Saturday, March 26, 2011

Beware of Frogs!

Evidently it is "Toad Migration Season" here in Germany...They put up signs so you will be aware of possible Toads crossing the road. 

Toad Sign

Around 250 toad fences are registered across Germany – along the sides of roads which cross the migratory routes the amphibians take to reach their breeding ponds. These save at least half a million toads, frogs and newts each year.

Toad Fence

 Each ten or 15 metres along the fences, which themselves are only a few inches high but run up to 800 metres alongside the road – a bucket is planted in the ground to catch the animals intent on crossing the road.

These buckets are attended at least once a day by the volunteers, who carefully take the amphibians across the road so they can continue their journeys.

Actual Frog and/or Toad:

Actual Frog/Toad

Info courtesy:

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

A concert in Germany

(Continuing to post blog entries that I started but never finished.  This was from March 2010).
I went to my first German concert last night. I am a fan of Kevin Costner (the actor) so I thought I would go to see his band, "Kevin Costner and Modern West" since they would be in nearby Nuremberg.

Kevin Costner sings? Yes...

"MODERN WEST GOT ITS START when my wife (Christine) encouraged me to reconnect musically with John Coinman. I wasn’t really sure after all these years how it might work. I wasn’t really sure what to say. But if life has taught me anything it was not be stopped by the question or the unknown. F… it, what do I have to lose but maybe some of the best times of my life? I made the call to Tucson. “John what do you think?” He never hesitated, willing to explore the idea. But it was always more than just an idea for me. It was a feeling that I had been unable to articulate. For a long time now I have felt the need to connect with people in a more meaningful way than just the autograph. I have found myself here and around the world in different situations where the only exchange has been just that…a quick signature on the run usually followed by a “gee, he’s taller than I thought.” I always thought that music could build a stronger, more personal moment for me. It would create the opportunity for a genuine exchange much greater than the movie, TV interview or magazine. It would be real, full of mistakes and without apology. But most of all there would be the chance to have some fun. The question was, would it work? I thought it could but I wasn’t really sure. I had been out on creative limbs before, and this felt familiar. "

A friend of mine and I went to the Meistersingerhalle in Nuremberg for the concert. We got there just at 8:00pm (start time on the tickets) and started to find our seats (no ushers). We were walking up the aisle when the lights went off and the warm up act started. I guess I shouldn't have been surprised that German concerts start exactly on time!  This of course is not the case in the USA.

Kevin Costner entered from the back of the hall and walked up to the stage down the main aisle.

The crowd was on the older side and German...most of them politely sat in their seats the entire concert.

We decided "heck with that" and went up front to the stage!