Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – A Bird and the Mead of Poetry by Urban Liaisons

Another post from the archives from Urban Liaisons. This week bird watching and an introduction to the red-necked phalarope and some Norse mythology.

Red-necked phalarope (Odinshühnchen) in breeding plumage,
photograph by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Headquarters *

The red-necked phalarope is an extraordinary bird and a real wanderer between the worlds and above the sea of fog although it is not really big (length of 19 cms). The photo above shows the outlook during breeding, in autumn and winter the plumage will change to a simple white/grey. However, it needs to be pointed out that gender roles are completely different while the male birds are breeding the eggs and also guiding afterwards the young birds while the female birds perform the courtship displays in order to attract the male birds and will as well protect the breeding site against external enemies.

The birds are breeding from May until July all over the Northern arctic and subarctic hemisphere including Iceland, Sweden, Finland and Norway. During the rest of the year the birds are staying scattered over the tropical and subtropical oceans but also at the coastal side of Patagonia and the Southern part of Japan. The German name is a bit unusually weird Odinshühnchen (meaning literally Odin chicken) such making reference to the Northern & Scandinavian mythology – one of its glamorous homelands in the circle of the year.

Odin steals the Mead of Poetry while being chased by Suttungr,
illustration by Ólafur Brynjúlfsson, 18th century *

In the old North-European mythology ‘Edda’ the divinity Odin (German: Wodan) steals the Mead of Poetry in the shape of an eagle out of Suttungr’s cave. The Poetic Mead is a real magic beverage and, whoever drinks it, soon thereafter can recite any information and solve any question. While being chased by Suttungr, Odin spits the Mead of Poetry into several vessels. But the chase was so fierce, that some spits dropped backwards. Hence, anybody could now drink this part, and subsequently poetry was finally gifted to mankind by a single bird. Maybe this old saga was the background for naming the red-necked phalarope honourably in German Odinshühnchen?

Birdwatching excursion led by ornithologist Derk Ehlert
on Poel Peninsula/Baltic Sea in August 2016

In Central Europe the red-necked phalarope can only be discovered rarely during their passage to the South in August when making a rest in the German coastal region, sometimes as well in Austria at Lake Neusiedl. So in August 2016 I was really lucky to see an Odinshühnchen during an ornithological trip to Poel Peninsula/Baltic sea led by Derk Ehlert in large distance on an inland-pond which is one of their preferred sites. But you need of course a very good binoculars / spotting scope for such purpose and without an experienced guide who knows where to look you will never have such a chance. But such excursions require more than that: to some extent a strong will for “self-torturing” such as standing still for long time quietly just waiting or looking and what is even worse usually no stop at a nice coffee-shop the whole day. Therefore, I can not join such events so often although it is always nice and interesting.

Bird house fixed on our home’s balcony in Berlin, January 2009

But birdwatching is also possible at home more comfortable. On our Eastern side balcony, birds are regular visitors especially in autumn and winter. In this regard the behaviour of great tits (German: Kohlmeise) is remarkable because at least one of them likes very much to sit on the epalier of a rose plant watching us sitting at the computer or elsewhere. This quite familiar situation is really an active kind of curious human watching by this bird, and I hear the bird speaking: “Hello, nice to be here, thank you & see you soon again.” Birds are magical beings because even the smaller species do have sometimes a clear poetical message for us, we must only listen to their coherent polyphonic daily concert.

© (2016)                                            * royalty-free for common use

Thanks to Urban Liaisons for sharing.

You can find some amazing photography and informative travel posts on the original blog.


About Urban Liaisons.

I like travelling through the diverse realities and cultures of this world not only as a tourist. So this may also happen by simply imaginating the hidden rivers and caves of consciousness where postmodern nomads are crossing wide endless landscapes leading to a dream of no-where. My favourite areas are deserts like the sahara or high mountains, as in these empty terrestric regions the far-away horizon and sky is no limit anymore but a possible gate to inspiration and freedom. Posts will be published normally in English, but whenever appropriate also only in my mother tongue German. Unless otherwise mentioned or individually specified (for example by naming the author, artist, etc.) all texts, photos and/or graphic illustrations in this blog are subject to © urban liaisons (which may please be respected).

Urban Liaisons:



A celebration – Just for Canadians – Courtesy of Wayne Barnes of Tofino Photography

Wayne Barnes of Tofino Photography is kindly letting me use one of his magnificent images for one of my Haiku. Last Christmas he also sent some images that demonstrate how very hardy the Canadians are…. As it is Thanksgiving in Canada today I thought I would share the new image and Haiku along with some fun stuff.

Salmon leap the falls
A she bear waits patiently
As good anglers do

And an hour after posting this.. Wayne sent me an update… her patience was rewarded..


If you have not discovered Wayne’s fabulous photography site yet.. then here is the link to his latest post on the eagles that inhabit his blog.













My thanks to Wayne again for sending these through and Happy Thanksgiving Canada.

Bloggers around the Christmas Tree – Walking above Toronto, Tom Jones, Jewelry, Vultures and Fairy Stories


Welcome to this week’s glimpse into the magical world of blogging with a look at just some of the informative, entertaining and thought provoking posts I have read this week. Also an opportunity to promote some of the followers of the blog who have gifts or services that would make great presents for friends and family this Christmas. 



