I’ve been spending more time than ever in my home lately, what with working from home and social distancing, and though I’ve been tidying and decluttering, that does nothing to help when my thoughts are whirling around my mind like a washing machine. The best cure for that, I’ve learnt throughout the years, is taking a walk around the neighbourhood.
So between two rain-showers, I pulled on my shoes and strolled along, lost in thought, until I passed a beautiful yellow bush, that was buzzing. On closer look, I found that it was full of pollinators: flies, bees and especially many many bumble-bees. I was amazed by the diversity of the bumble-bees: they varied in size, had different combinations of yellow, white and black stripes and even distinct ‘hair-styles’. But they all went about their collection of nectar like bunch of hungry teenagers tearing into an all-you-can-eat buffet!
I was thrilled to watch the bumble-bees buzzing around and to see such diversity. It was great to be reminded that even in such a small space between the wall and the side-walk, this modest garden is bountiful for so many pollinators and supports real bio-diversity.
By the way, if anyone knows the name of this plant with yellow flowers, please let me know in the comments:)
We are finally enjoying some warm summery weather in Amsterdam and that’s the moment when I most wish I had a garden. A small green space of my own where I could relax in the shade without needing to face all the other Amsterdammers who are out and about also searching for their own few square meters of greem.
Luckily the Botanical garden is just a 7 minute ride away, a lovely place to escape from the masses. On Saturday I took refuge there for a few hours, sitting on a rock amongst the blossoming plants, feeling the light breeze on my skin, listening to bumble bees buzz their little hearts out whilst feasting on pollen:) It was a moment of slowing down, breathing deep, being surrounded by nature, just noticing all the simple beauty of the many varieties of plants that grow side by side. I hope one day to have a garden of my own just like that!
Sunday as I cycled home from the bookclub, I noticed some bushes covered in what looked from a distance like small yellow tassles, against the blue sky. After picking up my camera at home, I took a short walk back through my neighbourhood until I reached the square, located between four roads, where spring is starting to show in the nurtured flower beds.
I took a closer look at those branches to find them covered in what looks like cheerleaders’ pompoms made with crepe paper, encouraging ravenous pollinators to come visit them.
Though the purple crocusses popping up through the grass are more striking, I love the colour combination on these ones, perfectly suited for a 70s kitchen.
On branches that were bare just a few days ago, tiny leaves are sprouting, deep lines etched into their surface like the grooves on your fingertips after lying for too long in the bath, and clusters of tiny yellow flowers spread their pistils like antennas searching for signals in the warm spring air.
Yellow is a colour that lifts my heart up. I painted one of my kitchen walls bright yellow wall to brighten up the long Dutch winter evenings by reminding me of the sun.
Lately I’m really enjoying how yellow flowers are popping up all over the place in gardens and along the streets of Amsterdam.
On a recent walk in the Kennemerduinen, the pastel landscape was peppered with splashes of yellow, gorgeous gatherings of tiny flowers asking for their beauty to be seen.
Also the bees and the caterpillars were also showing off how colour coordinated they were with their beautiful surroundings:)
JOYFUL GRATITUDE #33
While we were hiking up Sgurr Coire Choinnichean (the mountain with an unpronouceable name just above Inverie on the Knoydart Peninsula), I stopped to look out over the gorgeous view (and perhaps also to catch my breath) and came across this cute little fella who was also resting for a few moments. I love how even the bumble bees are ginger in Scotland:)
This weekend was the first really warm spring weekend in Amsterdam. It was perfect weather to go cycling through the Amsterdamse Bos and enjoy watcing nature wake up after the winter.
Though the trees are still very bare, the undergrowth is teeming with wild daffodils and other pretty plants which the bumblebees are eagerly collecting nectar from.
Being surrounded by nature always helps me to unwind and relax my mind after a busy week at work. My senses felt so alive, as I bathed in the warm sunlight, seeing the bringht colours , breathing in deeply the fresh air and getting a whiff of those spring smells (wild garlic!).