Local Heart, Global Soul

September 26, 2019

A Predelta For Some Peace And Quiet…

Another beach information board found during our tour of the Port of Rotterdam. Little Mr wanted to check out some of the private, company funded firestations dotted all around the port: they are specialised in dealing with chemical, oil and gas fires in the massive tankers and storage units here. Of course these stations are probably required by the insurance companies of the various corporations, but all equipment and training comes from the normal Dutch fire brigade. This is so that if they need to work together at any time, procedures followed and skills in using the equipment are identical.

It was early on a Saturday morning during the school holidays so we had the beach area fairly much to ourselves. This information board is all about the “Maasvlaktestraand” (Maasvlekte Beach)
Called the “Pre Delta”*, it reads:

“The pre-delta is a very special sea. This beach and sea are a unique area of the pre-delta. A shallow sea with sandbanks and deep gullies.
For humans it’s a natural beauty, but it’s vital for animals. At low tide the sandbanks are dry so seals like to warm up here in the sun. Flocks of birds pick here and there for snails, shrimp and small fish. The birds need to work quickly because their “restaurant” is open for just a few hours until the tide rises and the sandbanks disappear under water.

The area is for humans and animals. Five of the “rustgebieden” (**rest areas) are for nature, people enjoy and work in other places. In a soil reserve, fishermen and dredgers leave the ground alone.”

Kiwi’s notes:

* “Pre-delta” is the official name given to this area. Voordelta is a Natura 2000 site (classification: North Sea, Wadden Sea and Delta, number 113) in the Dutch provinces of Zeeland and South Holland. The Natura 2000 area extends over Goedereede, Hellevoetsluis, Noord-Beveland, Rotterdam, Schouwen-Duiveland, Veere, Vlissingen and Westvoorne. (as outlined in the map in the first photo.)

**”rustgebieden” literally means “rest areas”and I was struggling to figure what that meant in this context. Himself is a translator and informed me that the use of this word means more “a silent area where noise and disruption are not allowed, so birds and wildlife can have some peace… and quiet.”

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The white dots with the bright red outlines at the bottom of the next photograph mean “rest / silent areas: ”

No trespassing under Nature Conservation Act.” (there was also a small block of text  on the board giving the exact details:, paragraph, clauses, dates of the Act etc, but I figured that you didn’t need to be bothered with the legalise section).

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

March 21, 2018

Little Bird, Little Bird…

Filed under: CHRISTCHURCH,NEW ZEALAND,PHOTOGRAPHY — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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We are waiting for the people from our rental car company to deliver the car we will be using this trip. Their office is very close to the airport so we don’t have to wait long. A little bird comes by and comes close by, I get some photographs of it as we wait…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

March 30, 2017

As The Curtains Open, My Window Of Opportunity Closes…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Back at our Texel De Krim holiday park accommodation during the Easter weekend of 2016, I finally get another bird to come to the bird table.

I’ve been edging it closer and closer to the window several times per day since we arrived , and now think I’ve reached the limit of what the birds will accept without being spooked.

I close the curtains around the camera lens with clothes pegs each evening before I go to bed so that as little movement as possible can be detected from outside, everything as not to scare the birds away.

I know that the kids, especially the extra little one staying with us with her mother, can only be still for so long so my window of opportunity will be short.

Kids are also far louder than they think they are, and with our other friends joining us early, the group noise of three families, will be beyond keeping quiet.

My feathered visitor this time is a pigeon. Arriving at the table before the others dared is a risky move, but a smart one on this occasion, I had one tiny bird make a fleeting appearance but after just a second or so on the table, disappeared and didn’t return. After this pigeon’s visit, the rest of the household emerged, hungry and looking for breakfast, therefore as the curtains were opened , my window of opportunity for further photographs closed. Still, the results are better than I had hoped for… the learning curve continues.

(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)

May 24, 2014

Nothing Escapes These Piercingly Sharp Eyes…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

In the summer of 2012  I was visiting La Roche-en-Ardenne and came up to the castle on the hill whilst Himself, the kids and our friend and his daughter went canoeing on the river.

It was far harder work than I imagined with the crutches and so a few decent pauses to stop and rest as I made my way around were most welcome.

After the falconry display the birds were taken to various places to rest, eat and enjoy some shade out of the hot sun but can also come out and sun themselves if they want to.

In one of those places I was able to get close up to one of the falcons and sit very quietly close by taking photographs.

This series of  photographs is therefore a study of this magnificent creature, it’s structure and strength is beautiful to look at, it’s character is evident in it’s strong look and it’s not at all nervous of me sitting close by (although I did of course take care to sit very still and not startle or upset it). It’s a privileged to be able to observe the falcon at such close range: the bird is alert to every movement in the sky around us, nothing escapes these sharp eyes. This is a triangular shaped shade for the falcon, it’s clear that it’s not an overnight accommodation  for the bird but rather just a quiet day resting spot  a little out of the way of the main tourist walkway. Both the bird and I sit quietly enjoying the sun and  the quiet of each other’s company.

