Friday, October 30, 2015

Ephemeral snow poles appear


I was working in the field yesterday (here at the Franziskusgemeinschaft farm in Austria) when I heard a tap-tap-tap down the road apiece.
Soon this truck drove up and workers from the nearby town hammered a snow pole into the ground.
Something new for me, an Israeli from the desert!

These Schneestangen show drivers how deep the snow is and where the sides of the road are, and they even have reflectors for night driving.
These ephemeral snow poles are here today and gone at the beginning of spring.

EPHEMERAL is the subject for City Daily Photo bloggers' Theme Day for November 1.
Visit the CDP portal and see what others have come up with for this challenging theme.


Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Pinkafeld's Pranger


For ABC Wednesday, P is for the Pranger of Pinkafeld.
The oldest remaining building in this Austrian village was built in 1600 and served as the Rathaus or "city hall" for a long time, but now it houses the Pinkafeld Stadtmuseum.

The museum is really a labor of love, and I'll show you the inside in coming days.

But first looks what's OUTSIDE -- the Pranger, erected in 1804!

Wikipedia explains it as

a Central European physical punishment device related to the stocks and the pillory. The Middle Low German word means "something that pinches badly".
The pranger chained the victim's neck to a pair of leg restraints fastened around the ankles. Often the chain was short so that the offender was placed in an uncomfortable half-kneeling position.
In another type of pranger (pillory), the condemned person was tied to a column that stood in the town center for public view. 
The pranger was only used for public humiliation as punishment, not for painful interrogation or coercion.

But why the sword you ask?
It has to do with Blutgericht (Blood Court) and Jus gladii (high justice).
In the Holy Roman Empire this referred to the right of a Vogt (a reeve) to hold a criminal court inflicting bodily punishment, including the death penalty.
In Latin ius gladii literally means "the right of the sword," referring to the legal authority of an individual or group to execute someone for a capital offense, i.e. high justice.
The sword of justice (and hand of justice) are regalia that (often proudly and publicly) symbolize this highest penal authority.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Village murals on Austria's National Day


I had to go all the way from Israel to Pinkafeld, a village in Austria, to find something to post for Monday Murals.

Here they are.

In 1697 Pinkafeld had 1,500 inhabitants.
Now there are 4,545.

I'll show you the nice village in the coming posts.

Best wishes to Austria today on her National Day.


Saturday, October 24, 2015

A cat warming up by the firewood


Siamese cat sunning on a bench by the woodpile on a chilly Austrian afternoon.
(Linking to Camera Critters.)

Friday, October 23, 2015

Kraut in the afternoon sun


The late afternoon sun was warm here at the Franziskusgemeinschaft in Austria.

A good time to harvest the cabbages.

In German cabbage is Kraut.
The kitchen has served Kraut in many different recipes in the ten days I've been working here, and they are all good.
Krautfleckerl was today's noon meal.  It is a typical Austrian dish of square pasta and carmelized white cabbage. 

Two community members cut the remaining row of purple cabbages in the front garden.
I followed them and uprooted each plant, shaking the rich dirt from the roots.
That's a first for me.
I love learning new farming things from the dedicated people who have tended this land since the early 1980s.
We wheelbarrowed the harvest back to the courtyard (Hof) and worked on cleaning up the cabbages and selecting which would head to the cellar and which would be cooked the very next day. 
(Linking to SkyWatch Thursday.)

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Jausenbrote -- breaking bread in rural Austria


This evening some 15 of the community members walked five minutes up the road to this Gasthaus for a nice supper.

A common sight in Austria. 

Lots of  geese in a big pasture.
The neighbor farm also raises cattle, pigs, chickens.

The menu is overwhelmingly pork but I found one smoked beef dish.

They make every time of beverage imaginable from their apples.
It is high season now for the apple pressing. 

The meal comes on a thick slice of bread, served on a wooden cutting board.

Everyone gets a sharp knife to cut it into manageable sizes.

I took a backwards stealth picture of the one side of the cellar.
There were more happy Austrians on the other side.

Here between two guests is Mr. Luif, the nice man who owns and manages the whole farm and restaurant.
Four generations live and work together.
See more at their website, in German.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The bounty of the earth


This afternoon we took advantage of the sunny day (the first I have seen in my 9 days in Austria) and worked outside.
Nice how the beets are color coordinated with the wheelbarrow, no?

We prepared the freshly harvested root vegetables for storage in the cellar.
 There was parsley and some other herbs too.

