They are normally not seen in the wild but the place where I grew up, Ermelo in Swampyland, was once surrounded by duck farms and occasionally one escaped. I reckon that still happens.
The Great Crested Grebe is one of my favourite birds to photograph, especially when the light is right and I have tried to take good pictures of them for years.
But, when the opportunity comes, they usually dive right under at the precise moment you press the button of your camera. Not this evening though, I got lucky.
As the mother was sitting on the eggs in her nest daddy had gone out for food and as a very overcautious dad he stayed near the love of his life and gave me a chance to shoot these three beauties you see below.
From the three choices, Land, Water and Sky they can only pick two: swimming and flying, they can’t walk on land. One of my friends told me.
Sometimes I feel the need to shout Hatley! Hatley! All change at Hatley! This is station Hatley!
But don’t fear, I only have that when there’s no one else around.
This bus is like a bread tin
Now the bus driver will shout
Yes this is the end of the line
And the sun is brightly shining
So go and get your buns out
We had been driving for hours that day to the hotel near the airport in Belgium as we had to catch the early flight to Barcelona the next day and it had been hot and dusty all afternoon.
That evening we went for a pizza and a large cold root beer followed by a walk in a deserted industrial area where this hotel was situated.
The object in this picture is a well known thing in Swampyland and it’s called an ANWB Toadstool (The Dutch word for Mushroom is Toadstool). ANWB is a Dutch organisation for tourism and traffic, like the AA in England.
This morning I was woken up brutally when outside chain saws were started and a tree shredder behind a tractor started rattling, chewing on tree branches. A few days before I received a letter from the city council announcing that maintenance works would be carried out on the wood bank opposite our house as it hadn’t been done properly in the last years.
The noise didn’t alarm me in the first place, I just got up and got dressed and went downstairs for breakfast. But when I looked outside the living room window on the first floor I was shocked to see they were cutting all the trees down. Seeing them fall even made me cry, how on earth could they do such a thing? How immensely cruel this is!
The reverend was always there to greet you at the doorsteps and the heating was never turned off in winter, may the warmth of the Lord lure you in here he used to say with a big smile on his face at the entrance of a country church somewhere in Norfolk.
The Pastor had Dutch roots and he even knew a few Dutch words like “Hoe gaat het?”, -“How are you?” that he had learned from his great parents.
In the good old days of analogue photography you were extra careful not to waste an exposure, especially when you were young and always short of money. My first camera was a Praktica MTL-5, a robust East German Single Lens Reflex camera of good quality.
I bought it second hand from a Navy Pastor who had just bought a brand new camera with much better and electronic options as he was a keen photographer. But just as happy as he was with his new camera, so was I with the still perfect old one he sold me for a more than fair price, it was a bargain for a seventeen year old boy.
Look to the sky! “Jesus is coming!”
This is the first line of one of my favourite songs sung by the American Christian Blues singer Larry Howard a long time ago.
I lost the record years ago before I got married but the song remained in my memory and every now and then I missed that music reminiscing about the past, a bit sad. I’ve looked for it online, it’s not on Spotify and the CD can’t be bought in music stores anymore as it’s been sold out for many years.
But today is an especially happy event as I am listening to this music again, thanks to my friend Leon who delivered a CD as a present through the letterbox. Thank you Leon for this special gift, it means the world to me.