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woensdag 30 april 2014

My backyard


When I walk out the street where I live there is a path, the border path. Where I come from: the Netherlands. The fields and meadows in front: Belgium. Thanks to the hick-ups of history I live in the Netherlands, a divided Limburg, as should Maastricht belong to Belgium in the first place, but the ruling powers of the 18hundred’s decided otherwise. A strange shape like a penis as a symbol for Holland's penetration in the southern countries; We won’t give up, because we can, but they could not, and now borders are fading, but the horses in the meadows don’t mind. They are hugged by anyone who passes: Dutch or Belgium's, or even foreigners...


One can see the landscape and some wild aspects, as a scenery of no-one knew where it belonged. Still farmland, but also unplanned trails, only kept by those who walk the walk. Old smuggler-routes, where once the butter moved from N to B, and cigarettes traveled the other way. Smoking was still cheap in those days, but in Belgium even cheaper. And the butter; well, the Dutch are famous for their cows: that is why.



It is good soil for fruit, where I live; cherries, apples, pears, even grapes to grow, and to drink the bottled wine of this area. Become drunk and walk with me, explore the hills, but also the cross over the canal. And if you fall, it does not matter; the water is deep. Just don’t hit a boat or ship, but swim back ashore, and shake your winery head, the water out of your eyes, from your hair, and climb up the steep marl slope that brings you back on the road again.









dinsdag 29 april 2014

Inspection tour Wolder

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How fast does Spring develop this year? On a regular basis I check the paths and trails where I expect rare plants or extraordinary blooming, and it goes fast this year. So much, so rich already, because some weeds that bloom in June f.e., are already blossoming. It is weird, but true. There is one special path that colored over a hundred yards fully red because of the enormous amount of poppies, and it looks to be same this year. Some are flourishing, but there are so many stems with knots… For YouTube result go to: inspection tour Wolder

zaterdag 26 april 2014

Ero portraits

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A collection of erotic portraits, based on photo's and worked in Illustrator, Photoshop, with use of self-developed filters. Digital Art in optima forma, or what one can do with some software, where ancient painters need weeks to get the same result. The question rises of course: What has more value: the hard labour of the past, or the idea to create…? For an optimum result visit YouTube: Ero Portraits

vrijdag 25 april 2014

Louwberg inspection

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A Spring walk over Louw hill, to inspect the ongoing growing and blooming progression this ridiculous warm season brings us. It is beautiful outside, but what is the prize for such a miraculous no-Winter year? No one knows for sure, but seeing the signs in other parts of the world, then possibly these extremes will fry or freeze us in the end… For YouTube result go to: Louwberg inspection

zaterdag 19 april 2014

Tongeren

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A town founded by the Romans, and the oldest of Belgium. Once it was a fortification alongside the heir road from Cologne to the North of France and the North sea. Parts of those Roman walls are still there; also a re-constructed Roman temple. Tongeren breaths ancient Celtic-Roman culture. To experience this just walk through the center, or visit the Gallo-Roman museum. For the best video quality go to YouTube: Tongeren

dinsdag 15 april 2014

Veldwezelt

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A walk in border-land, between the Netherlands and Belgium, alongside the Albert canal; the water-route from Antwerp to Liege and vv. Veldwezelt is a part of Lanaken, a larger municipal at the Limburgian border, the border that cuts the old duchy in two, but also an area with a lot of historical sites. 50,000 years ago Neanderthal people lived here, and it was an important area in the 2nd world war. For the best result go to YuouTube: Veldwezelt

zaterdag 12 april 2014

Botanical Garden

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A photo compilation of a walk to a hereby Botanical Garden, just across the Jeker river, with only flora and fauna (insects and amphibious) from the immediate surroundings. A trip, a terrace and learning curve, together with my wife, to see what is already blooming early in such a special environment. For the best result, go to YouTube: Botanical Garden

donderdag 10 april 2014

Wolder; a short walk through the fields


It is a cloudy day in this early Spring; a Spring that defeated the stronger Winter, took its place and welcomed itself with an abundance of flowers that should normally be under a deck of snow. A bird lands fast on the young field, searching for food; a worm or insects, and the wind blows to add more life to the pictures I take.


But the grass is till thick and darkgreen as it should be in Winter; however, young sprouts are coming up, leaves already color the bare branches, and it will be a good meadow to graze the cattle this year.


Alongside Vroenhoven-trail trees are blossoming; cherries and apples. The owner hopes that frost will stay away, and I hope with him, following the route through greener then green; the paths dry already; no mud sticks to my shoes that I have to scrape off after I’m back home, because I won’t go home, but visiting friends later, after my daily walk.


