April Runs

… hikes, kickbikes, skis and more

Archive for the category “Juneathon 2015”

JUD16 – Nettles at the lake

Went to Zell for the IronMan 70.3 World Championships presentation and took my running gear with me. It was raining (what’s new) and it stroke me how many nettles were there around the lake.

Leaves and steams of the nettle or Große Brennnessel (Urtica dioica) have small fragile hair which actually are tiny capsules full of various liquid chemicals such as formic acid. While touching the leaf, a hair, sharp like a needle, gets into your skin, then breaks down, and liquid gets injected into your skin. Nettle stems contain a fiber which may be (and was!) used for making ropes, sails and fine linen cloth, suitable even for shirts and beddings.

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JUD15 – Half way

Dark and rainy day in the mountains (and a running nose) allowed for 45 minutes of fanatic spinning while listening to whatever I could find on YouTube to pump me up. Obviously, this sunny picture of Birke (Betula) was not taken today…  

20150607_121340Being a national tree of Russia (with estimated 10 million hectares across the territory of the former USSR), this must be a strong plant. And again, a needful one in folks medicine.

Several researches on the meaning of the light/white color of the bark have been made. In the USA and in Canada, researchers painted the bark brown to find out that (1) the trees became more vulnerable to wounds and (2) the surrounding temperature increased. We are left to believe that the color is important for the adaptability of birch trees in northern areas.

Stats half way though: Ran/walked/biked: 26/14/60 km.

JUD1314 – Weekend family hikes

Our current weekend hikes are not the most demanding trips when it comes to speed or length of walking but certainly tough when it comes to logistics. What will the weather be like? Which shoes to give the kids? Buggy yes or no? Sun tan or a winter cap or both? When will they sleep and where? What do we eat and where? Every time I am truly impressed that V manage to pack all the needful stuff and commands us to GO…

There were 2 plants we saw a lot: Sumpf-Storchschnabel (Geranium palustre) and Gamander-Ehrenpreis (Veronica chamaedrys).

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Both very common around Europe and both widely used in folks medicine. They help to fight diarrhea, urinary infections, skin rushes…

For Juneathon, I logged two hikes and some spinning.

JUD12 – Chanterelle

A culinary delicacy Echte Pfifferling or Eierschwamm (Cantharellus cibarius) that I did not find myself in the forest while running. No. V. simply bought them for me on the market.

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So delicious and famous that they even deserved a spot on post stamps of Romania, Moldova, DDR and USSR :-).

Not sure why they are called ‘the meat of the poor’ as they are actually more expensive than a steak.

5k through the dark

JUD11 – Spinning…

Tonight I decided it was time to change the type of exercise a bit and to substitute running for once. I went to the basement for some spinning instead. The real reason was that I felt like watching old movies and that is much easier when spinning than when running. I downloaded a 40 years old semi-classic Czech comedy ‘Leto s kovbojem’ and off I went.

Emma is sick again, I think she caught cold at the lake last weekend. Which brings me to the botanical topic again. One powerful natural antibiotics is the Isländisches Moos (Cetraria islandica) or Island moss. It is actually not a moss but a lichen but it does look like moss:

20150607_112700It appears to have strong antibacterial working and is being widely used in folk medicine as aperient (laxative) and to relieve chest ailments. It is bitter. Like beer.

JUD10 – 10 down, 20 to go

Ten days into Juneathon = time for numbers:

Km ran/walked: 21/5

Days ill/healthy: 5/5

Not to die for but better than nothing – and we still have 20 days to improve the stats!

Der Echte Wurmfarn (Dryopteris) is another common inhabitant of local (and all-European) forests. Here in Austria, the plentiful nicknames include:  Faden, Faren, Farn, Farnkrautmännlein, Farnwurzel, Fasen, Federfaden etc.

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Fern is a sign for bravery. I wonder if that is the reason why it shows on the New Zelaand Bravery Star?

JUD09 – Rainy evening

First I waited till the kids fall asleep, then till the dinner sinks in, then till the rain stops… But like that, I could wait forever without getting my feet out of the house.

Pouring rain. If you want to know where I transported my cell phone to keep it dry(ish), send me a private message :-). As you can see from the picture of this Knäuelgräs (Dactylis glomerata), it was getting really late and the skies were not bright:

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This bluegrass species is rather common and we all know it as it frequently grows in European meadows. The farm animals love it and so do the farmers as it grows fast and spreads well.

Run: 5 km through wet grass.

JUD08 – Finally!

When the kids woke me up at 4.56 this morning, I knew this would be a loooong day. By 8 pm I was ready to go to bed, it was raining cats and dogs and I could hear the thunder nearby…. By 9.30 pm, after a strong coffee, I finally went out, running.

On my way along the river, I could smell the famous hermaphrodite in the dusk: Schwarzer Holunder (Sambucus nigra).

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(Yes, this is how dark it was). The holunder can be used in many ways. Parts of it can be processed to eat, to drink, to heal wounds with, to help in scientific experiments… and it grows everywhere. 4000 years BC Hippokrates already referred to it as to the ‘healing berry’. And Harry Potter’s most powerful wand is made of it, too!

JUD0607 – Family weekend

The older I get the more I enjoy spending time with ‘my people’ so on Saturday we took the kids swimming and on Sunday we went to a ‘real hike’ again, to the mountains. Turns out that one of our girls has a vertigo in the chair lift and the other one is addicted to beach balls (which she tries to steal).

On the topic of the local flora, we walked along a meadow with Alpine orchids or Knabenkräuter. In Greek mythology, Orchis was the son of a nymph and a satyr. During a celebratory feast for Bacchus, Orchis committed the sacrilege of attempting to rape a priestess, resulting in his being torn apart by wild beasts, then metamorphosing into this slender and modest plant.

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And since we are in ancient Greece, lets look at the etymology of another name: Windröschen (Anemone). Apparently, the anemone sprang from the tears of Venus when she wept for Adonis:

Where streams his blood there blushing springs a rose

And where a tear has dropped, a windflower blows.

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5 km walking/hiking/stroller pushing….

JUD05 – Blurry vision

My lower back muscles still feel stiff (gardening during the weekend won’t solve the problem) and so when it comes to the future of this year’s Juneathon, my vision is quite blurry. Just like this picture of Glockenblumen (Campanula):

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No, what do we know about this little beauty. It is a rather versatile plant. It comes in sizes from under 5 cm (Arctic variety) to over 2 meters (warm grasslands). Some species are wild, some prefer domestic environment. Some live loooong, some only last one season. Flowers of some are bisexual.

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