At a small dairy farm …

Photography

A story in pictures. The English text will follow shortly.

Een fotoverhaal over een kleinschalige zuivelboerderij in Zuid-Holland. De foto’s zijn gemaakt tijdens een workshop Storytelling op 18 september 2021, met Bart van Engeldorp Gastelaars als docent (PhotoUnited, Picturing Wildlife).

Wat voor kaas wordt hier precies gemaakt, en wat doen de koeien daarvoor?

Allereerst: zonder kalfjes geen melk.

In september knorren de magen van de koeien al voor zonsopgang. De brokken en het hooi worden zeer gewaardeerd en de camera wordt scherp in de gaten gehouden.

Op deze mistige morgen komt het polderlandschap langzaam in beeld.

Opstellen in rijen van drie voor het melken.

De deugd staat in het midden.

Na het melken volgt de gang naar de wei van vandaag.

Op het land begint een dag vol vers gras.

Dit alles gaat vooraf aan de bereiding van boter, karnemelk en Boeren Leidse met Sleutels …

… die later zijn karakteristieke roodbruine coating krijgt.


EINDE


Kijk, op weg naar de wei kwam ze nog even langs, met haar lieve ogen en verwonderde uitdrukking.

Birds of prey – workshop

Photography
Wing of a Siberian uhu

We human beings are on a journey evolving (back) into unconditional love, or unconditional acceptance. Animals (other than human beings) help us on our journey – if we are willing to be aware of this, and are willing to be taught by them.* They are far more intelligent and conscious than we have been led to believe, and this includes our pets and livestock. Even some ‘wild’ animals agree (at some level of consciousness) to be tamed and be dependent on humans.

The day before yesterday I did a workshop photographing birds of prey. I felt a little ambivalent about meeting these birds, because these were not animals in the wild – yet if they had been, I would not have been able to observe them up-close.

To me, birds of prey represent a fierce concentration, and a keen sense of timing. They observe, wait for the right moment, and then strike with a swift kill.

Barn owl

I’m grateful to the people at Fotovillage and Valkenvlucht for organising a workshop with these magnificent birds. It was quite funny to see all these men – and two women including myself – prostrating in the grass or on their knees in front of the birds, admiring them and aiming for the best shot. Not with bullets, spears or nets, fortunately, but with our cameras.

It was great to see these beautiful animals fly. Taking pictures, I concentrated on enjoying their beauty up-close when they were sitting on their perch. I used my Canon 700D camera & Sigma 105mm F2:8 OS DG Macro HSM lens. Follow the links in the list below to a few portraits, and/or scroll down for some other impressions.

Thank you, magnificent birds of prey.


Barn owl
Bateleur
Bald eagle
Harris’s hawk

*) Do animals really teach us anything? For instance, check out this video. It is an extract from a longer documentary that you can buy here, and that covers work by Anna Breitenbach (click here for her website animalspirit.org).


Barn owl

Chestnut buds

Photography

Chestnut buds opening up fill me with wonder. The leaves enclose the flower buds like little hands, unfolding one by one. How cherished these flower buds must feel.

Finally, just before the flowers open, the tree show off its leaves like lovely drapes of fresh green cloth.

Arboretum Poort-Bulten, De Lutte (NL) – April 7, 2020.
The last picture was made on April 21, 2021.

Pretty in Pink

Photography

April 2020. These cherry blossoms were photographed during a lovely walk in Arboretum Poort-Bulten (De Lutte, NL) with my niece. They remind me of the movie ‘Pretty in Pink’.

The full blossoms are light pink, but the flower buds that come first have a much darker tone of pink. Below a picture of the same tree in April 2021, this time with green grass in the background. In this cluster of flower and leave buds, the leaves are just about to show themselves and point towards us.

Atalanta

Photography

A Vanessa atalanta butterfly on a yellow Buddleja (xweyeriana ‘Sungold’). Apparently, the English name of this butterfly is ‘the red admiral’.

The Sigma lens on my camera offers the beautiful bokeh that creates a kind of transparency in the background. Of course, in downsizing the image for use on this website some of the lustre in the original was lost.