I cannot resist posting these two pictures in the Austrian Alps. The winter scene was just taken by my third-grade school friend, Heinz. The summer shot I took two years ago. It is at the back of a U-shaped glacial valley that has been carved out by two glaciations. The older one, the Riss, said to be 300,000 years ago, took out the upper layer of soil and rocks that are seen here as the top of the foothills. The last glaciation, the Würm, ended 12,000 years ago and took all the earth to the valley floor, which is now where a crystal clear blue-green stream, teeming with rainbow trout, springs forth from the base of the granite Massives that are the Alps.  This spectacular landscape is where I came from.  It is almost exactly in the center of Austria and was recently voted as the most beautiful spot in Austria.   One of my recent books, Tales from my Home Town, contrasts the natural beauty of this valley to the political turmoil of the Second World War when I was born, available on Amazon.com.