DAY 31 Holes

All is said and done, another year is over. Lots of hollow words have been expressed, like holes drilled in a tree, that’s almost gone. Will these fleeting things stand the test of time or will it fall down ? Will it be fruitful and produce new life for insects or birds or just collapse and disintegrate? Time alone will tell…

DAY 29 Deer

It’s always exhilarating to have an encounter with one or more deer. And here in Zeeland you can see plenty of them, roe deer as well as fallow deer. The advantage here is you’ve got a lot of time to observe them, because they’re quite used to people. I wondered why it always gives me a magical feeling watching these magnificent animals. Maybe because meeting a wild animal awaken emotions that relate to my primal being, makes a sort of connection which makes me feel blissful.

DAY 28 Lichen

Lichen I like very much. First of all, because there are so many varieties in all sorts of colours. I’m not a lichen expert, so I’m afraid I can’t tell you which kind I took a picture of, but that’s not the point. If you observe the beauty of it, it’s really amazing. The intricacy of the plant (or actually it’s a symbiosis between fungi and algae) is quite striking. And it feels nice too.

DAY 27 Pink

Another natural pinkish red colour are these old acorns you can find in areas with mature oak trees. When acorns are lying on the ground for some weeks or months, they begin to dry out and open up (or get eaten bij rodents or jays) and start turning pink or even red. It’s quite a nice colour. So when you are walking in the woods with a lot of oak trees you can find your path littered with glimpses of pink and red, which can make your day a bit brighter yet again.

DAY 26 Pine

For a real Christmassy nature experience you can pick some fresh green pine needles and bruise them a bit between your fingers, then open your hand and smell… You can also pick some spruce needles (which is the actual Christmas tree that stands in our houses nowadays), but to me spruce is a bit too pungent. The gentle pine scent takes me back to memories of decorating the Christmas tree in my home, where it is cosy and warm.

DAY 25 Robin

Thinking about something fitting for Christmas from nature, I thought a robin would be perfect. It’s a bird which is associated with Christmas a lot, because of its vivid red coloured brest and it’s one of the few birds you can still hear singing in wintertime. And since we have our own robin who regards our garden as his territory, it should be easy to spot and capture on camera. The only thing is, it’s moving around very quickly, so it’s not the best shot I’m afraid. But happy Christmas to you, anyway!

DAY 24 Droppings

You may not like the sight of these black shiny droppings, but I always love to see them, because it means I am walking in the footsteps of one or more roe deer. Very often, if you pay attention you can find more signs of their presence, like footprints or bits of bark scraped from trees or twigs. These droppings actually look very much like a popular Dutch sweet, called ‘drop’ – similar to liqourice – but I wouldn’t recommend eating them.

DAY 23 Fire

Metaphorically speaking the world may be on fire these days, but today the sky was on fire. And what a spectacular sight it was: a blazing setting sun illuminating the clouds. I could watch this show all the way till sundown. And what a treat that was, since there are no shows to go to nowadays.

DAY 22 Ivy

Today I looked at another evergreen, ivy. Just like holly, ivy is very useful for birds as it bears berries in winter and it provides shelter as well. Ivy also symbolizes Mary, the mother of Jesus, which can be heared in the Christmas carol ‘The holly and the ivy’. So ivy is a very Chrismassy plant, which I love.