Amsterdam en Bos 2010

First some photos of Amsterdam, then of the Amsterdamse Bos

Eric at the beach

One weekend this summer it was really warm enough to go to the beach. We spent most of the time in the water rather than taking photos, but I did get this picture of Eric's feet among the many sea shells on the sea shore. These shells are mostly the former property of Ensis americanus, which, as you might guess based on the name, doesn't really belong around here.

macro shell

I did take some shells home to play with my new camera, though.

shell spectrum

Spectrum in shells.

all shells undersides

They make a colorful bunch, don't they?

species in orange

Two different species of orange shellfish. I'm not sure what species they are - there are many species on our sea shores, differentiated by notable field marks such as whether the amorphous patterns on the inside of the shell form a notch or merely vary randomly.

eric with patriotism

One of the big events of the summer was the Netherlands rise in the World Cup football (that's soccer to the Americans) championship. Neither Eric nor I are much on sports, but it's hard not to be excited when the whole country is rooting for the team. The dude crawling on the table makes a great backdrop. And the game hadn't even started yet...

eric with patriotism

He became steadily more patriotic as the night wore on. I never knew sports matches were so fun, he said. I went to a bar, got my nails painted and my hair done...



boy with valvoosala

I don't know why the valvoosla was the instrument of the 2010 World Cup, but the kids loved it. Just the kids.

sunflowers in Amsterdam

You don't like sunflowers?

No, it's not that I don't like them... I find them complex. Always somewhere between living and dying. Half human as they turn to the sun. A little disgusting. But y'know... they are a challenge.

- Vincent van Gogh, in the universe of Doctor Who

weed seeds

Another flower, far more unsung, gone to seed.

stork nests

The Netherlands does not have much in the way of forests. If the whole country were a forest it would not be a large one, and there just isn't a lot of space between the cities and farmland. This, though, seemed a little odd even by local standards. I finally figured out that they were not making a kind of Mondrian urban art forest, but were making a nesting place for storks. Note the fake stork near the back.

The second half of our trek through the Amsterdam region brings us to the Amsterdamse Bos, a park which was developed in the 1930's as part of the then-revolutionary idea that people needed green spaces to enjoy near the cities. It is half forest, half sportfield, half garden.

queen anne's lace

A macro view of the flowers of Daucus carota, also known as wilde peen (wild carrot) or Queen Anne's lace.

queen anne's lace seeds

These little three-horned Martian hedgehogs are actually the seeds of the same species.

queen anne's lace bird's nest form

A more familiar view, showing the bird's nest form of the flower.

feeding baby grebe

On the way into the forest, I was lucky enough to catch lunchtime for the grebe family (fuut in Dutch). Mom (or maybe Dad) has a fish for baby.

hunting grebe

Grebes hunt by diving underwater and looking for small fish to grab. They do not float on top of the water the way ducks do, but rather sit heavily in the water, weighted more for diving than floating.


The grebe gives the camera a suspicious look.


A passing school of fish, probably the European common carp.


Same carp.

water lilies

Water lilies

blackberry flower

Blackberry flower

bee on blackberry

I think this little guy is a member of the genus Panurgus or roetbijen (they do not seem to have a common name in English).

unknown white flowers

As-yet-unidentified white flowers. They were growing on a roughly two meter tall shrub-like thing, between the mown grass along the bike trail and the nearby sloot.

unknown bee on unknown flowers

A few moments later this little one flew into the picture. I'm not sure what he (she?) is either, or whether this is a true bee or one of the many bee-look-alikes in the insect world.

white wood-dwelling mushroom

These photos were taken in July, which is not the best time of year for mushrooms. These were growing on an uprooted tree. They could be one of the many minute Coprinus species that occur in the Netherlands, or possibly YAM (yet another Mycena).

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