It's time for our Whistle Weed Walk, are you coming? You will see some things on our walk that are quintessentially Dutch, which is of the good. Come, Tara is waiting, chomping at the bit so to speak, so let's go. First we'll go to a field nearby where we can play with Tara for a while. Would you like to throw first? Here you are. Tara fetch!
Just look at her go!
It's fun to see her ears flopping about when she is galumphing round the field.
Here she comes again, my turn to throw the Frisbee.
It's such a fine evening for fun and games with an Ickle Puppy, but we must start our walk now before it gets dark. Tara come on, time for walkies!
It's lovely to be out and about in the beautiful Dutch countryside, especially on such a fine and balmy May evening as tonight. Do you hear the meadow lark singing high up in the sky? It's amazing, isn't it, how much sound such a small bird can produce and such lovely music it is too.
Cow Parsley is one of my favourite wild flowers. The flower heads look like they are made out of very delicate Dutch lace. The whole Dutch countryside is covered with it at the mo, such a glorious sight. Here we call it Fluitenkruid which translates roughly into Whistle Weed. Strange name? Not really.
Once upon a time people used to make whistles out of the stems, it's a kind of Pan flute thingy.
Personally I prefer picking big bunches of Fluitenkruid and just bung them in vases and buckets. But to each his/her own.
Tara is fond of Fluitenkruid too. And she is not the only Kooikerdog to admire Fluitenkruid.
Tara's breeder Margo also went for a Whistle Weed Walk with 5 of her doggies recently in a forest close to where she lives.
Simply stunning, wouldn't you say?
Back to our own walk. Take a look at this. It's called a sloot (trench, dyke, ditch) and the Dutch countryside is riddled with them. If there is one thing that's very much Dutch, it's this.
And teeming with wildlife too as you can see.
Unfortunately I can't show you all the fish that's in there as well. On your right there is a small lake and, as you can see, there are some swans there.
Ha, look what they've planted smack in the middle of the Fluitenkruid.
Yup, we're in the Netherlands, alright.
Pollarded willow trees near the waterside, another quintessential Dutch thing. Am I right, Vincent?
Yes, dear Vincent does agree. ;-)
A beautiful thatched shed that's 2 to 3 hundred years old. It's the only one left in my neighbourhood since some maniac burned down 3 of them a couple years ago.It's sad to see such beautiful buildings destroyed willy nilly.
In the distance you can just about make out the church spire in the next village. You can see for miles and miles here as everything is very pancake flat.
The evening is drawing in, Tara is getting tired, high time we headed back.
There's the spire of the Catholic church in my village already, we're getting closer to home.
Breath in deeply that gorgeous lilac parfume, how very Spring-y its scent is.
Such a beautiful May evening, are you glad we took this walk? I know I am.
copyright 2009 Y.E.W. Heuzen
photo of 5 kooikerdogs and the photo of the woods with cow parsley: copyright Margo Kleinjan
photo of whistle: copyright Johan Zandbergen