.

 

Or not so very nice…it is decidedly hot without cloud cover. We roll up in the dust and lock the bikes. There is a band playing and several craft booths but we make a bee-line to Die Burgerbauer for a delicious lunch. But it is very hot with very little shaded areas. After our lunch of a burger and fries, we stand in line for as ice cream. However, after several minutes we decide that the oddly flavored soft ice cream was not for us. We, instead, move to the drink wagon for some water (and a beer).

 

Once the water (and beer) is finished, we finish looking at the booths and look to heading out on the Heide. I am determined to see the glory of the heather in full bloom. The first stop is the shepherd except this year he has a fair amount of goats in addition to the sheep. People trying to get closeup pics of the animals keep scaring them away.

We leave the grazing area and head down one of the trails looking for a spot of high ground. Some minutes later, we find a small, relatively undisturbed, hill on which we can rest in the shade of a tree and view the beautiful purple Heide. This is much better than the last year’s showing of sad brown plants with sparse showing of flowers. I am certainly looking forward to next year’s festival.

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