Thursday, May 7, 2009

The Whistle Weed Walk

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

27 comments:

Midmarsh John said...

I really enjoyed reading about your Whistle weed Walk and seeing the photos of your interesting countryside.

Chookie said...

Why are the willows pollarded? I know trees are coppiced for firewood, but I only know of willow-wood being used for cricket bats!

Monica the Garden Faerie said...

Ah, your quintessential Dutch walk really made me nostalgic for me tie in Holland. *Sigh.* Looking forward to going on more walks with you!

Juliet said...

A lot of your quintessentially Dutch sights are also very typical of this area (English fens, near Cambridge) - completely flat landscape, dykes, pollarded willows - and everyone rides bikes. We have whistle weed (lovely name) everywhere at the moment, too - I'm allergic to it, so I can't go out without sneezing! I think you have more trees than we have though - the fens are depressingly tree-less.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

The walk was marvelous. It was great to see the Dutch county side near you. Around here trees are pollard because they plant them right under electric wires. Your dear sweet Tara is growing into a beautiful lady. I am surprised that the breeder can get all of those dogs to sit still at one time for a photo. They must be well trained. The photo makes me wish they were bred here.

Yolanda Elizabet Heuzen said...

* John: glad you enjoyed it!

* Chookie: the willows are pollarded because from the branches baskets, garden ornaments, fenches (mats) ect. are made. Cricket is hardly, if ever, played here, to my relief. ;-)

* Monica: got a touch of Heimwee? ;-)

* Juliet: I thought it would be nice to switch things around. I usually read stuff by Brits who claim that something or other is typically British whereas it's really more quintessential North-Western European. ;-)
Pity about your allergy though and the lack of trees in the fens. Trees are our friends!

*Lisa: the branches of the willow trees are used for many things, among others for fortifying the dykes. Tara's breeder has managed to take a pic of all her 7 Kooikerdogs together and such a great pic it is too. Her dogs are wellbehaved as she is a dog trainer . Tara is getting to be a very wellbehaved and well barked doggy too. ;-)

nancybond said...

Thank you so much for letting us share your walk -- what beautiful countryside. Simply BLISS-full. :) your photos are spectacular.

Dirt Princess said...

How wonderful! Such an amazing place. Everything is just beautiful. I enjoy taking a stroll with you.

mothernaturesgarden said...

Beautiful stroll.

Lisa Blair said...

Thank you *so* much for posting your walk! I only wish my evening walk was as beautiful as this.

Cheryl said...

Dear Yolanda......I most certainly am glad I came on the walk with you and that gorgeous little puppy, Tara.......she is delightful....

I love to hear the sky lark.....such a beautiful song......I heard ours for the first time this week...

I to love cow parsley.....I have it along the lanes outside my house....it is a joy......

The dutch countryside is beautiful Yolanda.....I loved being with you.......

May I come again please??

Flighty said...

A wonderful post and lovely photos.It must be so nice to be able to go on, and enjoy, a walk like that. It sounds like bliss to me! xx

Pam/Digging said...

Thanks for the walk, YE. It looks very different from the hilly, live-oak covered hillsides I call home.

Why are the willows pollarded? Do you know? You don't see that done in the U.S. too often.

And "sloot" is a perfect-sounding name for what it is, much better than "ditch." :-)

Cat with a garden said...

Lovely, lovely walk! I'm very glad you toook us along!

Julia said...

How wonderful to see a bit of the Dutch countryside. Having travelled extensively in England, I really think that Holland is a very well-kept secret. Simply stunning!

Where I live (Ottawa Valley, Canada), many, many of the immigrant farmers are / were Dutch, so this is very interesting.

Julia said...

Sorry, Yolanda... just realized that I assumed you are in Holland, but you may be in another part of the Netherlands! Sorry about that!

Phoenix C. said...

Thank you so much for this beautiful walk! I enjoyed it immensely, and love the scenery. Cow parsley is one of my favourites. It is not quite out yet where I am in the UK - when it is I love the fragrance and like to walk among it as much as possible. Amazing instrument - I never knew you could make those from cow parsley!

Dee/reddirtramblings said...

Thanks for the walk. I enjoyed it with my tea this morning. Have a wonderful day.~~Dee

Gail said...

Good Morning! What a good time I've had with you and Tara...your countryside is lovely. The cows parsley that nature planted is better then we humans can do anytime...Have a sweet weekend with plenty of time in the gardens! I am just now imaging your roses in bloom!... gail

Fluitenkruid said...

Hey wat leuk! Wat woon je in een mooie omgeving zeg en wat een leuk kooikertje. Onze buren hadden er vroeger eentje maar die wilde nooit bij me komen, alleen maar oog voor het eigen baasje.

Matron said...

Yolanda, thank you for taking us on your walkies with Tara. What a good looking family she has! I just know Uncle Buddy would have loved to come out with Tara today.

NewShoot said...

Really enjoyed this, but was intrigued by the fact the skylark song sounded subtly different than those here in the West Country of the UK. I think it's a fact that birds develop different accents? Tara is growing fast!!

em said...

hi ye! great post! i love the countryside! your tara is irresistibly cute. i am going to show you my berries, but they are only flowers right now, and very shy. happy may!

garden girl said...

Thank you for the lovely walk in your beautiful countryside Yolanda! Tara sure is growing!

HappyMouffetard said...

A lovely spring walk. I wrote about cow parsley recently - it's called cow mumble in some parts of the UK, which I think i a wonderful name.

marga said...

Dat was zo te zien een heerlijke wandeling en Tara..........ja, gewoon een dotje!!!!!

LadyLuz said...

Just catching up after having PC fixed. What a glorious walk and such lovely pics of Tara enjoying her frizbee - what a free spirit.

A great arrangement of pics Yolanda, ending with the sunset.