Eyes Skyward

“HURRY UP and look out the window” is a cry you hear daily in our house. Life n the mountains can be full of wonder and adventure, especially with all the constant weather changes. We have experienced many exciting environmental moments since our move to Schliersee. From waking to find red Saharan sand covering everything to experiencing the psychedelic wonder of Fire Rainbows oozing across the sky. I can honestly say there has not been a dull moment.

With a vigilant eye on the sky and ever present camera at the ready I have been lucky enough to capture a few of Mother Nature’s Alpine phenomena.  If you plan to spend time in the Schliersee area, it is very helpful to keep a watch on the weather as it is constantly changing in the mountains. A reliable meteorological app or website is very important and I highly recommend the site Bergfex to get accurate hourly forecast.
One of the most common weather occurrences in Schliersee is called Foehn.  A föhn or foehn is a type of dry, warm, down-slope wind that occurs in the downwind side of a mountain range. Without getting too technical foehn winds create some incredible cloud formations like the wave shaped cloud called a “Kelvin-Helmholtz” Cloud and the most recognizable cloud associated with foehn, the cigar or flying saucer shaped “Lenticular” clouds. Many people complain of headaches or general discomfort from the pressure caused by foehn and you will often here people discussing it or blaming it for almost anything negative.

January is a month known for snow and white landscapes but on our very first January in Neuhaus we were witness to an amazing sight.  While out on a walk the sky above started to glow and swirl in an intense rainbow of colors. I would describe it as an effect like oil on water. This incredibly rare sight turned out to be what is called a “Circumhorizontal arc” or “Fire Rainbow”.  It was like seeing Borealis in the daytime. I stopped a man working in his garden and pointed at the sky excitedly and he looked and shrugged very unimpressed and mumbled “foehn”. What was a once in a lifetime experience for us seemed to be a common occurrence for this area.

As beautiful as our landscapes are here in Schliersee it is often the ever changing “sky-scapes” that awe and inspire this photographer daily. Try not to be deterred or discouraged if the forecast is for rain, just throw on some water proofing and head out on a walk. It is when you least expect it that Mother Nature paints the sky most dramatically.




Laura Boston-Thek

American artist, photographer and professional wanderer who, after 20 years of roaming, put down roots in a 100 year old Bavarian farmhouse and fell in love with the Alpine village and its residents (both 2-legged and 4-legged).