Two Dutch Girls on a Road Trip to Wiltshire

Road Trip 2017 (2) - Richmond to Chawton to Salisbury.

Good afternoon! Would you like to join me for the second part of my road trip in the South-West of England? A long time wish of my daughter...

Friday, 23 January 2015

Haiku on Winter

Frozen pond with swan
hissing at crows in anger
competing for bread

Winter? What Winter!

Good evening, my friends.
Today was a frosty, Winter's day. And I relished it, because tomorrow it will rain (again) and our Wetlands Winter will resume as usual: WET.

But will you take a look at this; isn't it lovely? My dog Gina and I took our usual morning walk along the cycle path  and the box hedge was decked out with tiny frosted edges.

So what, you Canadians, North-Americans, French, Germans, Russians and Scandinavians think. But you still experience genuine winter weather. We, Wetlanders, don't.
We haven't had a proper Winter since 2010/2011 and again 2011/2012. (Coo, that was a Winter, folks! I battled snow storms on my bicycle for weeks, seriously!)

This is my Erica, and if you watch very carefully and closely you can spot the hoarfrost on those tiny leaves as well.

My predominant thought was that it may very well be the only hoarfrost I will see this winter, so I'd better photograph it with my deficient Samsung. (I should start a crowd-funding project in order to obtain an iPhone. This Samsung is almost an ex-Samsung).

The thing is - I like a proper Winter. Not that I do any ice skating these days, those days are very much in my past. But I like the frost and snow. Not so much the ever present icy Northern or Easterly winds that will howl across the wetlands when there is a proper winter.
Come to think of it, the last time I did any ice skating was in 1995. Golly.

That was so much fun though! My husband, best friend Martin and I did the River Meije-Tour. Look it up on Google Earth, why don't you? A pretty-pretty little Dutch River which turned into a typical Dutch ice amusement park, with people alongside it turning their gardens into "koek-en-zopie" stands (food and drink) and Martin and me (never able to keep up with my athletic husband) having to duck underneath countless little bridges and Martin getting stuck there because of his too high bag pack and me collapsing in giggles on the ice due to too many Berenburgers (Dutch liquor) in my hot chocolate.

But. As I said already. The weather forecast for tomorrow is rain. All day. Damn.

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

New Look...

Hi there!
Have changed the template yet again. Like it?
Let me know what you think.

Viggo's Haiku on a Blackbird

Hi there, so nice to see you dropping in again!
You know by now (and if you don't: you'll know by!)that frequently I ask my cat Viggo to pump his creative streak and think up a Haiku for us.

Blackbird eating crusts
your beady eye watching me
I spotted you first!

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Haiku on the Jay.

Feisty but still shy
crested lover of my nuts
beware of the cat

The Dutch National Bird Count for 2015.

Always nice to participate! The overall results for the Netherlands since 2011:

HuismusHuismus161.617 (1)215.083 (1)145.808 (1)145.408 (1)
KoolmeesKoolmees102.887 (2)160.711 (2)79.735 (2)101.852 (2)
MerelMerel72.595 (3)142.667 (3)60.709 (3)71.871 (3)
PimpelmeesPimpelmees66.842 (4)99.342 (5)53.603 (4)66.488 (4)
VinkVink55.794 (5)130.707 (4)42.416 (6)65.549 (5)
KauwKauw55.437 (6)67.207 (6)51.482 (5)46.785 (7)
Turkse tortelTurkse tortel45.187 (7)58.490 (8)37.450 (7)40.883 (8)
HoutduifHoutduif33.672 (8)59.438 (7)28.553 (8)34.794 (9)
EksterEkster30.938 (9)41.998 (11)27.446 (10)25.733 (10)
10 SpreeuwSpreeuw30.467 (10)56.083 (9)27.668 (9)47.487 (6)

(source: the Dutch Society for the Protection of Birds - Vogelbescherming Nederland)

My husband and I are enthusiastic bird feeders. Since we live on the edge of town, right next to the municipal park (with meadowland behind that) we have plenty of birds to feed.
My personal list is somewhat different from the national one though. This has the Huismus on number one. Mine the Koolmees.
Today I counted:

  • Gaai 3  (= Blue Jay. Must be because we are near to the park)
  • Huismus 1
  • Kauw 1
  • Ringmus 2
  • Pimpelmees 3
  • Ekster 1
  • Koolmees 6
  • Merel 3
  • Roodborst 1
  • Turkse tortel 2
No finches, who visit often otherwise, and no woodpecker...
Perhaps he will visit us later today; he is very shy and could have spotted me behind the window...

My cat Viggo followed procedure, and checked I had the count correct. He tends to leave the birds alone...The occasional slip up notwithstanding.