Küsnacht

From 2000 to the beginning of 2011 we lived in Küsnacht, a small town just south of Zürich, on the lake.

A stream runs through Küsnacht. From our flat, it was a five-minute walk upstream to the pleasant valley, the Küsnachter Tobel, where these pictures were taken in December 2000. Your browser cannot display JPEG images!
The path up the Küsnachter Tobel crosses from side to side of the river.
We walked up the Tobel a lot, but never tired of it. It changes with the seasons, with the weather, and with the time of day. This was taken in the early morning.
Occasionally one sees larger birds, like this heron, in the river. Friends have variously identified it as a Great Blue Heron or a Grey Heron.
Much more common in rivers in this part of Switzerland, but much more difficult to photograph without an SLR, is the "Wasseramsel", or dipper. It sits on a rock, making a bobbing movement somewhat like a quick curtsey, then dives into the water, presumably to feed on little aquatic animals.
It doesn't migrate, but stays throughout the winter, still diving into the icy water. The river seldom freezes completely (never, in the ten years we lived there). I find it surprising that such a small bird can maintain its body temperature while feeding in water which must be very close to zero degrees.
In 2006 I borrowed a better camera to take this picture: a Panasonic Lumix which has a good zoom lens, through-the-lens viewfinder, and an image stabiliser. I'd recommend this camera.
On a hill at one side of the valley are the remains of an old fortification, called the Ruins of Wulp. The first building at this site has been dated to the thirteenth century (before Switzerland existed as a country).
The most famous person to have lived in Küsnacht was Carl Gustav Jung (1875-1961), the psychiatrist who coined the terms "introvert" and "extrovert". He is buried in the Jung family grave - fifth name from the top on this family headstone.
There's a little park beside the lake, from which you can look back at the waterfront.
A variety of water birds can be seen on the lake - not just swans, gulls, coots, and the usual green-headed ducks, but also more exotic ducks like these, which are not at all timid and appreciate being fed.
Not all the ducks are so tame. This one seldom comes to shore when people are nearby. Perhaps it just doesn't like breadcrumbs.
In general, municipal sculpture in Switzerland is as bad as in most other places (the centre of Zürich is disfigured by some especially ghastly rubbish). But Küsnacht's lakeside park is an honourable exception. These views are the ones you would naturally see as you enter the park, not carefully-chosen photographic viewpoints.
The statue of the young woman is one of the best works by the Swiss sculptor Hermann Haller, 1880-1950. His workshop in Zurich is open to visitors during the summer months, and contains the plaster original of which this is a cast. Here is a higher-resolution picture of the statue.
On a clear day, especially in winter, you can sometimes see the Alps from the park. This was taken in early January 2005.
On the opposite side of the lake, linked by a ferry service, is a small town called Thalwil. We occasionally go there for lunch, because the ferry ride is short and quite pleasant. Thalwil has a better view of the Alps than Küsnacht has; this picture was taken from the ferry dock.

Viewing the pictures

Click on the little pictures to see them full-size.

Technical details

The camera used was a Fuji Finepix 4700, which has a maximum resolution of 2400x1800 pixels, but the largest image on this web site has only about 0.7 Mpx, with the exception of the detailed picture of the Haller sculpture.
Anyone who wants originals of these pictures (which mostly have much higher resolution than you see here) need only ask. You may use any of my pictures without fee provided that you acknowledge the source.