Dark, Dutch winters…

I’ve been complaining about it enough, but it’s often so dark during winter. However, Kim and I managed to catch some sunshine on a cycle ride in between the rain showers.   Okay, so I must admit I’ve fallen in love with the muted winter colours a bit. At least when the sun is shining. That low, golden light on the reed, the subtle blue and grey shades of the endless skies…


Freshly plowed clay. Yes, the Netherlands are actually this flat *grin* At least in our river lands it is. In the back left you can see the first ripples of the Utrechtse Heuvelrug. Be warned, though, non-Dutchies: our definition of “hill” probably differs a lot from yours: they’re not higher than about 50 meters here.

  Bulrush. What an ugly name… We call this plant “lisdodde”, and those lovely brown things “rietsigaar” (reed sigar).

It seems like an endless winter… but the temperatures have been off, which shows in the plants and trees.

  Dude, stop it. Not spring yet. It’ll probably start freezing again at some point before april and you’ll lose all your buds.

    Seriously dude, stop it.

What to do in dark weather? That’s right, crochet!

I’d made a cowl with the lovely teesdale handspun, but I wasn’t too pleased with it. I’ve been thinking about what to do with just one skein of yarn. Quite difficult actually, since I never have that little.

Eventually I decided to knit fingerless mitts out of them. Tried to follow a pattern, got annoyed and am now just making it up as I go along.

Another thing to do during the dark days: help topping off the willows in our lovely river forelands.

We also helped prune the hawthorns, which is a difficult and painful task. I ended up with three thorns stuck in my leg. Not so funny – they were about three centimetres long. The wounds have healed better than I expected though, so I was lucky.

Evil hawthorn. I do like that it is also called may-tree in English. In Dutch it’s a “meidoorn” – a maythorn, if you will. I actually really like the shrubs, but those thorns are wicked bad.

Oh well, it got it’s revenge for having its limbs chopped off…

Cycling along the dike

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What lovely spring weather these past few weeks! The dog and I are thoroughly enjoying the sun – and all the little suns in the grass! It’s dandelion time, one of my favorite parts of the year. And just look at how lush that grass is getting… Working from home definitely has its perks. Eventually Kim and I couldn’t resist the lure of the sunshine any longer. I grabbed my bike and we raced along the dike.

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The willows are slowly but surely filling in. And everything is starting to smell again! I mean that in a good way. You only realise when spring comes round again, that nothing smells like anything in winter. Suddenly the air is filled with fragrant scents (which may or may not make you sneeze).

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Of course we had to park the bike and just sit for a while in the grass, because, y’know, grass. Kim immediately ran off to the shade, since all that cycling had gotten her quite hot. I tried to lure her back to me for a picture in the sun and in the middle of the dandelions.

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Gotcha! Or at least, so I thought.

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The moment I told her she could go, she grabbed my stick and ran off with it back to the shade. There she started chewing on it, quite pleased with herself.

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Okay fine, dog,the bosswoman will stick to her own toy then. Just look at all the bright greens!

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The cuckoo-flowers are hot on the heels of the dandelions, this year.

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Okay, fine, because she’s so very photogenic:

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Isn’t she the most gorgeous dog you’ve ever laid eyes on?

Okay, shut up, I’m her bossmom, I’m allowed to think that.

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There are some very cute lambs leaping about in the field close to our home. Just look at that bunch. They’re not at all afraid of Kim, either. She’s totally bummed by that. Sheep are there to chase after. You’re not supposed to be followed around by them!

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I don’t mind, though. Look at that face! I wonder if I can fit it underneath my coat and sneak it off?

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