pictured // the magpie’s way of building a home #1

magpie1         magpie2

magpie3         magpie4

I have this huge chestnut tree in my backyard, that I dearly love, ’cause it looks so nice in every season (not only in summer when it’s filled with green leaves) and also because it’s the full-time home or holiday cottage for so many animals, especially birds! I have seen pigeons, sparrows, woodpeckers, blackbirds, crows. And magpies. And since I am living on the third floor and very close to the treetop, I was able to study a couple of magpies building their nest. They felt unobserved and pretty comfortable with me taking pictures, so I got around to shoot about 200 pics during four weeks of spring last year.

So, on every Wednesday during March I am going to share the pictures that document the hard work these beautiful birds had in combination with a few words about what was happening during the shoot and some facts about magpies as well.

what happened? 

There is this saying, every beginning is difficult. Well, that was also the fact for this couple of magpies in the middle of February, when they chose this really windy spot of this tree for their nest that ice storms destroyed a couple of times. But they came back every afternoon looking at their construction. With a few adjustments, they rebuild it and added a few more twigs. Most of the time, the male bird was flying around to get the material and the female bird used to put everything together. For me, it felt similar to pictures I have seen from building the Empire State Building. The birds were balancing huge branches in their beaks that kept crossing and hitting the ones of the tree. I saw branches fallen to the ground so many times, followed by a surprised look after by the one who lost it. But they were very ambitious and continued building this home.

magpie fact #1

Magpies build up to ten nests every year and choose where they settle after finishing each one. (Imagine yourself building ten houses during four weeks!)

PS: I never would consider myself an ornithologist (even though this is my second post about bird watching within four weeks), but somehow I have a thing for birds that probably results from the cute budgie I had in my childhood. ;-)

adventurous music // podcast # 25 – tales from the wild


Podcast 25 - Tales From The Wild by Adventurous Music on Mixcloud

Good morning! If you are having problems to begin this day, this set I’ve mentioned last week might help you getting up in a certain but though very peaceful way. It is all about Dub and Techno, and again created by my man for Adventurous Music.

Enjoy and have a nice day. :-)

PS: If that’s a bit too fast for you already, go and listen to last week’s Neo-Classic mix.

sunday soup // pea soup with sweet potato chips


Hi there, so for most people around me roasted beef or pork is the one and only thing they can imagine for a Sunday lunch. But since I decided to make Sunday my so-called wellness day of the week with lots of exercising, walking, salads, smoothies and herbal teas, I was thinking, for some kind of spring cleanse it would be nice to add a soup to this plan. Which makes me feel good, ’cause it’s still cold, rainy and partly snowy over here these days. Also, my Grandma used to say, humans need something warm (which is a quote from Maggi actually: Etwas Warmes braucht der Mensch.).

And so I created this Pea Soup with Sweet Potato Chips (but without Maggi ;-)).


You will need – for 2 portions:

300 g frozen peas

500 ml veggie stock

1 sweet potato

2 tablespoons (vegan) yogurt

1 shallot

some olive oil

some lemon zest, sea salt, black pepper and chili to taste


some garden cress to garnish

And here is how to make the Pea Soup with Sweet Potato Chips – in 15 minutes:

Peel the shallot and cut it into small slices. Put some olive oil into a pot and add the shallot pieces. Then add all the frozen peas and let them cook for a few minutes while stirring them so that they don’t burn. Then add the veggie stock. Let everything cook for about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, peel the sweet potato and cut it into very thin slices. Bring some olive oil in a high pot to heat. Use a wooden spoon to make sure, that the oil has the right temperature. It’s perfect when there are little bubbles around the stick when you put it in the oil. Then add carefully a handful slices of sweet potato. Let it deep-fry for about five minutes. Maybe a bit longer. Sweet potato is harder to deep-fry than potato, so make sure that the slices are very thin… and be patient. It’s worth it. When the edges of the slices start to get brown and crispy, take the slices out of the pot and put them on some kitchen paper to separate them from the oil. Sprinkle them with sea salt and chili.

Meanwhile, puree the soup. Let it cool down a bit so that it doesn’t cook anymore (and therefore, the yogurt won’t get gritty) and then add the yogurt, some lemon zest, sea salt, and black pepper. Garnish with some garden cress and add your spicy sweet potato chips on top of it.


