Hello! Today, I’m taking you for a walk in De Wieden, a wetland area south-west of our home. We’ve had a lot of rain lately and also a smattering of snow, but on the day of our walk it’s foggy. The fog muffles all sound and blocks out most of the view. It’s dark, wet and grey.
How different this exact same spot looked on a sunny day in June.
De Wieden is part of the Wieden-Weerribben National Park, the largest lowland bog in north-west Europe. In spring and summer it’s so very beautiful here, with many different kinds of butterflies, damselflies and dragonflies, romantic waterlilies and cheerful orchids.
Now, the orchids have gone underground and only the leaves of the waterlilies are visible.
No damselflies are resting on reed stalks, no dragonflies are flitting across the water.
At this time of year, it’s beautiful here in a more subtle way. It’s a symphony of greens and browns.
There are some small pops of other colours – an orange fungus, a single red clover and the last of the marsh marigolds (click on images to enlarge).
But greens and browns predominate, with pale yellow-green marsh ferns among the greenest-of-green rushes.
Most of the reeds have already gone from green to sandy brown. Behind them, the blurry silhouette of a great white egret.
At the foot of the reeds, there’s a tunnel. Who made it? It’s far too wide for a mouse. Maybe the otters did. They hunt at the night and sleep in their hiding places on the reed banks during the day. Maybe there is one snoring away here right now.
In front of the reeds, there is the orangey, pinkish and blackish brown of the alder branches and their dripping wet male and female catkins.
It’s incredibly wet here today and I’m so glad I’m wearing wellies. It’s a good thing that it’s wet, though, because De Wieden has suffered from the recent hot and dry summers. Now the soil and the plants can drink their fill. Towards the end of our walk, the egret takes off.
It’s time for me to be off, too. Bye!
Oh, before I go, here is a clue to what I’ll be writing about next week if I can find the time. I wasn’t just here to take photographs, but also to be photographed… (Hint: Can you see what I’m wearing around my neck?)