vrijdag 9 juni 2023

Les Alpilles in May


It's no secret that spring, in many ways, is an exciting season.

Trees, flowers, insects, birds, they all seem to wake up and show their presence and activities. You're lucky when you have the opportunity to observe and enjoy this phenomenon.

This year we chose to be in the Provence for a week; in les Alpilles to be precise. The pleasant weather helped a great deal to experience this region in all its glory.

As you will see I focused, perhaps more than in the past, on small subjects like details of plants and insects. It's because I think, that these elements are not only colourful pieces of art, but they also form a crucial part of our ecosystem. Enjoy!

Wild rose and three swollen-thighed beetles (Oedemera nobilis)

Swallow tale (Papilio machaon)

Marais du Vigneirat

Narrowleaf plantain (Plantago lanceolata)

Red veined darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii)

Jet black ants (Lasius fuliginaus)

The common hound's-tongue (Cynoglossum officinale)

European roller (Coracias garrulus)

Emerald ash borer (Anthaxia hungarica)

Owlfly (Libelloides coccajus)

Olive plantation

Chalk hill blue (Lysandra coridon)

Four spotted leaf beetle (Clytra quadripunctata)

Goatsbeard's seedfluff (Tragopogon)

woensdag 8 maart 2023

Martinique revisited


Seven years ago, we discovered this french island's nature for the first time.

Apart from the pleasant atmosphere and friendly people, we enjoyed the subtropical environment, especially the reptiles, flowers, birds and insects.

And since winter in Holland is not the happiest season in our opinion, a second nature researce of Martinique seemed a good idea. And so it was!

As you can see, the endemic anoles, iquanas, crabs, herons and insects luckily were still there, very much alive and colourful. All together a happy second experience!

Erithrodiplax umbrata (band-winged dragonlet, female)

Bubulcus ibis (cattle egret)

Anolis roquet (Martinique anole)

Eburia quadrigeminata (ivory marked beetle)

Acacia (seed pods)

Sicalis flaveola (saffron finch)

Cardisoma guanhumi (blue land crab, juvenile)

Anolis roquet (Martinique anole)

Butorides virescens (green heron)

Thalasseus maximus (royal tern)

Orthemis macrostigma (tropical king skimmer)

Dione vanillae (passion butterfly)

Bay Fort de France

Iguana iguana (American iguana)


maandag 12 september 2022

North-East Germany in August


After some months of hustle and bustle because of our removal, we were glad to go on holiday for a fortnight. We went to the quiet North-East of Germany.
The good thing about this part of the country is the diversity in an enormous vast landscape. Mixed forests, meadows surrounded by shrubbery, streams, moors, lakes, small country roads and agricultural fields with groups of trees here and there (and hardly any tourists ;-). The ideal environment for wild flowers, insects and birds.

We were happy to stroll around in this countryside. We found and observed many flowers, lichens, dragonflies, butterflies, bugs, deer, birds of pray and cranes.
Of course I present a glimpse of all this beauty with a personal touch. 
Long live diversity!

Country lane N-E Germany

Lichen: Evernia Prunastria

Electricity house with Osprey

Pine forest

Damselfly: Lestes Virens

Several lichens and moss

Bug: Elasmostethus Interstinctus

Weed: Hieracium

Abandoned house in the Müritz

Adult crane with young

Caterpillar of moth: Ethmia Bipunctella

Scarce Copper butterfly (female)

Dragonfly: Orthetrum Cancellatum

Steinhuder Meer

Kestrel looking for a prey

Young roe deer

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!