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  • Christa Moetwil - van Dijk

A photographic look back at 2022. Photos with a story!

Updated: Mar 3, 2023

It is the end of 2022, a good time to look back at the photos I took this year. It was so enjoyable to enjoy all the natural beauty. And how lucky I am to have two photo buddies that I have regularly been on the road with. Wonderful that we can learn from each other, have fun, enjoy, inspire each other and that we can marvel at nature. While selecting the photos, all kinds of memories and feelings come up that I would like to share with you.

Number 12: Mating damsels in the morning light
Mating slender armored damselflies at sunrise.
How crazy it can go. My dear photo buddy Hilda and I went mushroom hunting. Last year there were many fly agarics near a fen and of course we hoped that they would be there again this year. Well, there were plenty of fly agarics, but what our the fen we also found a few damsels and that at the end of October!

Number 11: Enjoy big!
Dancing trees (pollard willows) in the floodplain in the winter morning light.
It was so cold that morning, brrrr. Walking through the floodplains of Beusichem in search of that one tree on the seepage quay. On the way there I came across this beautiful scene. What a luck! The morning light perfect, frozen water, the moon still shining and two dancing trees. Let's face it, that's great fun! I also submitted this photo for a nature photo contest. The jury selected 25 photos from the more than 6000 entries for the Roots Nature Photo Competition 2022. The 25 selected photos, including my photo of the dancing trees (pollinated willows), are now exhibited in the Hortus Botanicus in Amsterdam. Not a winning prize, but proud that my photo has come this far and is also being used on the website of Hortus Botanicus Amsterdam.

Number 10: Foggy morning in the polder
The beginning of a new day, what an atmosphere and what colors! Fairytale foggy sunrise above row of trees in the polder.
Ideal weather conditions were predicted for this summer day: fog and later the sun. That is why we set off very early in the morning to a nature reserve where many butterflies occur, such as the Orange tips and common blue. The fun had already begun along the way. How beautiful can a day start in the polder.

Number 9: sprinkling the blossom
Frozen blossom: irrigating the fruit trees provides an ice layer around the blossom. A mill in the background.
It's April, spring is showing itself in the Betuwe. But April does what it wants.....night frosts at this time of year are common. And night frost is disastrous for the blossom on the fruit trees and can have major consequences for the harvest. That is why fruit growers are busy on such nights to irrigate the fruit trees. In this way an ice layer forms around the buds. When water freezes, a minimal amount of heat is released and as long as there is a supply of water, the temperature of the ice around the buttons remains 0 degrees Celsius. That way they don't freeze apart.

Number 8: whimsical standard fruit tree between a sea of ​​yellow flowers
Old whimsical high trunk fruit tree between a sea of yellow flowers (flowering rapeseed).
Along with autumn, spring is my favorite season to photograph. There is so much beauty to see, hear and photograph in spring. The blossom, the lambs, tulip fields, butterflies, flowering Prunus (ornamental cherry) trees, the fresh green in the woods, the birds (which take the place of your alarm clock) and wild garlic in the woods. Every year in April/May I also photograph this old erratic standard fruit tree, which is surrounded by a sea of ​​yellow flowering rapeseed/rapeseed. Bring on spring!

Number 7: bounce moment
Bouncing moment: it rains sunbeams sun harps in the forest.
Well.....what can I say about this. Every time I see this photo I get goosebumps again. What was this ENJOY. We were already on our way back from a beautiful morning walk near the Kwintelooijen nature reserve near Rhenen. We arrive at a fork in the forest and we are flooded with sunbeams. Finally, yes finally we were lucky enough to capture them so beautifully. We gave each other a high-five and went shooting like crazy. Watch and enjoy our bouncing moments!

Number 6: low water
Water tourism: sunset by an old tree on the water where a pleasure boat is moored.
I live in the River area. There you have to deal with high water and low water. Last summer the water in the river Nederrijn was very low and I was able to capture this beautiful moment. It is close to the Island of Maurik where there are many recreational opportunities on and around the water, but this place is so magically quiet.

Number 5: surprised long-eared owl among the autumn leaves
Surprised long-eared owl (Asio Otus) among the autumn leaves.
You just have to find them. But my photo buddy Carola has an eye for it. Together on the road to photograph this great long-eared owl. Just in the middle of a village, under the church tower, there are sometimes 15 in a tree. Long-eared owls don't rest, they rust. Especially in winter they like to sit together in a tree. A little pressed against the trunk so that they form one whole with the tree and are almost invisible. The long-eared owl (Asio otus) is a medium-sized owl that stands out for its bright orange eyes and striking ear tufts. Those long ear tufts are not real ears, by the way. The scientific name means 'eared owl'. It owes its name to the resemblance to a 'ranse', Middle Dutch for 'hat with a hood that hung down in folds'. The eyes are a beautiful bright orange-yellow.

Number 4: feel it
Soulmate: a man and woman walk between old trees on the Mariёnwaerdt Estate. Love, you feel it.
Somewhere on the Mariënwaerdt estate I met these two people. They only had eyes for each other, so beautiful to see and I got to capture this moment. I took many more beautiful pictures that morning, but I think this one is the most beautiful.

Number 3: The Royal House at the trout pond
The royal house lying on a pond (trout pond) surrounded by trees in Palace park near Paleis Het Loo.
At the beginning of the 17th century, the landscape of the park at Het Loo Palace was laid out. If you now walk in the Palace Park at Paleis Het Loo, you will see beautiful ponds and you will come across several houses that are scattered throughout the park. The park was intended as a place where the royal family and their guests could spend their free time. In the summer a large part of court life took place among the trees, fields and ponds. Therefore, there had to be enough opportunities in the park for activities such as picnicking, target practice, boating and fishing. The cottages are designed to support those activities. Next to the trout pond you will find this mysterious little house. The palace staff collected shot game in this cottage. Then the dead animals went through the meat grinder. Together with some flour they were then fed to the trout. The trout from the pond were served in the palace. For example, the royal family had fresh trout available when guests were present.

Number 2: avenue of trees on the Soelen estate
Magical avenue of trees In the fairytale forest at Soelen Estate in the Netherlands.
How magical can an avenue of trees be in the fairytale forest at the Soelen estate. I have already taken so many beautiful pictures of this avenue, in different seasons and also with walkers. It is very varied. In the winter I also took a nostalgic photo of skaters on the canal near the castle.

Number 1: windmill the Butterfly, pearl of the Betuwe
Beautiful sunrise at Windmill De Butterfly, pearl of the Betuwe in the Netherlands.
In the early morning, and I mean very early (around 05:00), it is so quiet here. The river Linge is quiet. You only occasionally hear the geese yawn when flying over. And when you see a sunrise like that, it's double enjoyment.

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