The first of my selections is from Baran who reminds us that we sometimes need to step outside our comfort zone to get the most out of life.. and in this post Baran does just that.. literally..

Meet Baran...
I write about my passions which include good health, exploration and motivation! Unlike boring blogs I like to include fresh and intriguing thoughts about situations that I have experienced. You won’t ever find someone who holds these things so high up in their life. Living in Canada, I began this journey a month ago and have been immensely enjoying it! My objective is to inspire a life full of adventure and clean living, and cannot wait to continue to do just that.

Living a Life you love

When was the last time you did something for the first time.”

A few months ago, my sister and I got the amazing opportunity to walk along the outside of the CN tower in Toronto. The moment I found out that you could literally walk on the outside of a building at 1168ft above the ground I knew I had to experience it. To me it didn’t matter what the cost was or how high up we would be, I just needed to do it so I took advantage of the chance that presented itself.  Read the rest of the post


My next guest is author Brigid P. Gallagher who made some life changing decisions that led to a brand new career and a book.


Meet Brigid

Welcome to “Watching the Daisies.” My name is Brigid P. Gallagher – I have included the P (for Philomena) as there is another Brigid Gallagher writing out there! I have a passion for gardening, and learning to slow down has been one of my major life lessons, hence the title “Watching the Daisies.”

In this blog, I will share some of the therapies and lifestyle changes which have aided in my own self healing. I have also written a memoir and self help book called “Watching the Daisies – Life Lessons on the Importance of Slow.”

Brigid will be the guest on Christmas Reading on 13th of December. Being a fan of Tom Jones I thought this would be the post to share from Brigid.

Titanic Belfast

This weeks taster from my book “Watching the Daisies – Life Lessons on the Importance of Slow,” comes from the prologue “Rainbows Over Belfast,”and describes my colourful experiences at a Tom Jones concert, in August 2012.

“Seconds later, a series of efficient roadies dressed in sombre shades of black, grey and olive clear the stage for Sir Tom, before tuning guitars, taping song order sheets to the floor and laying out six cool glasses of water for our septuagenarian hero.
Read on…..


Debby Gies… D.G. Kaye asked me to write an exclusive story for her blog based on my What’s in a Name series.. She has a long-term friend called Sanja and this was the name she requested.. I thought it was time for a Christmas Fairy Story… Debby wrapped the tale in a wonderfully glittering introduction and promotion for my blog and books and I was delighted to have been invited to her party.

D.G. Kaye Author

Sanja – A Princess in Despair – A Christmas Fairy Tale.

Sanja looked through the lead glass window of her bedroom, and watched as her three brothers disappeared into the distant forest. The dark trees swallowed them in an instant, and closing her eyes she imagined she was beside them; riding Anica her white filly. How she loved the trails through the dark woods that suddenly opened into sun dappled glades of wild flowers and mushrooms. But her father had banned her from accompanying her carefree brothers, decreeing that it was time at seventeen to adopt a more ladylike and regal demeanour.

Read the rest of the story……


For those of you who have yet to meet Olga Nunez Miret then you are in for a treat.. One of my long-term blog supporters and friend, Olga is a prolific author and is getting ready to release her latest book before the New Year.

Olga Nuñez Miret-amazon-author-The Writer Next DoorObviously I will be featuring that in a full post for the new book when it is available


Read more about the book here:

A little more about Olga.
Hi, I’m Olga. I trained in Medicine in Barcelona, Spain, and came to the UK in 1992 (shortly after the Olympics) with the plan of training in psychiatry. I spent quite a few years working in psychiatry (most recently forensic psychiatry), but on the way I’ve studied a few other things (American Literature, Criminology). Early in 2014 I left psychiatry as a full time occupation to explore other avenues, carry on writing and also translate other authors’ books.

In this blog I post about things that interest me, random thoughts, advice, I post reviews, I have guests, both alive and classics…

Translation Service
Olga offers a translation service which is an area of increasing interest for Indie authors. There are millions of Spanish speakers around the world and it is a market that is largely untapped by independent writers.. Olga has translated several excellent novels for Spanish authors into English and also of course from English to Spanish including all her own books. Here are some of the books and authors that she has worked with.


I have long been a fan of Cindy Knoke whose photography from around the world and her little bit of heaver.. The Holler… Is stunning.. Whether ancient buildings, landscapes or her particular speciality, wildlife, there is something for someone

0acd8acf1e33598ca9971304aaca47e4 I think that only Cindy could make vultures look photogenic and in this post she has also included one of my most loved flowers.. Sunflowers were the emblem of my nutritional therapy business and symbolises life and health to me.

Here is the latest post from Cindy and as you can see she has a huge following..I hope you will join them.


Finally some beautiful jewelry from Irene Skov Hansen who has been part of my Christmas gift series for the last four years. This year is no exception and here are just two of her designs.  You will find the link to buy in the posts on her blog :


Pink Shell Nuggets & Roses Bracelet


Carved Coral Studs Earrings

Christmas tree courtesy of motivational writer, poet and broadcaster Annette Rochelle Aben

Annette 3D Promo Oct plus B

Read all the reviews and BUY Annette’s books:

Connect to Annette through her website:

Thank you so much for dropping in this morning and I hope you enjoy visiting these talented writer’s, photographer’s and designer’s blogs.  Have a great weekend. Sally