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|
|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.