As the sun sets over South Holland

A Great New Adventure Out West starts. More on that later, but for now a small visual tribute to two places very dear to me: a place that taught me how to be a scientist, and a place that stole my heart.

rotown from Fenix

The view from a place I loved to watch the sun go down, perhaps a place known for its touch of champagne socialism, but boy what a fantastic spot. And what about this one, though perhaps not Oxford’s ‘Bridge of Sighs‘ this was taken from, the view is a more majestic one if you ask me:

Euromastjestic

There I so many things that I could, maybe should, or probably wish I had written about the city of Rotterdam, the city which I had come to call my home during the final stretch of my PhD (and, what turned out to be my final time in The Netherlands, that is). I wanted to have written how I truly love the fact that in many ways this place was the proud antipode to Amsterdam, an unpolished diamond, a harbor city and a place with rough edges, yet culturally rich and beautiful at its core not unlike the beloved city of my teenage years, Antwerp; how this place cuts strait through a lot of the BS so adorned in the capital, a place of doing instead of talking about doing; how it is the only city in the country that has a true metropolitan feel; how, unlike other Dutch cities, this place did not give me the sense of being a mere spectator in my own country, and so on and so forth. In short, how by a historic and gruesome twist of fate this city had become the non-conformist rebel of the Low Countries, and how this place finally made me feel truly at home in my country of birth for the first time in my life. But as with so many things floating around in one’s head, only minute fractions end up in writing. Perhaps for the better, as I was probably too busy enjoying life. Anyway, enough rambling, let’s let the pics do some of the talking: Continue reading “As the sun sets over South Holland”

Death by fungicide

talk about having an off day
Talk about having an off day.

Stumble upon Sunday. This reminded me of a fascinatingly morbid BBC (earth?) series. A fungus that takes over control of an insect brain, directs it towards an area optimally humid for fungal growth, lets the zombified critter bite down into a leaf to anchor it in place, then finally kills and devours it. How on earth does this work? How does something like this evolve? In any case: it makes for great pictures, as Alex Wild shows.

That time when there was too much magic in your mushroom

Biggen in het bos

Oink.

Langzaam maar zeker lijkt de lente in Nederland toch echt door te dringen. Dat is niet alleen aan de voorzichtig stijgende temperatuur te merken, maar ook aan de ontluikende natuur. Dit schept – in combinatie met mijn eveneens ontluikende interesse in natuur/wildfotografie – mogelijkheden. En waar zou dit beter benut kunnen worden dan op de Veluwe? Vandaar dat ik afgelopen zaterdag onder de bezielende begeleiding van Liesbeth van Asselt in het Aardhuis te vinden was. De eerste frislingen zijn in dit in het kroondomein gelegen wildpark al geboren, wat prachtige taferelen oplevert. Een kleine sfeerimpressie:

Continue reading “Biggen in het bos”