So peas, especially the young ones, are basically sweet. Which is also the sweet potato. So to not just have a sweet soup, I added the (sour) yogurt and sour lemon zest to the soup and the spicy chili to the sweet potato. Garden cress is a bit spicy as well, but also a nice fresh addition to the cooked soup and deep-fried chips.

on naming a child // why the native american way makes more sense


Imagine the fact: You could change your name.

I know people that are very unhappy with their given names, so wouldn’t that be awesome for them changing their name from the one of this handsome movie star, greek goddess or for the history of mankind important politician into a name that really describes their very own and unique personality?

Well, I know, you could visit the authorities and change it from Peter to Paul (no fancy names allowed over here in Germany). Or you could go unofficial by using your nickname – if you have one you like. Or if you’re an artist, you could go with your artist’s name. (At least the last two options may describe you or a part of your character or doing, but I doubt your family will feel comfortable calling you e. g. “The Terminator”.) ;-)

So for me it seems absolutely naturally, logic, and also very simple naming your kid after his or her behavior – like the Native Americans do and what this children’s book “Sie nannten ihn Slon-he. Die Geschichte des Sitting Bull” (“A Boy called Slow. The True Story of Sitting Bull“) by Joseph Bruchac and Rocco Baviera is all about. It tells the story how the little Lakota boy who for some reasons first was called “Slon-he” (“Slow”) literally earned his world-famous name “Tatan’ka Iyota’ke” (“Sitting Bull“) after a very brave act when he was a teenager back in the 1840s.

So American Indian names are given to the children by their parents after watching them for a period of time. According to Developmental Psychology, it is proved, that developing the skills of walking, eating real food, using a toilet and talking take plus/minus two years. With these skills, a child makes his or her first steps into independence. Until then a child also talks about him-/herself by using his given name, never using the word I. This also will start sometime around the two-year-timestamp, following by identifying him-/herself as a real existing person in a mirror intrinsically. So following this natural evolution of taking care of your kid by yourself this whole two years and watching him or her developing certain skills and habits wouldn’t only be more supporting for your child, it even would give you as a parent this very simple opportunity of giving a name the child can identify with instead of picking a name for him or her maybe through reading books or name charts, following by discussions of what family members prefer and what sounds good or what authorities will approve.

As for myself, my grandmother raised me the first three years, ’cause – similar to today – nurseries were rare in the late 1970s GDR. I actually can’t remember her calling me ever by my real name, she always used to call me “Herzeli” (“Little Heart”). Also, my mother rarely called me Corina (or only in certain situations, you know). She came up with “Häslein” (“Little Rabbit”), most probably because the one and only thing I was not picky about were carrots when I was a little kid. Later on, even friends and co-workers and some of my man’s family members surprisingly call(ed) me “Corinchen” or “Kleene” (“Little Corina” or “Little one”), without knowing about this or my whole story of names, but I guess because with 1,58 m (5,18 ft) I am obviously not the tallest person in the world. And actually, I am totally fine with that, even if someone would say that sounds like names without any respect. So even though Corina is well not a name I am completely unhappy with, it is for sure a difficult name, ’cause most people end up pronouncing it wrong: Corinna. And that sounds not as nice as Corina (with the emphasis on the I) or “Little” (anything), you know?! ;-)

A quite similar logic of name-giving comes from people speaking sign language. After knowing each other for some time, I saw my deaf friend talking about me not using the single sign language letters anymore. Instead of that he pointed his finger at the middle of his lower lip line, what absolutely made sense, ’cause at that time I was the only person in our community that had a lip piercing there.

So I guess I made my point already. Nothing more to say about it here. Except… I am really curious about your names. Would you like to change it? And what would be a name that describes you best? Please feel free to leave a comment, I am looking forward reading it! :-)

PS: Since Easter is around the corner, this book makes a nice present for kids. I used to read it to kids at age 5 to 6, when I used to work in a preschool class. The kids enjoyed the story and loved the beautiful pictures. After reading it to them, they even came up with names they would call each other. So funny.

PPS: This post is dedicated to the Lakota people since tomorrow is the 42nd anniversary of the Wounded Knee Incident. As I wrote before, the Lakota people are living a hard life that’s actually not very different from people living in the Third World, even though they live in the middle of the U.S., one of the world’s richest countries. So if you like to help them, please share this post and spread the word! Thank you!