Here I'm showing off a 3-fingered carrot.
The food here at the Franziskusgemeinschaft  is great.
The community of 18 members is self-sufficient in meat, dairy, vegetables, and fruit and nuts.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

How much wood . . .


We started the chilly morning by moving some firewood off the stacks (on the left) and onto the wagon.

A nice load of split wood.
Notice some of the many wood sheds in the background. 
That's Brother Martin, the resident priest.

We drove a few meters over to the house.
One of the members put a metal slide into this chute under my window, and we quickly threw the wood into the cellar with a lot of clanging noise.

I am really impressed.
The Franziskusgemeinschaft here in Austria, with 18 members living in community, heats the living quarters and water solely by burning wood which they chop in their forest every winter.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Austrian apples


I got to help the Franziskusgemeinschaft men pick apples! 

Well, actually I was picking UP apples, the ones that came down while the brave men were 8 meters up on the ladders.

One apple fell hard on my back as I was bending over.
A sign of the times: my first reaction was "OMG I've been stabbed!"
I may be in Austria right now but my heart is in and with Israel as she bleeds.
(Linking to Our World Tuesday.)

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Peace and quiet and horses

I am happy to be here in rural Austria for the next month, especially after  hearing  about tonight's terrorist attack in the Beer Sheva Central Bus Station.

I went for my first walk in the woods and in the countryside today.
The silence was deafening.
The most exciting part was watching this beautiful horse rolling on the earth.

She saw me and got up and came over to the electric fence to say hello.

Later, on Am Kreuzweg road that leads up to my host community, two more lovely horses came by.

Should have asked for a ride, no?
(Linking to Camera Critters.)

Friday, October 16, 2015

I finally know where west is*


The sun came out for a brief hour this afternoon and I ran out to get these pictures in real sunlight!

This is the house where I will live as a guest-volunteer for the next month.

When I arrived in Austria on Tuesday, and ever since, it looked like this, wet, rainy, cold, and foggy.
It's fine, though; the community members have hearts full of light! 
More about the commune in the previous post.

*I realized that for four days I did not know which direction was which.
Today I saw the sun for the first time and knew that my room faces west. 

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Peppers and more peppers

So here I am at a farm in rural Austria, at a community (as in commune) founded in 1984 and built by a handful of idealists seeking to live together in the spirit of St. Francis.
I will be living here for a month, helping in whatever work I am given, and learning a lot.
It is my first time in Austria and I'm really excited.

This is an exceptionally rainy and cold October in Europe, so we can't work outside much.
Instead, the members had what we used to call in the kibbutz a giyus, where everyone who possibly can comes in to work together on a project that needs quick attention.
Today we took care of the many beautiful peppers from the big garden.
In German they are called Paprika

After I washed each pepper, we started chopping them.

Letscho, or in Hungarian, lecsó, will be the end product of this morning's work.
Wiki explains that "Lecsó is a Hungarian thick vegetable ragout or stew which features green and/or red peppers and tomato, onion, lard, salt, and ground sweet and/or hot paprika as a base recipe."
New to me.

A good time was had by all, mostly in German but partly in English.


Tuesday, October 13, 2015

The airport at midnight


So far it's a quiet night on the departures floor of our airport. 
It is midnight and my flight is not until 5:30 in the morning.
I took the next to the last bus out of Meitar to Beer Sheva, a train to Tel Aviv, and then a short train ride to Ben-Gurion; and that was hours ago.

N is for Natbag. It sounds funny in English but that is what you get from the initials Nemal Teufa (meaning airport) Ben-Gurion, NTBG.
I'll be flying, after a short change of planes in Athens, to Vienna, for a month of volunteer work in Austria.
Stay tuned. 
(Linking to ABC Wednesday.)

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem


Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
May those who love you be secure.

Psalm 122

1I rejoiced with those who said to me,
“Let us go to the house of the Lord.”
2Our feet are standing
in your gates, Jerusalem.
3Jerusalem is built like a city
that is closely compacted together.

4That is where the tribes go up—
the tribes of the Lord
to praise the name of the Lord
according to the statute given to Israel.
5There stand the thrones for judgment,
the thrones of the house of David.

6Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
“May those who love you be secure.
7May there be peace within your walls
and security within your citadels.”
8For the sake of my family and friends,
I will say, “Peace be within you.”
9For the sake of the house of the Lord our God,
I will seek your prosperity.

In Hebrew, here.