Local Heart, Global Soul

March 11, 2019

Countryside views, Modern And Traditional Together…

The views countryside on our return journey from Zeeland in 2017 were varied in that the weather was a little dull and overcast, it was the end of the day and we wanted to get home. Traffic varied too but the route via the Rotterdam Havens kept us out of the worst of the traffic jams. Little Mr. saw a tanker and wondered why one set of wheels didn’t touch the ground, I saw a bridge that looked like a nature bridge, we all saw the stereotypical sights of the Netherlands: tulips and windmills. These mills are modern and massive, producing electricity from the wind; the central hub deceptively larger than most people realise. In fact I heard from a TV documentary that they are bigger than many Dutch apartments. The little farmhouses and stripes of purple blooms, a wonderful reminder that a modern international industry is still carried out in an old tried and true traditional way, the mix working perfectly.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

March 8, 2019

Clouds Both Sullen And With A Sunny Disposition…

Our 2017 Easter travels back to the Hague, transversed the Dutch provinces of Zeeland and South Holland. Whilst taking photographs from the front passenger seat, I could not help but notice the differences in the clouds close by. One side was dark, threatening, low and sullen, looking like a storm was brewing and warning that we better get ready for wind and rain. The other side: lighter, fluffy, with the blue sky background and a sunny disposition. The flat landscape gives a larger canvas for the sky, so it’s changing forms are a fascination for more than just the artists who struggle to get clouds to look right in whatever medium they are using. I also especially bad a drawing clouds. Luckily the coastal location of The Hague means a good deal of wind and multiple weather changes, often in one day, or a morning or afternoon, or even an hour. We also see some unusual overpasses, but it’s the clouds that really grab my attention.  More material for my reference files.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

March 7, 2019

The Concrete Maze We Make For Ourselves…

The way back from Bruinisse is filled with a series of tunnels, some even under rivers as we negotiate the maze of waterways, islands, cities and highways. The flyovers make for some interesting architectural detail, part of a cityscape that I don’t think is often photographed. The light made interesting patterns on the concrete, they themselves a modern form of Architectural detail. It might not be to my taste but it does have a style of it’s own within the functionality it needs to maintain. Concrete threads that link our living spaces, our own little rat runs for getting from A to B. Sometimes when I look at all the traffic around me, I think we are like little ants, scurrying through a large maze made just for us… except we made the concrete mazes for ourselves.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

March 6, 2019

No-One Is Barn-Storming These Barns…

Driving around the outskirts of Bruinisse back during Easter of 2017, Himself and I saw some barns built in a way I have never seen before. The barns are joined to the houses, as is the Dutch fashion in many parts of the country, but these barn walls are barn walls with a difference. Built with outside buttresses like the ones you often see on tall European castle walls, these additional fortifications are intriguing.

Looking at my post:  “France: Saint Jean d’ Angély “,  comparing with the ruined abbey in this French Charentes Maritime town, the walls have the same arrangement but are absolutely massive when compared with the walls we see on these barns.  Check the size of the abbey walls in comparison with the tourists below.  Then check against these barn walls, I’m imagining a herd of prize bulls inside, or a pet elephant? (probably not). Just what kind of thing needs to be contained an enclosure this fortified? Or is it just a good building technique, borrowed from centuries past and utilised in relatively modern times? One of the barns had a particularly wavy roofline that I loved,  Quirky buildings from top to bottom.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

March 5, 2019

A Penguin Faced, Googly-Eyed Gull ?…

The gull that came to pick up the seed (for wild birds) at our accommodation, really made me smile. I don’t know if it was that his eyes look a bit like those jangly stick-on googly eyes or that his/her black markings on the head look like Mother Nature accidently stuck a modified version of a penguin head on top of a gull body.  I must say he had some skill standing on one leg when he needed to scratch his nose, oops, I mean beak, I was most impressed. The patio outside our Bruinisse holiday home in Zeeland was a definite draw for the birds, and I had so much fun trying out the telephoto lens I had saved up for and finally bought. Not only are these my photographic testing grounds but also reference material for my drawing books.   I learned that beaks and feet are bigger than I thought, bird heads are smaller… but most of all I am impressed by how beautiful they are, how wonderfully the “mechanics” of these little flight machines works, and how feathers are so much more detailed than I thought.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

March 4, 2019

The Bird With The Biggest Shoe Size…

I’m dipping back into more of the bird photographs that I took in Bruinisse in Zeeland. I had to do some research about what this bird may possibly be and the best I could come up with was the Western Swamphen.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

March 2, 2019

For The Artist And The Weather Watcher…

For both the Artist and the Weather Watcher, clouds are a tricky conglomeration of elements that can be quick to be admired but seriously difficult to master defining. Especially on canvas it is difficult to capture the moods of the skyscape in a way that looks realistic. On our way home from our 2017 Easter break in Zeeland, we spied enough different cloud formations to make use wonder what on earth Mother Nature was up to. I think that with everything people have been doing to the planet, she is very rightly confused. Here as we drove, the clouds were bright, white, grey or black, there were even patches of blue skies in-between. We didn’t know if we were running into bad weather or away from it, or if it was passing us in a horizontal fashion and we just had to pass through it. These images are for my arty Reference files, and saved… to the cloud.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

March 1, 2019

Clouds … No Illusions After All…

Throughout history, Dutch landscape painters have been famous for capturing the intricacies of clouds and weather and presenting them on canvas. Driving along the coast during a Kiwidutch Family Easter break, we find the weather very changeable, and therefore too the clouds. My canvas is a computer screen and my tools: a small digital camera chip inside a digital camera. At this point in history, with a camera in almost every phone, everyone is becoming a roving photographer, myself included. I prefer my “big camera” to using my mobile phone camera but the principle remains the same. I am driven to record things that I find interesting, different, beautiful. Mother Nature provides plenty of material so even when I’m just a passenger in a car, I can have “clouds illusions” that I am recording beautiful things. Of course I am a realist, there are far better photographers who could make amazing material out of this situation, for me though, no illusions, just an attempt to capture beautiful clouds.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

We always seem to see “things” in clouds… the one below, a large mitten perhaps?

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

February 28, 2019

An Interesting Monument…

Before leaving Zierikzee in the Dutch province of Zeeland, I find another “Monument” or, as it known in English, a Historic building, or building of special historical significance. This one carries some sort of plaque that explains it’s history but sadly it’s one of those phone codes which gets me stumped. Never mind, the building is clearly old, still beautiful and interesting.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

February 27, 2019

The Mussel Power Of Water Farming…

The evidence of mussel farming all around the Dutch province of Zeeland is hard to miss. Himself says they taste excellent, but with a sea-food and never having tasted them before, I will have to take his word for it. These “farms of the sea” are dotted everywhere and the mussel industry is not just a huge local and national industry but also export one. I guess they are not famous for no reason.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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