It is not easy with the little camera I always carry, to take shots of the flowers I meet besides the paths I choose: wild carrot, and the rare yellow henbit. Not in this area where whole parts color yellow, and almost one has to search for the blue and white varieties.


The fields color white from the fruit trees where this land is famous for. At the slopes of the hills, in the valleys; even vineyards at such northern hemisphere; but some of the wines are famous, even outside Europe, as famous as the fruit that grows here, and is exported all over the world.


It is calm in the valley, maybe because it is a ordinary day in the week, or maybe because we have had sunnier days this Winter, with temperatures around 20 degrees Celsius. But it is lovely to walk in this silence; the bark of a farm dog in the distance; the wind that moves the trees and bushes.



Then I bend to the right, back to the village, the houses, the streets and traffic, and follow the road until I find the friend’s house, and ring











woensdag 9 april 2014

Tongeren

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Belgium's oldest town, founded by the Romans as a fortification on their heir road from Cologne to Bologne-sur-Mere, now a shopping center for the surrounding area, but their is still a lot of antiques to see; as the leftovers of the Roman town wall, for example, or within the Gallo-Roman museum's several changing exhibitions per year. For the best quality go to YouTube: Tongeren

zondag 6 april 2014

Louwberg

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The first of a range, seen from my house; a slow climb to Apostelhoeve, a winery, one of more in the surroundings. This is the vineyard area of the Netherlands, on the same latitude as the North of France, but it is also land for walkers with the many hills as leftovers of deep cutting rivers like the Jeker and the Meuse. Just watch the photo compilation, and for the best experience go to YouTube: Louwberg

zaterdag 5 april 2014

Kanne

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One of Belgium's most beautiful villages, situated between Mount Saint Peter, Mount Canne, and the Albert canal. A village at the end of the Jeker valley, at one of Netherlands most beautiful edges. Have fun to visit it and enjoy the natural beauty of a tiny town with a famous chapel; the chapel of the holy grave. For the best quality and result go to YouTube: Kanne

vrijdag 4 april 2014

An alternative hill walk V


Mount Saint Peter, but the lower slope, I hope, after enough climbing for one day. The mark of big rocks everywhere in the landscape, and I don’t know where they came from; leftovers from the last ice age perhaps?


It is a different and unmarked path that I saw before, and I am curious to find out where it will lead me. A stack of just cut wood, done by those who preserve. If it is really necessary; who knows. I think this refuge: Mount Saint Peter, is large enough to maintain itself, but who am I; just a trotter who loves to be in nature...


The path steeps up, and I start to believe to know where it will lead me. Still open; a trail with a view on the Jeker valley; can I spot the houses, the mansions on the banks of the shallow river. On the other side the high slope of the Mount, that becomes less higher while I walk and climb...


There is present waiting for me: marl caves that I saw before from above, but this time I will pass them. They are fenced; it is not allowed to approach nearer. Afraid that some-one gets lost in the many corridors? Or is it a reserve for birds or bats? The Mount is wounded here; blocks cut out of the marl stone to build houses; but not as wounded as the other side where marl is mined in an industrial way.


What is that shelter as a leftover from some war, and now a house for foxes, I presume? Concrete blocks and shelves puzzled together as a cabin. One could live here. There is room enough inside, but I will keep paying my rent, and leave this to the family who claimed it already...


Early March, and trees already blossoming. What is going on that we break climate record after record? As I suspected I find my way on a well known spot: the ridge of Mount Saint Peter, with the landmarks, the shields that show the way and tell me that Nice (France) is about 2800 km walking. Too much for today; too much for what is left of my live. I keep it simple stupid, and want to find my way back home, but as much as possible over paths I did not trot yet.


Downhill again over a muddy, slippery trail, and even here are buildings. The Netherlands are too filled with too many people. There is not much nature left. When I was a child, about some 7 million people less, I played in the forests, often alone, and saw no person, which is near to impossible today.


Down there is Maastricht; Saint Peter’s quarter, above it: farmland, a desolate pond for frogs maybe, although I do not hear a sound. A strange landmark, that does not make sense to me. For what? Half a circle stones and pebbles.


Down again at the Jeker river, approaching the area where there are more people than trees. I know it: once I cross the Lombok slot, I’m almost home: a relive, because I am tired, but a feeling of sadness as well: every walk comes to an end, leads back home, where ever you live…