vrijdag 15 juli 2022

Naturally! about living together in the city


In August 2021, my husband and I started thinking about creating a book together, on a subject close to our hearts. As a biologist my husband would create the content and I would make the photo work and the drawings. The subject would be the striking and interesting changes of nature in and around cities. For quite a period we had immersed ourselves in this development.

A a result, mainly because of the expansions in agriculture, we discovered that the role of nature in cities becomes more and more important for the liveability of humans and animals. In spring of this year, we had created a well-illustrated story based on the various urban biotopes. By putting our ideas on paper, we think we developed a modest but well-thought-out contribution to the necessary contemporary developments. We hope to inspire policymakers and citizens for this important cause.

The book is called: Natuurlijk! over samen leven in de stad", so far only available in Dutch. Some examples of the illustrations are attached. Interested? Mail me (miriamscha@gmail.com) and I'll send you a copy for the cost price (€ 10.-) + postage.

Bookcover "Natuurlijk! full colour, 40 pages, 20x20 cm
Aeshna cyanea (Southern hawker) in city garden in Holland
Wall vegetation in Paris
Segestria Florentina in Dutch city garden

zaterdag 18 december 2021

Cranes in the Diepholzer Moorniederung

Our love for nature and in this case especially for the migrating cranes, brought us in November to Germany, to the Diepholzer Moorniederung. This is a very large peat and agricultural area North of Osnabrück.

There was a good chance that we would encounter thousands of foraging cranes there. And luckily this was true! We saw lots of them, especially in quiet places, far away from villages and people. It was such a happy sight to see the adults with their young ones, enjoying the corn and grain the farmers left behind. 

It gives them the nutrition they need to continue their long journey to Spain. It is incredible that they are capable of flying thousands of miles and that they know exactly where to go. Impressive, these elegant tall birds.

As you can see it was sometimes a bit foggy when we were there. But as far as we were concerned, a beautiful sight!

maandag 11 oktober 2021

The Camargue!

After quite a homely period of about a year, we set off to southern France, mid-september. We were hoping for nice walking and cycling weather and of course we were eager to observe birds, flowers and insects.

On our outward and return journey we visited some lake areas such as the lac de Madine and and the lac du Der. Our main goal was the Camargue, with its enormous diversity of waders (especially flamingos), vast nature, impressive "taureaux", salt lakes, quiet small roads, friendly people and its lovely "haute cuisine". A very nice holiday mix.
We were surprised by the large number of butter- and dragonflies. Perhaps because it was still quite warm, some 27 degrees Celsius. We learned a lot about the variety of grasshoppers. The Mantis Religiosa, the praying grasshopper, is our favourite! While jumping some 10 meters, it looks like a white butterfly.
As you can see, the nutria and the waders enjoyed the water; the scarlet dragonfly and the tree frog the pleasant sunlight.
What a wonderful life, there in the Camargue!


dinsdag 7 september 2021

The happy animal book


After the success of "the teeny weeny animal book", it seemed a logical step to keep up drawing. And so I created a follow-up nature book for primary school students.
I should, exactly as in the previous situation, stimulate the love for nature. And of course promote reading pleasure and increase the knowledge of nature. There's also an instructive world map in the back of the book.

The result is "the happy animal book", in which many animals from all over the world tell the readers very personal stories about their way of living. Most of them seem to be happy ;-)
As you can see the animals have a nice appearance and look you straight in the eye. I discovered that this inspires children to go on reading and remain interested.
In the attached pictures you get an impression of the content of the book (40 pages, full colour, hard cover).
For now only available in Dutch through the internet bookstore or also directly from me. Send me an email if you're interested, miriamscha@gmail.com

maandag 12 april 2021

Het kleine beestjes boek: teeny-weeny animals

In the past few months, due to wintertime and corona, we were more homely than usual. So, instead of being outdoors, we studied all kind of nature aspects, such as the world of insects and the vital importance of biodiversity.
That brought me to the amazing beauty of all sorts of small animals, like spiders, insects, mollusks, crustaceans and a few cute mammals. From the only 1 millimeter springtail to the  20 centimeter hedgehog.
Inspired by the great David Hockney, I took my Ipad and started drawing these creatures. I enjoyed it so much, I could hardly stop ;-)
As a photographer I am an experienced observer, but to be able to draw in a more or less realistic way, requires much more. An interesting learning process!

