The word wipfel is the German term for a tree-top. From the top of a tree we get a unique, often precarious, view of the forest below and the world around. This web page includes writings, photo galleries and other media that provide a broader perspective, not necessarily dedicated to silviculture.
- Wipfel 01: A view from the treetops | Essay
- Wipfel 02: Covered bridges on Route 910 | Photo-essay
- Wipfel 03: Koningin Elisabethzaal in Antwerp | Photo-essay
- Wipfel 04: Ah, Vienna (Wien)! | Photo-essay
- Wipfel 05: The Biltmore Forest School and Cradle of Forestry | Photo-essay
Reflections on travel to the Black Forest.
Covered bridges were once common in eastern Canada. Sadly, no longer. They are wooden structures that shed snow from the bridge deck in winter. Here on NB Route 910, in rural Albert County, New Brunswick, there are two fine examples still standing. It was a wonderful serendipity to stumble across them on a lovely Sunday drive. One (Turtle Creek No 4, built 1912) is no longer on the highway, but nicely preserved adjacent to its original location. The second (Weldon Creek No 3, built 1923) crosses Weldon Creek at Salem, NB. It is in fine working condition, and a great example of the engineering form, still serving its original function after nearly 100 years. The construction with local timbers attests to a time when Albert County was producing large beams of white pine and other species for a thriving forest economy.
More on the Covered Bridges of New Brunswick here.
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Completed in 2017, the Koningin Elisabethzaal (Queen Elisabeth Hall) is a state-of-the-art concert hall and new home for the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra. Designed by SimpsonHaugh and Partners, the hall is embedded within an ensemble of historic buildings, adjacent to the famous Antwerpen Centraal Station. The auditorium itself has a conventional ‘shoebox’ configuration and the walls are lined with curved panels of oak. These features bestow outstanding acoustic qualities for orchestral music. Now settled into their new base, the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra is enjoying a period of critical acclaim. Other leading orchestras are finding their way to perform here. I can confirm it is worth visiting … and all the more special (and environmentally-friendly) if you arrive and depart by train.
Stravinsky, Firebird Suite (Infernal Dance)
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Wipfel 04: Ah, Vienna (Wien)! | Austria | Photo-essay | April 2017
Vienna is a city of contrasts. On the one hand, it is a city that retains, and celebrates, its Imperial magnificence and heritage. On the other, at a more human level, it is a place that is egalitarian and inclusive. Vienna consistently scores near the top of international league tables for quality of life and sustainability; the world looks here for a model of urban living in the 21st century. It is hard not to fall for the charms and the people of Vienna. This photo-essay includes just a few images from a recent trip. Taken with my trusty Nikon F100 and using Kodak Colorplus 200 film, the resulting “snaps”, for me, have a timeless quality … until you clue into the modern fashions, colours and cars that appear here and there.
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Wipfel 05: The Biltmore Forest School and the Cradle of Forestry | Pisgah National Forest | United States | Photo-essay| October 2013
The Biltmore Forest School was the first professional forestry college in the United States. It was established in 1898 on the Biltmore Estate, near Asheville, North Carolina by Dr Carl Schenck (1868-1955). The estate was owned by George Vanderbilt (1862-1914) and at its peak amounted to approximately 50,000 ha (125,000 acres). The estate was one of the first forests in the USA to be managed on scientific principles, and provided the ideal training ground for professional foresters. Carl Schenck was responsible for management of the forest and was director of the forestry school. When he left the estate in 1909, the school continued under his aegis in a number of locations until eventually ceasing operation in 1913. The presentation here includes pictures from a study trip to North Carolina in 2013. Many original or re-constructed buildings can be seen at the Cradle of Forestry, a museum and heritage centre on the location of the original school, operated by the US Forest Service as part of what is now the Pisgah National Forest.
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Page Updated: 27 December 2019.