Sunday, 2 February 2020

Groundhog Day
The Viennese Way


Once upon a time,
I had my own personal groundhog.

We passed each other frequently
at the intersection of Democracy Boulevard
and Seven Locks Road,
Zip code 20854


He would sit by the road, on the Cabin John Creek side,
and give me a regal wave with his right paw.
I wonder if anybody has seen him lately.
Today, perchance, on Groundhog Day?


There is no Groundhog Day in Vienna.
Austrian groundhogs prefer to live the high life,
- high as in high in the Alps -
and not a single one of them would be silly enough
to dig himself up through something like ten feet of snow
to check his shadow on the second day of February.
They rather brew themselves another pot of coffee or tea,
and wait for April showers to wash away the whole white mess.


There being no Groundhogs in Vienna,
therefore no Groundhog Day,
I had to invent my own little weather forecast game:
How about counting cakes instead,
I said to myself when I spotted a little merry-go-round,
ferrying cakes, round and round and round:
If the number of cakes passing is an even one,
winter will soon end!

If on the other hand,
the number is an uneven one
,
I shall go in and eat that culprit,
to make sure that winter will not continue
for six more weeks!
I was ecstatic about my ingenuity:
I felt like Don Quixote,
ready to saddle Rosinante attack
windmills with my Dulcinea sword cake fork.


A rather dizzying task,
as it turned out:
Those pesky cakes sped by so fast,
I had hardly time to push the shutter release button,
let alone count!
I must confess,
I failed. I failed the quest!


I forgot to count,
absorbed as I was to get ahold of a picture
of each of the cakes to document their number.


The cakes
passed by,


and passed
again,


and again!
I was so exhausted from not-counting,
I could not even recall anymore
whether an even number meant
seven more weeks of winter
or instant spring!

I do miss the good old days
with my Very Own Groundhog:
A look and a light wave of my hand
was all it took back then.


Photographed at:
Aida Café Bognergasse, the snowballs;
and all those cakes, at
Café Weinwurm, Stephansplatz 11,
in the shadow of St. Stephen's Cathedral!

Images and Text © by Merisi
First published on Groundhog Day 2009

Thursday, 28 November 2019

Happy Thanksgiving, America!
Abraham Lincoln's Manifesto of Gratitude


"The year
that is drawing towards its close,
has been filled with the blessings
of fruitful fields and healthful skies.
To these bounties,
which are so constantly enjoyed
that we are prone to forget
the source from which they come,
others have been added,
which are of so extraordinary a nature,


that they cannot fail
to penetrate and soften even the heart
which is habitually insensible
to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God.
It has seemed to me fit and proper
that they should be solemnly,
reverently and gratefully acknowledged
as with one heart and voice
by the whole American people.


I do therefore invite my fellow citizens
in every part of the United States,
and also those who are at sea
and those who are sojourning in foreign lands,
to set apart and observe
the last Thursday of November next,
as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise
to our beneficent Father
who dwelleth in the Heavens.


And I recommend to them that
while offering up the ascriptions
justly due to Him for such singular deliverances
and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence
for our national perverseness and disobedience,
commend to his tender care all those
who have become widows, orphans, mourners
or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife
in which we are unavoidably engaged,


and fervently implore
the interposition of the Almighty Hand
to heal the wounds of the nation
and to restore it as soon as may be consistent
with the Divine purpose
to the full enjoyment of peace,
harmony, tranquillity and Union."

Quoted from
"A Declaration of Thanksgiving"
Abraham Lincoln's Manifesto of Gratitude
October 3, 1863


Photographed in 2009 in the fields and meadows of
Lake Neusiedl-Seewinkel National Park
All Photographs © by Merisi

Lake Neusiedl is located
less than an hour's drive south of Vienna

Thursday, 7 March 2019

Heralding Spring
Playing All the Right Notes


In Anticipation of Spring
The birds are singing, the air is balmy,
the wind's pushing the clouds off an ever bluer sky

Image and Text © by Merisi

Tuesday, 5 March 2019

May I tempt you?
Faschingskrapfen at Patisserie Demel


Faschingskrapfen
Viennese Carnival Donuts
at
K. u. K Hofzuckerbäcker
Royal and Imperial Pâtisserie Demel
Kohlmarkt


Photographed 11 February 2012
Image © by Merisi

Monday, 4 March 2019

Gnomes love Puppenkrapfen
Would you like some too?


Homemade Puppenkrapfen
For all of you,
near and far!

Please,
don't eat the gnome!


Image © Merisi
First published 1 February 2008

Sunday, 3 March 2019

In the Gloaming
Egon Schiele Lived Upstairs


Egon Schiele Lived Upstairs
Details of the façade of the building
where the artist Egon Schiele lived
Hietzinger Hauptstraße
13th District (Hietzing)

Image and Text © by Merisi

Saturday, 2 March 2019

Saturday Morning Farmers Market at Yppenplatz
Buying Daffodils for a Favourite Niece


Buying Daffodils for a Favourite Niece
Saturday Morning Farmers Market
Yppen Square, 16th District (Ottokring)
Image and Text © by Merisi