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)

November 27, 2014

Bridging The Gap Between People And The Natural World…

Filed under: LIFE,PHOTOGRAPHY,THE NETHERLANDS — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , , , ,
(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

There are some features in the European landscape that are totally unfamiliar to me as a New Zealander.

Of course, as a dual national and Dutch citizen I’m used to flat land, canals and windmills and since I’ve lived here I’ve gotten used to seeing castles and ancient buildings… but some things make me do a double take.

One of these things is the European “nature bridge” or “land bridge”.

New Zealand is a country the size of the United Kingdom and The Netherlands combined but with a population of only around four million people, it’s a country of small by-ways rather than of mega large highways.

It’s also of course a country with huge land areas for forests and wildlife so conflict between the needs of wildlife and people is not much of an issue.

Stock such as deer are in New Zealand kept in with special fences, but some sheep stations are so large that minimal fencing on small roads in the norm.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Larger agricultural stock such as sheep and cows have right-of-way on New Zealand roads, and Kiwi drivers know that drivers rarely walk away intact from an impact with stock so respect and caution is practised on rural roads especially at night.

In Europe there are so many multi-laned motorways and built up areas that stock are are more confined to specific areas, and with natural feeding grounds in other areas this results in a conflict of interest when it comes to animals like deer wanting to cross the road and these roads being six laned arterial motorways.

Europe’s answer to to this is the land bridge: wide bridges in strategic places across motorways that are fenced along the sides, the fences then screed with trees and planted further with trees or shrubs.

They are funnels that channel wildlife across road systems from one nature area to another and I think they are are brilliant solution to a very basic problem of wild animals and human beings living in close proximity to each other.

(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)

November 20, 2012

Mother Nature’s Tattoos…

Filed under: ART,PHOTOGRAPHY,Rasa Sentosa,SINGAPORE — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

If you have been following my blog for any length of time at all you will know that I like to take photographs of very ordinary things, extraordinary things (when the opportunity presents itself) and everything in between.

I’m a detail fanatic, possibly to the point of perversion on occasion (Yes, I did draw a portrait built up entirely of minuscule dots from a 1 millimetre fine-liner black pen once many moons ago) and I’ve been known to embroider on 120 count  (that’s the number of threads to the inch) silk gauze too.

Small is often very beautiful… so it’s no surprise that I’m the idiot photographer who, when there are stunning views to be had within Singapore’s Rasa Sentosa hotel, is the one who’s pointing my camera lens towards the floor.

There’s a good reason for this… (well in my little tiny mind there is at least LOL)… the paving stones in the floor have fossilised plants in them and I find them stunning, intricate and beautiful.

These little plants may have had the misfortune to get trapped in layers of mud instead of falling from their trees and contributing to natures compost but their mud pack served to keep them preserved for millions of years, or at least if the organic contents is long gone, the detailed outline of what they once were remains.

Whilst some resemble what the Amazon river must look like from space, I think others look like Mother’s Nature’s tattoo’s … this is rock formation  ‘body-art”,  the detailed artwork that adorns the greater body of nature for millennia and in the kind of tiny detail that human tattoo artists can only dream about achieving.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

June 6, 2012

Attempting to Capture the Elusiveness of Light…

Filed under: Kids and Family,LIFE,NEW ZEALAND,PHOTOGRAPHY,Places and Sights,Travel — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , , ,

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Sometimes ok, Often, I wish I was better at photography.

I’m an unashamed point-and-shoot photographer and often get snap happy in the front passenger seat of the car as we travel from place to place,  and usually there just isn’t time travelling with young kids to “set up” shots and get arty-farty over angles, light,  apertures and focal points.

Actually if I’m honest I could write my complete knowledge of apertures and focal points on a postage stamp…and for the most part it doesn’t bother me.

This is one of the rare occasions when we are on the road and see something with our eyes that I just wish I could have recorded better with my lens.

Yes, the van is moving…  the clouds that have rolled in  and daylight is fading  fast as we head home  when suddenly a stream of light that fans out  through the clouds into distinct bands…think Biblical effect… or Old Master technique and you are heading in the right direction. In this instance the bands of light are one of the most well defined I have ever seen… and the “rays”are evenly spaced and the contrast is rather good. The “halo” of light extends out all the way out in front of us and is impressive to say the least. What was particularly amazing was that the rays spread out further than the camera could zoom…  and it was very three dimensional, think of the rays of light being similar in shape to an old fashioned lampshade, we drove towards the middle of it and the rays were around us even behind us to some degree. (sadly I think only the first photo shows this a bit , along the top edge).

Like many of natures wonders it didn’t last very long and so I rattled off as many frames as possible before the road took turns that obscured the best of it.

I know that I really  didn’t do it justice because in real life it was in-your-face-stunning, and produced a “wow look at that” moment in the van, Kiwi Daughter even looked up briefly from the game on the borrowed MP3 player she was playing. Little Mr and our friend’s four year old  completely missed the action because they slept all the way home and Himself concentrated on the road, but my friend and I marvelled at the beauty of  it and did our best to capture the image.

I’m certain that someone more skilled in the art of photography could easily have made a postcard perfect shot of this…  sadly I’m not a skilled in the art photographer. I’ll just show you my efforts and hope that you use your imagination to see that bits that Nature put in that I didn’t manage to capture.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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