Compassion for all beings

  • First flight

    First flight

    The first signs of spring are all around us. There are snow drops, crocusses and daffodils everywhere, the trees are budding and the camelia’s are in full bloom. On my morning walk I saw the first bumblebee of the season. His short life already over, I carried him in the palm of my hand to […]

  • Here again

    Here again

    It is a cold winter’s day, just after the winter solstice, and I am walking around my old neighbourhood. I haven’t been here for fifteen years, and it feels like a lifetime ago. I am headed to the woods that lie on the outskirts of this magnificent city. Even though I used to live so […]

  • Alone in the woods

    Alone in the woods

    It is an ordinary Monday and I’m on my way to the store to buy some groceries. I take the path through the patch of trees, looking at the beauty of autumn around me. In the middle of the road lies a mouse. Not breathing. How long have you been here? Since last night, perhaps? […]

  • It ends here

    It ends here

    We are on a camping trip in the south, even though it’s the middle of October. After a starry night layered in knitted caps, mittens and thermal leggings we are out and about for a long walk in national park De Meinweg. So is everyone else, apparently. Still it is a beautiful day to be […]

  • I remember

    I remember

    It’s five weeks since oakhillside’s funeral and I still visit her grave every day. A dear friend has invited me on a walk, better yet… an adventure. A quest if you will. To find a magical hut in the woods, where one could retreat. We have been walking for a long time, meeting people along […]

  • Tiger striped sky

    Tiger striped sky

    Blue skies at the beach today. In the middle of the paving stone I find a garden tiger, his sweet orange wings covered in sand. He is missing one of his antennae. I wonder what happened to him. I lay him down on a sea holly. Green leaves for a gentle soul.

  • Heaven’s gate

    Heaven’s gate

    I will see you on the other side of the stars – Rumi It is the day of Oakhillside’s funeral, nine days after her death. It was at midsummer’s night that she followed the field path down to the door of paradise. This is where we shall bury her today, under the blossoming magnolia tree. […]

  • Forest spirit

    Forest spirit

    It saddens me to see all the discarded Christmas trees piled up next to the garbage. The council has placed a big shredder on a field nearby and is destroying heaps and heaps of them. Shouldn’t we be planting trees instead of chopping them down? And for what? As I walk up to our front […]

  • Tracks of my tears

    Tracks of my tears

    Smack in the middle of town, a sea gull next to the tracks. I cycle past him on my way to work and decide to turn around. When I kneel down next to his lifeless body, I notice he doesn’t have a scratch on him. Must have bumped right into the tram. There’s nowhere to […]

  • Everything black

    Everything black

    I noticed her as soon as we crossed the road. A black spot in the middle of the asphalt. I turned my bike around and went up the street, shouting to dadolf to wait. It turned out to be a hit-and-run… a mature coot. She must have been crossing the street to get to or […]

  • Sleeping beauty

    Sleeping beauty

    The first sunlight is calling me to come out of hiding and breathe in the fresh air. Looking in wonder at the snowdrops that are appearing everywhere, I came across some crocuses. As I knelt down to take a photograph, I noticed a bee in between the petals. All cuddled up and snoozing away without […]

  • Lazy afternoon

    Lazy afternoon

    As I was walking through the community garden, I found the tiniest of bees. She was just barely holding on to a petal. I couldn’t believe my eyes. How small she was!

  • Hold me close

    On our morning walk through the forest, we found a little mouse lying on the path. He looked dead, but when I picked him up I noticed his heart beating in his chest. Even though he didn’t appear to have any injuries, it was clear that he was badly hurt. What are we to do, […]

  • Sunshine after the rain

    Sunshine after the rain

    It was one of those days with rain clouds all around, but at the end of the afternoon a bit of blue appeared and so I headed out to the nearby gardens. All the plants were covered in raindrops, their flowers sparkling like little diamonds. On one of them sat a small bee, soaked through […]

  • You deserve

    I found a little bee on the sidewalk, who had succumbed to the heatwave. I gently picked her up and laid her to rest in the garden, between the petals of a rose.

  • All for you

    All for you

    Yesterday we visited the parrot shelter again. Wistful Oak bought some food for the birds and they accepted it graciously. This little one was pleased with what she got.

  • One of these morning

    One of these morning

    One day a fierce-looking creature crawled out of the ocean, ready to take on the world. His claws cocooned with fuzzy sea weed, he conquered the sand one step at a time. I don’t know the fate that awaited him, for by the time I found him he was already dead.