Because of the cuteness of the result, my husband (biologist), stimulated me to create a children's book. Not only filled with these drawings, but also with a lot of fascinating nature facts. This way it would interest young people in the beauty and importance of nature. After all, small animals and little bugs are the basis of the food pyramid. 

To give you an impression, you'll find two examples in my blog. I thank Erik Visser info@raafwes.nl for his graphic design. So far, the book is only avalable in  Dutch.

Hopefully not only children, but also their (grand)parents will enjoy this happy nature book!

If you like to receive a copy of the 40-page ' Het kleine beestjes boek', drop me a line or go to the printing office's website: https://probook.nl/boekwinkel/kleine-beestjes/

zaterdag 14 november 2020

Poetic image of the “Nieuwe Dordtse Biesbosch”


In the past six months, Marieke van leeuwen and I have been working with great enthusiasm on a richly illustrated collection of nature poetry, seventeen in number. The book shows how a nature reserve develops itself in a short time and how many plant and animal species happily occupy the area! 

In this specific case we have taken the "Nieuwe Dordtse Biesbosch" (an area in Southern South Holland) as an example. Such a development could happen anywhere where ever we give space to nature. And while doing so, we serve the earth and thus ourselves...

We hope to inspire you with this book full of endearing poems, charming birds, insects and other animals. Below, you'll find the book cover and an example of a left and right page from the book, to give you an impression.

The poems were made by Marieke, the design was created by a friend Erik Visser (raafwes.nl) and -no surprise there- the photo work was realised by me.

So far the poems have been written in Dutch as you can see. We keep ourselves recommended to publish an English version. So let us know if you are bilingual, creative and feel challenged ;-)

To order a copy of this book contact   https://probook.nl/boekwinkel/poetisch-beeld/

or send me an email and I'll take care of it:   miriamscha@gmail.com


zaterdag 10 oktober 2020

Nature in North East Germany

Last September we went, because of our good experience last year, to NE Germany, this time all the way to the Polish border. Our main goal was to visit the nature reserves in Mecklenburg, Vorpommern and Brandenburg. We had quite ideal weather for walking, not too warm or wet and beautiful spooky clouds every now and then.

We hoped to see some cranes and birds of prey and that worked out very well!

Unlike Holland and the western part of Germany you'll find here a very quiet and huge area in which, next to agriculture, there is plenty of space for wild nature. The villages are cute (apart from some eastern bloc buildings), the people friendly and the roads sometimes somewhat simple, but that's part of the charm.

On our way back home we spent some time in the Harz mountains. That's unfortunately a sad area nowadays; the bark beetle got the chance to ruin these forests because of its monoculture. You can see the effect in one of my pictures.

But, whenever we are in unspoiled nature, its a question of looking carefully and closely (especially for insects) or in the more distant environment for landscape contours  or birds. It's all worth while!!

10 Hoverflies (Surphus), 16 Feverflies (Diophus febrilis) on wild Angelica

Anklammer stadtbruch

Red backed shrike (Lanius colurio)

Queen of Spain fritillary (Issorio lathonia)

Red fox (Vulpes vulpes)

Sunflower (Helianthus)

Cranes (Grus grus)

Wooly burdock (Arctium tomentosum)

Tansy beetle (Chrysolina graminis)

                        River Ilse in Lower Saxony                    

        Hare's foot inkcap (Coprinopsis lagopus)

White tailed eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla)

Landscape in the Müritz area

Southern hawk (Aeshna cyanea)

the Hartz mountains, largely destroyed

Spring dor beetle (Geotrupes vernalis)