Turkaa: intertwined life
In the Netherlands where I live human structures and nature reserves are strongly entangled. It is an intricate patchwork of land and water. Between crowded cities and villages small nature development areas arise, just like a little stamp on an huge envelope. In these tiny nature development areas human presence and nature can be seen quite clearly in landscape elements, like in the area of Turkaa, Diessen. Turkaa is surrounded by farms, plantations, small country roads, fishing decks and other structures. In this ongoing project that I started in 2022 I want to show how closely I am bonded with nature in my home village, hoping people recognize this bonding. Home town nature may inspire art and how we perceive the world around us and treat the world around us. Therefore, it is not just nature; human presence is inevitable in these areas, in the end it is intertwined life.
Embrace the woods
No. 2: I have created a double exposure image of 5 images (in camera) to show the entanglement of the branches of the vivid Turkaa forest in winter. I just love the intricate structures that arise when you literally embrace the woods. December 16th, 2022.
No. 3: walking through the nature development area, sinking into the snow, I came across a farmland close to the stream 'De Reusel'. This snowscape was near a lock making the water swirl. Using a long exposure the water became more fluent. January 19th, 2023.
A bitterly cold day
No. 4: on a gloomy and bitterly cold day I escaped the warmth of my home walking on the creaking snow on the bridge across the stream called the 'Reusel'. The bridge is in the middle of the nature development area; the road is called 'Turkaaweg'. A lonely car is driving towards me. Nature and human activities are completely entangled in the scenery.
January 19th, 2023.
No. 5: spines of hoarfrost are collected on a rotten flower stem on a cold windy morning at Turkaa. The soft light gives them a special magical glow. December 21st, 2021.
Just in the backyard
No. 6: two new pools have been excavated by the water board 'De Dommel'. It is used for better 'natural' water storage since the Netherlands has had to contend with more heavy rain showers in recent years. These rains have a devastating impact on the land and its inhabitants. April 27th, 2023.
My true colors
No. 7: I rescued a male common chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs). It was stuck in a bush after it promptly hit a nearby window on my way to Turkaa. The chaffinch was clearly dizzy and I checked it for injuries. It seemed to be OK and just needed a small rest. I stayed with the bird to protect it from jackdaws. They could easily grab the bird while it was resting. After a while the chaffinch got alert again. I took only a few images and then the bird took off...
December 18th, 2022.
No. 8: my daughter loves to experience the small patches of nature close to our home. Dandelions are never safe! On the national day of Kingsday in the Netherlands, we stood up very early in the morning to enjoy the sunrise together, mother and daughter. The stream called the 'Reusel' is in the background with mist rising from its surface. April 27th, 2023.
Early morning survey
No. 9: a black-crowned night heron (Nycticorax nycticorax) is overlooking the water amidst the greenery and yellow leaves of autumn. They usually hunt at night or in the early morning, stalking their prey. This heron is an opportunist: it eats fish, frogs, salamanders, spiders, crustaceans, among others. A wild one was coupling with an escaped night heron in Turkaa. Sadly, they didn't manage eventually. November 3rd, 2021.
No. 10: to make Turkaa accessible for wheelchair users a huge deck was created. I never saw anybody use it though. Maybe in summer they do? The waterbody in front of the deck is the big fishing pond that was created by humans. In the golden green light it looks neat... where human structures and nature meet. April 27th, 2023.
A windy walk
No. 11: a man walks through the wind just after sunrise. The landscape is ablaze with bright golden colors, while a tree is blown to the side threatening to fall down on the path.
December 27th, 2022.
No. 12: within the reflection of the huge fishing pond of Turkaa I saw simplicity or even a melody. Art is everywhere, also in human dominated areas. December 4th, 2018.
Jump for joy
No. 13: while taking my lunchbreak I suddenly envisioned this image. Many times I jumped in the air to time this correctly with the self-timer. Just loved the light and shadows of the trees! In the background you see the stream called the 'Reusel', essential for this area for water storage. December 27th, 2022.
Golden frosty morning
No. 14: a cold night had struck Turkaa. Hoarfrost could be found everywhere. With the golden glow of morning all was ablaze. Even rotten stems on the side of the path seemed to be alive again. December 21st, 2021.
Far far away
No. 15: fierce and tall this grey heron (Ardea cinerea) stood, while its surroundings breathed color like a water painting. It is actually the mirroring image of a heron on the water, which is turned upside down. The heron was hunting quite intently on frogs hibernating in the mud. January 13th, 2021.
No. 16: a small passenger bridge appeared before me with the rising sun. The bridge is a replacement for an old concrete farmers bridge, which was installed in the late summer of 2022. A bridge to another world of adventures... December 27th, 2022.
No. 1: on a gloomy morning I walked out into the nature development area. During the morning the mist became thicker and thicker. A wall of grey and blue mist reached the frozen lake of Turkaa, where ducks crowded an open spot. December 16th, 2022.