Hoge Veluwe September 2009

The Hoge Veluwe is the national park in the groene hart of the Netherlands. About 1500 years ago it was farmland. By 1000 years ago, overfarming caused the land to convert to a slowly-expanding desert. Around 100 years ago, the spread of the desert was reversed by reforesting the area around it. Around 10 years ago, they figured out that the reclaiming of the desert had been so successful that the desert would disappear if they didn't intervene, so now they carefully pluck trees to keep a tiny desert habitat in the center of the forest. Oh, and it also has an art museum in the middle with more Van Goghs than the Van Gogh museum.

Amanita sp.

We don't have any camping gear on this side of the pond, so we decided to stay at B&B De Conifeer in Otterlo, just outside of the Veluwe. We arrived shortly before dark and noticed this little guy growing under one of the trees outside. The greenish color on the gills is an artifact - I had it setting on a sheet of green plastic so it woudln't shed mud on the nice B&B tablecloth. Note the striations on the veil and the reddish tinge to the stalk.

Amanita sp.

The warts give it away as an Amanita, the fact that the warts are small and tightly adhered, along with the hints of pink on the cap, make it fairly likely that this is an Amanita rubescens. Unfortunately the base of the stalk broke off, so I couldn't get a good look at the base. There did not appear to be any pinkish staining to the broken stalk flesh, though, which is the hallmark of rubescens. It certainly looks much too cherubic to be an Amanita panterina though.

A. muscaria troupe

There are certainly plenty of Amanitas about. Walking to the park entrance, we found a small front garden which was nearly bursting with the photogenic A. muscaria.

A. muscaria

Another view on the dinner-plate-sized example from the bunch.

A. muscaria on white

This one looks quite graceful, with its long skirt and nestled among the white leaves.

A. muscaria button

A perfect, apple-like A. muscaria button. Some day I may get in Gimp and take out that stick that's in the way.


I haven't been able to figure out what these are. They look basically like Laetiorus sulphureus, but are not yellow enough. They are growing on dead wood, and at a guess would prefer to be growing on vertical dead wood, in a more shelf-like configuration than the funnel-like forms which have arisen here. They might be Meripilus giganteus, but the pores in the photos of that species look much larger than these, which are so tiny as to be invisible.


I didn't get a look at the gills of this one, but if I were to guess, I'd guess it's in the Pluteus genus. It was growing a few feet away from the polypores in the above picture.

Hypholoma sp.

I meant to take a photo of the orange mushrooms, but the camera chose to focus on the dewy grass. I rather like the effect.

Hypholoma sp.

This is more the shot I had in mind. These are probably Hypholoma sublateritium, an edible varient of the sulpher tuft. However, as you can see by comparing the size to the grassblades in this picture, I don't imagine very many people will bother experimenting with the edibility of this species.

Hypholoma sp.

They sure are prolific, though. This is the next root clump down the road, bursting with Hypholomas.

Cantharellus cibarus

Could it be? Cantharellus cibarus, the chanterelle, is very rare in the Netherlands, primarily due to overharvesting. But these tiny orange buttons sure looked like my familiar orange chanterelles. Sure enough, setting the camera on the ground for a peek under the cap shows folds rather than true gills, confirming that these are in the Cantharellus family, and their orange folds makes them almost certain to be true chanterelles. Fortunately these are relatively safe in the Veluwe.


Suddenly, the forest thins and we come out onto the desert.

3 trees

It is mostly scrubland, but each tree seems to be surrounded by a congregation of green.


Did I mention that we were touring the Veluwe by bike?

tree and statue

In the middle of the desert stands this statue of Christiaan de Wet. He was a general in the South African wars, fighting on the side of the South Africans against the British. His statue was placed here because the place is reminescent of the African landscape. And is it ever! Note the sand around the base of the statue. We know that this desert was created by human impact on the land. Was the African desert created the same way? The resemblence to the African savannah is haunting.

Boletus sp.

This large bolete was growing just on the edge of the sand, under the leading edge of trees. I suspect it is a Boletus reticulatus, although it could be a dry and cracked example of any number of other boletes.

Lactarius sp.

In the Northwestern forest I would have called this a Lactarius deliciosus without any hesitation, but that is also a rare species here. I remember it as being more orange than this photo indicates, but the list of orangey-pink blue-green staining Lactarius species that grow in the Netherlands is not long, and all are rather rare. Lactarius semisanguifluus, the dusky red milk cap, is another possibility. In case you are wondering, they were growing along the side of the path and several had been kicked over. I moved the broken ones into the photo with the intact specimen in order to show the gills and blue bruising.

