Parsley Sage Rosemary and Thyme

I seriously believe that all these small waters are living creatures. The Itz (Ger., Eng.) is eighty kilometers long. She has her source north of Eisfeld (Ger., Eng.) in the Thuringian Forrest (Ger., Eng.) 673 meters above sea level, goes in Southern direction and crosses the border between Thuringia (Ger., Eng.) and Bavaria (Ger., Eng.), flows through Coburg (Ger., Eng.) towards the Main, she’s a right hand affluent of the Franconian stream. The part of the valley’s landscape below Coburg, notably between Coburg and Baunach (Ger., Eng.),  is protected as Landschaftsschutzgebiet (LSG Südlicher Itzgrund),  a Auenlandschaft (Ger., Eng.) regularly flooded. Coburg itself also had to suffer regularly from flooding and in order to protect the town they have built an artificial lake called Froschgrundsee (Ger. only); they built a dam (18 meters high, 350 meters long) right through the valley next to the border to Thuringia. I am not sure whether it was my father or my grandfather who had told me that these plans already existed in the 1930s. They were not realised due to  lack of funds; after WWII there simply was no possibility to build such a thing, but in the 1980s time was ripe to dam a river over the inner German border, it was finished 1986.
As I see from pictures now, they also built a railway bridge (Ger. only) over the valley, yes I haven’t been there for a while.
Among the inflows (the list is in the German wikiarticle linked above) is the Effelder (Ger., Eng.) – she comes from the left side (looking downstream) and today enters the new lake directly. Sometimes the Effelder was red – and thus dead, because some nasty plant in the East would vomit its industrial waste directly into her, bah it’s going directly to the west, who cares.
The next one is called “Pöpelbach” on this list – what is completely wrong. The name is spoken very differently (Ger., Eng.), I am sorry that I am not in command of the Lautalphabeth or IPA (Ger., Eng.). In German it would be something like “Büeb’l”. Next to Schönstädt is the “Büeb’lholz”, where the little creek comes out. A Büeb’l is a kind of demon who angers wanderes and travellers, especially at night. He jumps on their backs (Hüpfauf) or on the coaches, adding a strong weight, scaring the horses; people have pounding hearts, sweat and get lost, they often find themselves in a total different place in the morning.
The Fischbach is a very small creek, as the name says it brings fish; Fischbach itself is a tiny  village with only a handful of houses, I think some of them built in the 1950s. If I get it right there have been fish ponds or stews that belonged to the monastery (Ger. only) of Mönchröden (Ger. only), hence the name Fischbach. I nearly drowned in this small water.
Further down the valley in Mittelberg we find the Fornbachsgraben and the Weimersgraben; these are artificial objects, trenches literally. Fornbach is a tiny village on the righthand plain, consists of five farms, and the former house of my grandfather. The road climbs from the Itzgrund up to the plain via the Weimerschrod, that is the clearing  (Rodung) Weimer (Weimar?) made, a steep increase dangerous in winter. In Mittelberg once was a school, here I attended my first and only Bavarian schoolday.
And in Unterwohlsbach the Fornbach itself comes to kiss Ms Itz. Könnt’ man Heimat nennen.

15 thoughts on “Parsley Sage Rosemary and Thyme

  1. “I nearly drowned in this small water”

    Yikes! What happened?

    I almost drown in a small creek. Was walking in the creek along a shallow sand bar, then stepped into a deep hole. I still remember looking up and seeing the sky through the water. My mother reached in and pulled me out by the shirt collar.

  2. MsScarlet, Bach LX, Austere – there happened nothing extraordinary. The creek brought along higher water and a lot of sand – so it must have been in spring. I played at the creek that went along the plot of land, along the garden. I sunk in and my Gummistiefel filled with water and stuff and while I tried to get out I fell down backwards and found it difficult to get up again because the clothes became heavy. Thankfully my father’s friend and colleague Ferdel was near and he pulled me out of the sand. I ran home as fast as I could and remember the cold. My mother had to put me next to the oven.

  3. The “Büeb’l” lives in (small) woods Austere.. I think what people describe are symptoms of panic attacks. All of a sudden their load, like a Rucksack or a Krätz (Ger. only, pictures speak for themselves) would become heavy, the coach would move only with difficulties – only up to a point: The demon reigns only in a certain area, which is not large and reaches not very much out over the wood. But not only the load chances, but also the time; it takes much longer as expected, and as normal, f.e. on daytime. The demon can be dangerous, people may fall ill after the encounter.

  4. Oh, they mention J.P. Mayer, the gardener! That’s nice, because he mostly gets ignored. He made an interesting book, the Pomona Franconica. See it here, if you click on “Tafeln” a pdf with the images opens and you can look on the lange violette Dattelzwetschge for example. Thank you for the link Herr Bach XL!

    Edit: I have to go around the hill now, see you later!

  5. Those are a lot of Bäche. Based on how many villages end in ..bach there must be a ton of Bächer in Deutschland. I suppose one could say, Deutschland geht den Bach runter .. :-)

  6. Oh, we have a colorful phrase involving creeks. .. Up sh.t creek without a paddle .. And one could then say the USA is heading up s…t creek …

    Well, never mind me, my back hurts..

  7. Well, it’s a bit sliding already, this Deutschland … one may wonder how long it will stay afloat. Possibly not too long. All the US do is seemingly printing dollares – works as long as everybody believes that piece of paper would represent any value.
    Hoppeling around with such a cumbersome thing attached to the foot must be exhausting, Foam – I enjoyed your video!

  8. guten Morgen Herr Mago,

    If the Effelder is upstream of the Fischbach. One would worry about the safety of being in the water or eating the fish. Good to see that you don’t seem to have any lasting effects from either. Well, other than being cautious around the water.

  9. The demon and the near-drowning remind me of one of my favorite books, “Kappa” by Akutagawa Ryunosuke. It is very well-known in Japan and I am certain there must be a German translation somewhere. Whenever I wanted to get Japanese books translated to English, they always had to come from a German publisher who’s name I forget.

    My brother threw me in the lake and said I could learn to swim like a dog. Fortunately his girlfriend at the time was the only teenager that didn’t turn her back on a frightened eight year old. It was like the beginning of an old popular horror film, the original “Friday the 13th”. The lake even had the same name. I am grateful not to have become a teenage-murdering demon in a hockey mask. :)


  10. Hello Karl, this is nice that you dropped by! In one of the villages the Effelder touched was a Galvanisieranstalt, they did electroplating – at least that is what I remember, what I was told as a child. I never was in one of these villages. My mother had told me that the water of the Effelder was at time red and at another occasion bright green, but I can not say when this happened. We had no clue what they had drained into the creek. I never fished in the Itz, but I saw fish, Krebse and all in the late 1960s there. Flowing water is great, but on should keep a reserve.

    Come on Foam, after a week you’ll want to keep it.
    You must train your muscles a bit, if unused they tend to shrink – and when you are healthy again you can not move properly.

    ARg Proxima – now I have to look for that book.
    I learned to swim only when we had moved to the city; I still believe that the swimming instructor was an ex-drill sergeant. I hated him with any fibre of my eight year old heart.

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