The Meadow

Growing up in one of the sprawling suburbs of Munich, in a townhome with neighbors left and right, there was a nearby open and flat meadow, west of Pucchinistraße (Pucchini Street). It was undeveloped, and tall grass grew there in the summer. A couple of narrow use trails connected one end with the other (and probably diagonally too). We rode our bikes there in spring and caught grasshoppers, and flew our kites in autumn, running along the trail to get the kite high up enough to catch the breeze.

The grasshoppers we put into large preserving jars with some grass, and cellophane wrapper as a lid, secured with a rubber band. We punched air holes into the cellophane with a toothpick, and released the grasshoppers back into nature a day or two later, when the grass wilted.

This must have been towards the late 1970s. It’s all developed today, except for the south-east corner, which has always been a playground with a slide and such – and none of us kids cared much about it. The meadow was much better. Google Earth’s historic satellite imagery doesn’t go back far enough to take another look at it before development. And I wonder where the kids in those neighborhoods fly their kites now.

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1 Comment

  1. Interesting and kind of sad the way some things change. Especially where development is concerned. I was in München back in 1976. For me it was an excellent summer time to be there, however most of West Germany was not so exicted about the weather because there was a drought going on. It was hot, dry and very little or mostly no rain. But it worked for me, considering I orignated from El Cajon. But my friend and I went further south near the Swiss border to the town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen. We stayed in a campground outside of town. When evening came we saw in all the shadows of the forest all these 1000s of little pairs of eyes which seemed to stare at us. On closer inspection we captured some of these little insects and they were small beetles. I’ve tried hard to find a name for them, but most friends here from Germany will tell me they are Gluworm, but I know what a gloworm looks like and these were not that. They were an actual beetle or Käfir.

    What was kool was that these glowing pairs of eyes were everywhere in the shadows of bunch grasses, flowering plants and furrows on the thick bark of trees, crivaces or cracks in rocks, etc. I’ve got photographic slides of them at my Mum’s place in El Cajon, but not sure when I am going back there again. Oh well, i thought you may know what I’m talking about. It was after this experience when I realized what all those stories of the enchanted Black forest were all about and even where many cartoons got the ideas for a spooky forest. The beetles looked something like this click beetle in this Youtube. – Tanks, Kevin Franck

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