  • Final light

    Final light

    On my way to the market I follow the sun-kissed sidewalk that leads me along the blossoming trees. There, right there, lies a little pigeon on the cobblestones. Her eyes are still open… whatever happened to her must have happened just a moment ago. It looks like she might blink and look up at me. […]

  • Little one

    Little one

    We love to take a walk in the afternoon. Be the weather good or bad. Well, we prefer of course the good weather situation. This afternoon when we came back in our street, we saw this little mouse sitting at the side of the road. There are stone walls all along the road. Preventing the […]

  • Here today

    Here today

    I was a bit moving things in the garage, and found this butterfly holding on a wooden shelf. I took her outside to take a picture. And put her back again in the dark. The next morning I wondered if I could find the butterfly again. Perhaps she was sitting in the windowsill. But there […]

  • We belong

    We belong

    A couple of months after my love died, I decided to adopt again. I went to a different shelter this time and found two rescue cats, a brother and sister, who had been there for a year and a half. Why didn’t anyone want them? Because they were ten years old and particularly shy. Not […]

  • Everybody loves the sunshine

    Everybody loves the sunshine

    Sometimes you walk along the beach and think ‘What in heaven’s name is that?’ Well, it’s a band of molluscs made up of three common slipper shells stacked on top of each other on top of an empty sea shell with a few barnacles sprinkled between them with an slipper on top of one of […]

  • Silent morning

    Silent morning

    A cold, misty morning. The cycling path leading up to the dunes is deserted. Inexplicably, a baby bunny lies in the middle of the road. She’s in pretty bad shape. No… no longer alive. I bundle her up and bury her deep under red autumn leaves.

  • Forever love

    Forever love

    Never will die the one whose heart is alive with love – Shahriyar My beloved is dead. She got ill and for two weeks I tried everything I could to save her life, but in the end she still died in the emergency room on a rainy Saturday afternoon. There was nothing I could do […]

  • This side or the other

    This side or the other

    I can see something lying on the shore ahead. What is it… some seaweed, plastic? It looks more like a fish. As I get close, I can’t believe my eyes. It’s a beautiful, black creature with a white belly. A kind of dolphin??? There’s a big gaping hole where her left eye used to be […]

  • Sweet little mystery

    Sweet little mystery

    There’s a beautiful place in the dunes, where the sandy stretch ends and a narrow path leads you into the shadow of the pine trees. Right there in the middle of the forest way, I found a gigantic beetle. I put my nose to his, but he just laid there – completely still. Then he […]

  • Night star

    Night star

    A silk evening at the beach, people walking hand in hand as the sun descends. Somewhere between the pebbles lies a tall, green leaf. On it the smallest starfish I’ve ever seen. Her pink arms holding on tightly to her makeshift raft. There are no signs of life, exposed to the air for too long. […]

  • Hit-and-run


    This morning as I stepped out into the sunshine, the first thing I noticed was a cat lying on the sidewalk. She lay there so still, I quickly realised that she was dead. I called Animal Rescue, and found out that they already received a call and were on their way. Still, I couldn’t just […]

  • After you’ve gone

    After you’ve gone

    A beautiful sunset, clear skies, bare feet submerged in the cool water. What’s that? Oh, a sea urchin! Well, what’s left of him. Tiny hairs sticking out of his skeleton. I watch how the golden rays light them up. An elderly man walks up to me. What is it that you’ve found? I show him […]

  • Round ‘n round

    Some days ago -after a heavy rainfall – I was busy around our Oaktree House. There are a lot of Things-To-Do. Even after you have done away with all these remaining Oakleafs, Beechnuts, Litlle Branches and all other kinds of Garden Caboodle our Mountaintree-Paradise has to offer us. You need lots of energy to start […]

  • Friday at eight

    Friday at eight

    On one those first summer time mornings when you can smell spring but the air is still crisp, I passed a bumblebee on the cycling path. I swerved and carried on for a couple of meters before I turned my bike around and went back to check on him. What are you doing in the […]

  • She is love

    She is love

    For the last couple of years I’ve been thinking about adopting a rescue dog. But the time never felt quite right, so I kept postponing it. At the beginning of this year, I decided I was finally ready. I visited dog shelters, looked at European rescue organisations, and even consulted a coach who specializes in […]

  • Hit the ground

    Hit the ground

    There he was… lying on the sidewalk near the crossroad. Did he get hit by a car? Did he fall from the sky? Not a clue anywhere. I carried him to the park, both of us silent.