(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)

http://www.belgiumtheplaceto.be/castles_chateaux_la_roche_en_ardenne.php

 

May 1, 2014

Is It A Bird? Is It A Plane? (I Don’t Think It’s Superman!)…

Photographic post today: sculpture seen in the Hague suburb of Loosduinen… It’s it a Bird? Is it a Plane? … Who knows ? (but somehow I don’t  think it’s superman…)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

February 22, 2013

My Little, and Not so Little Feathered Friends…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Back in the beginning of December 2012  it snowed and I felt sorry for the wild birds in the neighbourhood so bought some bags of peanuts to string up on our balcony washing line to make their lives a little easier in the winter weather.

https://kiwidutch.wordpress.com/2012/12/08/new-910/

I forgot to post this earlier, but after a while we started getting more than just the little birds coming to visit.

It’s quite well known that there is a substantial population of wild parakeets in the Hague… not just a few, but hundreds of them and every now and again we see some twenty or sometimes thirty of them gathered in one of the neighbourhood trees, in our street, the neighbouring street or in the park.

I assume that the first wild parakeets started off as pets that escaped their owners but this doesn’t really explain the sheer numbers of these birds. Could this really be one massive related parakeet family or is it possible they come here from somewhere else?

They don’t seem to be migratory birds and anyway even if they were, surely they would be heading south for winter and not spending it in somewhere as cold as The Netherlands?

Lately they’ve been hanging around the back gardens and it’s quite a sight to see what you assume must just be tropical birds congregating  together in trees surrounded by snow.

Now they too have discovered the peanuts on the line and seem delighted at the discovery. The only problem I have now is that when the big birds are having fun and enjoying their meal, the little birds are intimidated and stay away, so finally I also bought a little open framed feeder where a block of seeds in fat can be inserted and the little birds were very happy.

Hmmm… until the parakeets found that too (on the upstairs balcony) and bossily shooed  the little birds away again. More solutions are required because I really want the little birds to get their share…   but in the meantime here are a some photos of my little (and not so little) feathered friends.

(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)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

December 24, 2012

Just Humming Along in the City… (or Should That be Buzzing?)

It’s been a while since I’ve done a post on some of the Electrical Substations that have been decorated around the Den Haag (The Hague) commissioned by the Geemente (City Council) in the last years. I think from memory that the “back” side of this on was only painted plain red or black,  (at least there was no image on the back to take a photo of).  There’s something ironic (or should  I say subliminal?) too about putting a “humming” image on an Eletrical Substation, don’t you think? Enjoy!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

June 1, 2011

Quick! Quick! …Rescue Mission in Progress!

Filed under: FRANCE,Kids and Family — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

We are at the gîte in France, surrounded by vines and general tranquility, and I’m resting in the shade when suddenly  the children erupt into squeals of excitement.

Little Mr races into view from the courtyard babbling something only semi intelligible and drags Himself off frantically because apparently a rescue mission needs to be preformed. Urgently. NOW!

And a real rescue mission too, not like all the other ones that happen in his imagination and involve Lego buildings or Play mobile people.

Some minutes later he comes running back,  so excited about disaster and needed rescue  that he doesn’t know wither he should speak English or Dutch so I get a garbled melange of  both… Since I can’t  run quick to see what’s happening, the “happening” comes to me instead.

Himself arrives with Kiwi Daughter and she too is agitated… the reason for the agitation is that they spied a little bird sitting in the pebbles next to the car, and it seems to be in shock and severely confused.

Little Bird is now resting gently in the safety of Himself’s hand, and he and the children will be taking the bird out to the vines to give it a safe place to recover. We try to give it a little water first and to not upset it further.

The three of them head off with our little feathered friend and walk into the rows of vines where they later report that Himself set it gently free, and that  it waits only a short time before making flying efforts across several rows of vines.

I’m sure there are farm cats around but at least out in the vines this little bird can hide out until he has recovered himself, whereas in the gîte courtyard he wouldn’t have lasted too long. The kids are high on the “drama” of the rescue for the rest of the afternoon, I think they even looked for more birds but of course there weren’t any (none that needed rescue at least).

We don’t know how of little friend faired after it’s trauma, …it’s not even clear why it got into the state it did anyway, personally it looks very young so I think it probably took a first flying lesson out of one of the trees in the courtyard and had a bit of  a crash landing.

We wished it well and hope it survived.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

March 2, 2010

Hey Birdie ! .. come live with me ?

Filed under: PHOTOGRAPHY,The Hague,THE NETHERLANDS — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , , , ,

I like wood, I like stone, I like metalwork… I like quirky, whimsical things that are hopefully not too kitsch. Some days  you just stumble upon something you fall in love with.

This belongs to one of my neighbours. If  it ever goes missing  they know to come search my house first LOL.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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