Tagged: landscape

A new concrete bridge in a landscape with creeks and fields of wild flowers in the Noordwaard region in Biesbosch national park on a summer day

Two Room for the River Projects in the Netherlands

The Room for the River program came into being after the Betuwe region and a number of other places in the Netherlands were almost flooded in the mid-1990s. The central idea was to prevent future flooding, not by the usual dyke reinforcements, but by digging new river channels and redesigning the floodplains. Also nature and recreation were supposed to be given new opportunities in these developments. Have those good intentions been implemented? To check that out, I visited two Room for the River projects this summer: Noordwaard near Werkendam and IJsseldelta near Kampen. Noordwaard One could consider Noordwaard as an...

The Drowned Earth: a world map as it looks after the ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica have melted, around 4000 AD

The Drowned Earth: 4000 AD, After The Thaw

What would the world map look like if all the polar ice would melt? And how long does it take to get there? These are interesting questions now that climate change is – finally – on the political agenda. And as a cartographer, I could not resist the temptation to visualize the worst case scenario. Gravity When the Greenland ice sheet melts, the sea level rises 7 meters, when the ice melts in Antarctica it causes a rise of 58 meters. So together that makes 65 meters. But that is an average. Because something else plays a role: gravity. Such...

A rainbow behind Hallgrimskirkja, the iconic church in downtown Reykjavik, Iceland

Reykjavik in Winter

While Western Europe enjoyed a very early spring, travel companion A. and I spent a week in the capital of Iceland capital, Reykjavik. It was definitely not spring there yet, but unfortunately just not wintry enough either. There was ice on lakes, snow on the mountains, and here and there there were large heaps of snow in the street, but no fresh snow fell. Well, that means we’ll have to go back there once more. Metropolis There is something strange about Reykjavik. The city, including suburbs, has only 240,000 inhabitants, just as much as a town like Swansea. Which, by...

Wooden walkbridge through the tidal forest along the river Oude Maas near Ruigeplaatbos in the Rotterdam district of Hoogvliet

Return to Hoogvliet

The Rotterdam district of Hoogvliet, located more than ten kilometers from the city center, is a boring suburb if ever there was one. I’ve spent the first 22 years of my life there. And I was not very enthusiastic about it, to put it mildly. A town with forty thousand inhabitants, but without a theater, a cinema or other forms of culture and nightlife. And with architecture from the disastrous decades of the sixties, seventies and eighties, which did not make me happy either. Roots I don’t visit Hoogvliet very often these days; there aren’t very many people I know...

Field of salicornia in the rasta colors red, green and yellow at the beach in nature reserve Kwade Hoek on the island of Goeree-Overflakkee, with two hikers in the background

Countdown: the Ten Best Photos of 2018

For the third consequetive year I’m trying to put together a list with, in my humble opinion, the best ten photos that I made over the past twelve months. And once again that proves to be a daunting task. I made about 5,000 photographs in 2018; making the longlist (see below) was already very time-consuming. And what kind of criteria should I use to make the final list? The most useful advice I could give myself was to make a nice and diverse list, paying attention to various seasons, times and subjects. So here they are: ten pictures, each of...

Almost abstract and multicolored image of the leaves of a sweet gum tree (liquidambar styraciflua) in autumn

Liquidambar Styraciflua, in Other Words: the Sweet Gum Tree

Oddly enough, I never really noticed them until the autumn of last year and now I suddenly see them everywhere: sweet gum trees or liquidambar styraciflua. Time for a photographic tribute to the mother of all autumn trees. America The amber tree originates from the southeast of the United States, roughly from the New York – Houston – Orlando triangle. In addition styraciflua grows in higher altitudes in Central America. Chewing gum tree The English language has a lot of names for the liquidambar styraciflua. Quoting Wikipedia: American sweetgum or simply sweet gum tree, American storax, hazel pine, bilted, redgum, satin-walnut,...

Long straight road with a line of trees and a farm in the North East Polder in the Netherlands

Hiking in a Dutch Polder

The Noordoostpolder (North East Polder) is a relatively recent addition to the Netherlands; it used to be part of the former Zuiderzee estuary and has been dry land since 1942. With its long straight roads it doesn’t seem like a perfect place for a day trip and certainly not like a great place to go hiking. But of course you’ll never know for sure if you don’t try it at least once. So on October 24, partner-in-crime A. and I travelled to the polder for a trip around three places of interest: Schokland, Nagele and Urk. Planning To go by...

A prunus tree, more specifically a Japanese cherry, in bloom in springtime near Unesco world heritage Van Nelle factory in Rotterdam

Springtime in Rotterdam: Magnolia, Prunus, Robinia

For some photos the window of opportunity is very small. You have to be quick, otherwise your chance is over. Think, for example, of the increasingly rare photos of the city under a nice layer of snow. Or photos taken in the blue hour after sunset, when the circumstances change by the minute. Spring is another of those narrow windows. One moment the trees are still bare, a few days later they are full of blossoms and/or young leaves. And if you don’t act promptly, the spectacle is already over by the time you get your camera. Late Spring was a...

Longlist of 120 photos nominated for the top 10 of best photos of 2017

Countdown: the Ten Best Photographs of 2017

Just like in 2016, I wanted to present a top-10 of my favorite photos of the year. And like last year that appeared to be a daunting task. In 2017 I took over 6,000 photos; that makes about 20 per day. When I tried to make a longlist, it still contained 120 photos: When choosing the final ten I mainly tried to create a nice selection, with a spread over seasons, locations, themes and parts of the day. It hurts that countless beautiful, sometimes even legendary, photos have not made it to the top 10. But actually that is also...

A freshly fallen leaf of a sweetgum tree, red with some yellow, in the grass in autumn

Looking Back at the Photographic Autumn of 2017

When does autumn begin and end? The answer depends on whether you ask an astronomer or a meteorologist. Equinox and solstice The astronomical autumn begins with the autumn equinox, the moment that day and night, everywhere on Earth, have the same length. Autumn ends with the winter solstice, better known as the shortest day. In 2017, autumn officially started on 22 September at 20.01 Central European Time; the end is scheduled for December 21, 16.18. Because the length of a year on our planet (and actually on almost every other planet) is not an exact number of days, the times...