zaterdag 6 juni 2020

Our wild city garden!

For more than twenty years now we enjoy our garden. It’s a well-landscaped but somewhat wild city garden. Which means that a wonderful biodiversity has developed. Especially the little pond, the bushes and flowering shrubs attract all sorts of amphibians, insects and birds. The little fountain is a well-appreciated bathtub for the birds ;-).
The last couple of years we ‘ve got more time to contemplate in our garden. So it’s often coffees in the morning, drinks at the end of the afternoon -sometimes with (grand)children, family & friends (unfortunately, not now... ) and dinner in the evening. It’s a pity that our cat Puk  isn’t there anymore to keep us company and contemplate with us…
A selection of what we see and saw over the years in our garden in several seasons, you’ll find in my pictures.
So, be welcome and join us in the small and amazingly beautiful world of our biotope!

dinsdag 2 juni 2020

Homage to Christo

In the list of contemporary artists Christo is –together with people like Niki the Saint Phalle and David Hockney-  far at our top.
They have in common that by working very hard and knowing what they want to create, they make the most special and original works of art, no matter what!

                                                            Christo 1935 – 2020 (Picture ARTnet)

It’s unbelievable the effort Christo spent for years and years, trying to achieve what people thougt impossible. Like the Floating Piers at Italy's Lake Iseo, wrapping up the pont Neuf in Paris and the Reichstag in Berlin. 

It’s sad that this great artist passed away at the age of 84, but it’s good to know he went peacefully at his own home in New York.

I’m very glad that my daughter and I had the opportunity to travel to Berlin some 25 years ago to admire his enormous artwork, the wrapped up Reichstag. We couldn’t get enough of this special sight and within a few days we went three times to the impressive building to try and absorb the beauty. In the pictures I took, you can therefore detect several types of weather.
In the second picture the presence of birds allow you to see the gigantic size of the building; the last one was created, as you can see, by old-fashioned copying techniques ;-)

But more important, let’s cherish Christo’s personality and be inspired by his enthusiasm and never ending courage to realize his ideas by working constructively together with many people!
Let’s hope that wrapping up the Arc de Triomphe becomes the crown on his work. 
May Christo rest in peace.

zondag 22 maart 2020

Mallorca in springtime!

We visited the beautiful national parks of Mallorca before, but never in springtime. So this was a new experience in the first week of March ‘20.
It feels extra special since we now know, that at the moment (hopefully not for a very long time) it’s impossible and not wise to travel to Spain or France…..

But anyway, we were lucky to enjoy the diversity of orchids and flowers and the first butterflies of the season like the green Hairstreak, the Swallowtail and the Wall. Especially in s’Albufera Natural Park we were treated to many water birds and birds of prey.

In my pictures I tried to capture birds in action and in the wind, the never ending beauty of water & light and the nice and the quiet park itself. 
We cherish the beautiful memory and feeling!

s 'Albufera Natural Park

Glossy Ibis

Ophrys Tenthedinifera                                           Hyacintorchis                                         Orchis Italica

Green Hairstreak

Andouin’s Gulls on the move

Marbled Duck

Thistle Galactitus Tomentosa

Avocets, with their chic blue-grey legs ;-)

s' Albufera Natural Park

Great Cormorant and Cattle Egret, heads in the wind

s' Albufera Natural Park

Stone-curlew, hiding for us...

Red kite hunting

Cala Mondragó Bay

Osprey, taking off after bathing

The same osprey, drying in the wind

zondag 19 januari 2020

Costa Rica, pura vida!

December 20th 2019, we took off for a new adventure of three weeks: Costa Rica.
We had been in the Caribbean before (Guadeloupe, Martinique, Cuba) but never with a group and never really in the jungle, so…..
The good thing about the trip was, that we experienced nature in a way we’d never did before; like searching for Tarantulas or Vipers in the rainforest, while walking on slippery paths in pitch darkness…
Or what about going by boat to the jungle on a peninsula and having to jump on and off that boat in the breakers of the Pacific!
The good news however was, that we survived well and saw and heard many new mammals, birds, insects, spiders, amphibians and reptiles. The diversity of flora and fauna in Costa Rica is amazing!
Sometimes we saw very funny creatures like the Quetzal and the Wheelbug and more often very beautiful animals like birds of prey, butter- dragon- and damselflies and reptiles. In terms of birds alone we identified and captured about 45 species!
You can imagine that it was very difficult to make a choice of all that interesting material, but I hope to give you by this choice a good impression of our fascinating trip.
Forgive me for posting more photos than I usually do ;-)

En route, Monteverde

Eyelash Viper, White-headed Capuchin Monkey

Yellow-headed Caracara

Pacific Ocean

Tarantula spider, Tarantula hawk

Common black hawk, Broad winged hawk, Roadside hawk

Scarlet Macaw

Central American Whiptail
Corcovado National Park 

Funny creatures: Wheelbug and Resplendent Quetzal

Corcovado beach crab

Swallowtails (also Corcovada beach)

Roseate Skimmer

Young plumed Basilisk

Dark Horse Lubber

Black spiny-tailed iguana in Bougainvillea

Wild Coleus plant?

Mangrove hummingbird, purple-throated Mountain gem, green-crowned briljant

Great-tailed Grackle (in the rain ;-)

Pacific Ocean

Green-and-black poison dart frog,   Strawberry poison frog,   Red-eyed leaf frog

Damselflies: Argia Fumipennis?, Argia frequentula

Emerald Toucanet

China Roses

Turkey Vulture

Sunset and black vultures,  Manuel Antonio