Wednesday, 21 October 2020

A voyage through nature

Yesterday I showed you the village of Giethoorn. Which was formed by removing the turf and so forming canals. They did this not only in what is now the village, but also the surrounding area. The bits left between the canals however, weren't always that wide and definitely not that sturdy, so on occasion a bit would fall in the canal.

Until there were some big storms and whole areas of turfy dikes were washed away and several lakes were formed. Not deep: about 1 to 1.20 m (3-4 feet) deep at its maximum. They made it a bit harder for the farmers of the village to get their cattle from one field to the next, but punting their way across the lake was still done, even with a cow or two in it!

Smaller lakes within the ditched area

One other thing happening in the area is the harvesting of reed. At first it was only done by the farmers for the farmers. To cover their homes as it was the poor man's roof covering. Over the years it changed and there are now several local companies who own most of it and harvest from November to April. And apparently it's some of the best reed in the world, beating the Chinese, Japanese and Russian reed.

The reeds aren't ready yet: still a bit green
However, not all of the small dikes were demolished in the storms and there is still a whole area that is turfy land with plenty of ditches. About 125 in total, making it a haven for fish, birds, mammals and unfortunately poachers. 

Yes, that white blob is a white egret

We didn't see any fish, as the water is quite murky (turf will do that), but we saw plenty of geese, a swan or two, some herons and some white egret. Ducks were there as well, but one bird has completely disappeared over the last few years: the Eurasian coot. Nobody is sure why, but the geese have made the area into a permanent home and perhaps they have ruined it for the coots?

The sharpest of the lot

The area houses a few mammals, most notable hares, otters and deer. One lady and I spotted the ears of a hare (we think), but were not able to see him properly. Otters were notoriously absent, as they hunt mostly at night. But we did see deer. First two and then further along another three. I have a great camera, but I didn't manage to really get them properly, which says everything of my photographic abilities.

Some cattle (young bulls) grazing in the area

The whole area is part of a nature reserve as well, and the main mode of transport is electric boats, no filthy emissions and hardly any sound.


  1. Between the smaller lakes picture and the next text, there is some text missing.

  2. Hari OM
    Hehe, noted Gera's comment - for I did think there was a 'leap' in information regarding the thatching reeds... but I managed to put it together in my head! This place looks fabulous and I love that electric boats are in use. YAM xx

    1. There was. I think I started it at some point, deleted it and didn't go back to it. Have now put an extra sentence in to clear it up.

  3. What an interesting place to visit. Thanks for taking us along and teaching us about the area.

  4. Thanks for the tour and the interesting information about the area.

  5. Replies
    1. It is, especially with the weather being fantastic on the day I went. The nature area is part of a large national park as well, which would also be something worthwhile visiting soon.

  6. A lot of beauty to take in in only one day Thanks for sharing.

  7. Caught up with this and the Venice of the North...absolutely stunning!! And I'm so glad the weather was nice for you
    Hugs Cecilia


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