Field of Science

I don't think I'm in Lincoln Land any more.

The Land of Lincoln has many things but topography isn’t one of them. From its lowest point to its highest point, it only differs by 282 m, and since the lowest point is only 85 m above sea level at Karo, the highest point is hardly a hill. Perhaps so many tall buildings were constructed in our largest city as a means of compensating for this topographic inadequacy.

Having lived in these flat lands for some 30 years I have gotten used to the terrain. But I now take extra special pleasure in visiting places with some real topography. Only two hours from Zurich is the alpine tourist village of Braunwald, which is accessible only by a steeply inclined funicular rail from the valley below. While I am certain the walk up would be nice, if not a bit taxing on the legs, it would be worth it for the view. You simply cannot come this far to do research, and not take the time to see the Alps. The domed peak to the right is Piz Russein at 3614 m. So if you stack up 10 of the highest point in LoL on top of each other, the entire stack would just barely exceed this peak.

Of course botanist are always conflicted in such places. We love the scenery, but we keep looking down to spot the alpine flowers that have started to bloom, including the native Crocus albiflorus, which in spite of its name comes in two color morphs.

Now I’m certain that I’m not in LoL anymore.

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