One of the projects on my needles at the moment is a cable cardigan for our grandson. In the evenings while I’m watching BBC’s Springwatch and my mind is far away in the British countryside, my hands stay at home knitting. It doesn’t look like much yet, but my swatch tells me that it should be all right after blocking.
For anyone who doesn’t know it – Springwatch is a programme about the natural world in the UK that is broadcast for 3 weeks every spring. With a crew of about 100 and some 50 wildlife cameras, it’s a huge thing.
As I’m enjoying the programme so much, and there is not a lot to talk about on the knitting front, I thought it might be fun to do a Dutch Springwatch episode today. First let me introduce you to some of the crew members.
Just kidding! This is an unknown passer-by carrying an impressive camera on a tripod. The entire crew is just me, with my simple little point-and-shoot camera. My husband is here, too, but he only brought his binoculars.
So, a Dutch mini-Springwatch, but where are we? Well, we’re in the Lauwersmeer National Park in the far north of the country, about 200 kilometers north-east from Amsterdam. It is a former bay that was closed off from the sea by a dam in 1969 to protect the surrounding area from floods.
The former seabed we’re walking on is extremely flat. It’s quiet and peaceful here in this beautiful open landscape that is so important for birds and biodiversity. We’re following narrow tracks and wider grassy paths.
Here and there they lead us along the water’s edge.
The extensive reed beds are still covered in last year’s yellow-grey dead reed stalks. They’ll be green with fresh reeds a little later in the year. Although we can’t see them, we can hear the reed and sedge warblers warbling away.
The hawthorn, called meidoorn (Maythorn) here, is in full bloom and buzzing with insects.
Under one hawthorn tree, there is a bench – the perfect spot for lunch. We’re looking out over a small harbour, with cow parsley in front and a few black-and-white cows in the distance.
While we’re munching our sandwiches, there’s a sudden blue flash – a kingfisher. And while a hen harrier is harrying a goose with goslings, a bittern comes flying by. This truly is a birder’s paradise, but you’ll have to take my word for it. My camera and I weren’t up to capturing any of the birds on photo. At least these mooring posts stayed put long enough for me to take a picture.
On the way back, we meet a herd of Konik horses. Without their grazing, the open areas would turn into woodland in just a few years’ time.
Shhh, they have foals and mustn’t be disturbed…
Bye for now, and I hope to see you again next week. xxx