Local Heart, Global Soul

November 27, 2014

Bridging The Gap Between People And The Natural World…

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

July 31, 2012

Shooting the Wildlife….

Filed under: Miscellaneous,NEW ZEALAND,PHOTOGRAPHY,Travel — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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It’s not often I get to attempt taking wildlife photos… the city birds who settle on our balcony are wary of the tiniest movement and I don’t have a particularly long lens on my camera to get good shot of them in the nearby trees.

Sitting at the end table of the  Fat Pigeon Café in Piopio, New Zealand  and with Little Mr. busy digging in the sand-pit close by (and therefore not being available to be waving his arms around in excitement  or wiggling on the seat in such a fashion to scare off our little visitors) …  I stood half a chance at one of my first attempts.  Ok it’s far from perfect, but it’s a “try”at least, and not having a tripod to hand it was a challenge too.

The birds came for the bread bits that Little Mr. hadn’t wanted so once they dared to get in close enough to grab something they didn’t waste any time chatting or saying hello to us,  they were just focused on getting away as quickly as possible.

Phase One: they watch us and we watch them… from a safe distance…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Phase Two: tentative steps…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Phase Three: They check that the little noisy one who makes sudden scary movements is not too close:  Good… he’s busy….

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Phase Four: be brave! rush on on, there is treasure here!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

November 21, 2011

Introducing a Little Green Friend (No Kisses Though, …I have Already Found My Prince)

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

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I don’t often get the chance to shoot wildlife photographs.

We live in an apartment, in a large city, have no garden, have no pets due to allergies and aside from the usual city invaders that are pigeons, seagulls and magpies, the “wild” part of our local “wildlife” are few and far between.

Added to this is my year’s lack of mobility, no walks to parks this year, no hikes to the beach, in fact it’s been a very ” boringly stuck inside the house a lot”  year so it was with surprise and delight that whilst picking my way along the path to the pipos wagon that I suddenly see a little creature sitting very still on a log of wood.  A beautiful green frog!

For Himself,  frogs are nothing special, there are waterways in abundance here in The Netherlands (isn’t that  the understatement of the year!) and Himself grew up in small villages with many an open field and many more canals nearby so frogs were literally hopping everywhere at some times of the year.

I however spent my earliest years in a dry mountainous region of New Zealands South Island and then moved to the city of  Christchurch , neither of which sported any vast  frog populations for me to discover, so I’ve only seen a frog  up close  like this a few times in my life and I think they are wonderful little creatures.

I have my camera in my pocket and I think that it was luck that I was moving so slow that the little frog probably didn’t know I was there,  so I was delighted to grab a few photos of my little green friend.  My little  “Wildlife” as tame as he is, got camera shy just after these photos were taken…

… or maybe he  needed to hop off  because he was late for an appointment with a Princess.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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