Jachthuis garden

The Jachthuis Sint Hubertus, the hunting lodge Sint Hubertus, was the home of the Veluwe's founder, Mr. Kröller. Anton Kröller was a very wealthy businessman who loved to hunt, his wife Helene Kröller-Müller loved art. Mr. Kröller secured the land for the nature preserve, Mrs. Kröller-Müller bought a steady stream of contemporary art with the intent of forming a museum which captured the Netherlands of their time. Of course, contemporary for the Kröller-Müllers was the height of impressionism, the start of surrealism, and much of the career of Vincent Van Gogh.

lady statue in the Jachthuis garden

The park has rather a lot of weird art. The garden of the Jachthuis is no exception. Eric noted that this statue has very prominant nipples. I note that it has a rabid monkey trying to eat her robe.

stained glass in the Jachthuis

The Jachthuis is open to tours. This is a collage of my photos of the stained glass in the entryway. The edelhert met een lichtend kruis in het gewei, or red deer with a lighted cross in its antlers, is a symbol which is repeated throughout the house. The house was designed by the famous Dutch architecht Hendrik Berlage, and the house itself forms the head of a deer if viewed from the air. The story of Sint Hubertus goes that young Hubert loved to hunt, and did little else. On Good Friday, he was pursuing a stag when it turned, and to his surprise, he saw a cross between its antlers. He heard a voice which said, Hubert, unless you change your life, you shall go quickly to hell. He dismounted, and asked what he should do, and was instructed to go to Lambert for instruction. Lambert was then the bishop of Maastricht, and so Hubert gave all his possessions to charity and went on to become a very popular and eloquent priest, and after his death, the patron saint of hunters, mathematicians, opticians, and metalworkers. The three stained glass windows depict the savage and difficult life of the wild animals, the salvation of Hubert, and the redeemed and peaceful life of the animals afterward.

Jachthuis dining room

Everything in the house was planned by Berlage, from the lighting and furniture to what sort of art would occupy specific spaces in the house. This is the dining room, overlooking the lake.

owl sculpture Jachthuis

Berlage said that because the house was situated in nature, nature must be echoed inside. Thus there is a lot of woodwork, and many sculptures of animals, particularly birds. The house was very high-tech for its time, including electricity, steam heating, and centrally synchronized clockworks. I think I have to agree with Berlage in the beauty of nature and technology side by side.

hawk sculpture Jachthuis

The piece on the opposite side of the room from the owl. Both of these pieces sit in the smoking room, the mens' sitting room. There is extra ventilation in this room to take the smoke away.

guest room Jachthuis

Of course, there are some drawbacks to having a great artist design your house. For Berlage the house was a work of art. For the Kröller-Müllers, it was their house, and they had to live in it. This room proved to be the undoing of that tenuous union of goals. Mrs. Kröller-Müller wanted a bay window here in the guest room, so that someone standing in the window could see past the borders of the house to take in the beautiful view. Berlage would have nothing of this, as the floor plan would then be assymetrical. Neither one would give in, and eventually Berlage quit working on the house. The trouble was, no one would risk Berlage's wrath by finishing his work. So the house stood uncompleted for several years. Finally, Henry Van de Velde finished the job... with the bay window in the guest room. I also wonder what Berlage thought of Mrs. Kröller-Müller's thing for the very fashionable Oriental art.

duck sculpture Jachthuis

A duck sculpture, overlooking the lake from the dining room.

Jachthuis Sint Hubertus

And a duck outside, overlooking the lake and the Jachthuis. Berlage would be pleased.

Boletus erythropus

This is the first red-pored bolete I've seen! It was growing on the corner between two trails, which probably explains why one of its number was kicked. I'm not sure exactly what species it is... it most closely resembles the photos of Boletus erythropus, but this species' flesh is supposed to turn blue quickly upon exposure to air... and as is visible on the smaller mushroom in this photo, there are slug-chewed areas of the mushroom which reveal yellow (distinclty non-blue) flesh. Perhaps the gentle nibbling of slug lips doesn't trigger the blueing reaction... a shoe-mark at the base of the stalk distinctly had turned blue. It doesn't have the fat stalk and pale cap characteristic of B. satanas, nor the blood-red stalk of B. rhodopurpureus. The other possibility is that it is a species which is not listed in my book.

Boletus edulis

And, growing just a few feet away, this ... whose identity is indisputable.

B. edulis

Apparently in the Netherlands, B. edulis are mycorrhizal with bicycles.

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