  • After the storm

    After the storm

    Last night a grey, rainy storm raged over the shore and left the beach filled with soft-shell clams, their lifeless siphons plastered across the sand. Row after row, like graves at a old cemetery. The snow came and covered them with a blanket of white.

  • Feels like a river

    Feels like a river

    It’s quiet at the beach these days. The sea gulls are there, of course, and occasionally a solitary wanderer. I enjoy the silence it brings. The only sound is the roaring waves rushing in, enveloping me, drowning out my never-ending thoughts. I look at how quickly my footsteps disappear in the sand, until I notice… […]

  • Secret life

    Secret life

    It was a grey rainy day at the beach when I found… an oyster. A live one! What a mysterious animal to meet, this mollusc. So safely tucked away in her shell, guarding her from any intrusion. I walked into the splashing waves and put her back in the water.

  • Close to you

    Close to you

    At the botanical garden the butterflies were whirling all around me, chasing each other in the sunlight. One of them landed on my arm and stayed for a while. It was only when she moved to the window sill in front of me that I noticed how frayed her wings were.

  • Be alright

    Be alright

    Sauntering along the beach on a grey morning, daydreaming about where I want my life to go, I noticed a flawless sea shell. I instantly knew it was a little hermit crab; his home perfectly shaped, with salt-and-pepper specks all over its surface. As I picked him up, he hid away in his shell. So […]

  • Amor, amor

    Amor, amor

    I am happy to report that the snails are still thriving, now that autumn is here. When I go out at night, I sometimes find the big ones side by side, their bodies entangled, slowly and sensually seducing each other in the moonlight. And today I discovered that the coriander was crowded with over twenty […]

  • I didn’t know what time it was

    I didn’t know what time it was

    We came to the rescue of this great green bush-cricket, who sat on the cycle path. As she was in imminent danger, we put her on a small branch at the side of the road.

  • A grim tale

    On holiday in the Reinhardswald – the forest where the Brothers Grimm wrote their fairytales – urbanwarrior asked if I wanted to come with on a canoe trip. I don’t particularly like to be on a boat, but agreed to the adventure. We paddled downstream on a sun-filled day and marveled at the beauty that […]

  • One fine day

    One fine day

    This year no aquatic insects showed up. I noticed that something was amiss by the end of May, and was a bit saddened by it. I have about thirteen snails to tend to right now, so I figured that maybe it was for the best – but I couldn’t help being disappointed. You can imagine […]

  • Lovely you

    Lovely you

    The eggs have hatched! There are now eight little baby snails living underneath the lavender. They mostly hide deep down in the basket, but when it rains – oh went it rains! – they venture out on the stoney balcony, their translucent bodies gliding along on a trail of water. It is such a delight […]

  • Wasn’t expecting that

    Wasn’t expecting that

    Every morning we go for a walk through the forest, as the blackbirds sign their song and the little tits fly off and on. Today, out of the blue, a small bird lay on the path in front of us. No idea what had happened to her, as she didn’t have any injuries. Perhaps she […]

  • Quite like you

    Quite like you

    Cycling through the rain on my way home, I noticed a little snail in the middle of the road. When I picked her up, I noticed that her shell was broken. She had been hit and was in really bad shape. I put her in the palm of my hand and carried her home. I […]

  • Wrapped up

    Wrapped up

    Going to a biological market supports local farmers, reduces waste and is a joy for your taste buds. (Who knew cucumbers can be tasty instead of just watery green stalks?) Yesterday I got fresh veggies and fruits. Munching on the sweet raspberries, I decided to make a quinoa salad for lunch. As I gave the […]

  • Wade in the water

    Wade in the water

    Strolling along the beach, my feet just submerged in the water, I came upon a rather large rock. It caught my eye, cause you don’t see too many of those. Intrigued, I bend down and touched it. To my surprise it moved slightly. It wasn’t a rock… but a crab covered in barnacles, hiding underneath […]

  • After the rain

    After the rain

    On a quiet day I walked over to the fields nearby that are always filled with radiantly red poppies this time of year. It was a beautiful sight as all the petals were sprinkled with drops of water from the recent rainfall. I was knee deep in a world of little twinkling diamonds, when I […]

  • Mystery


    Every now and again, ladybugs wash up on the shore. It’s a terrible sight. Hundreds and hundreds of ladybugs drowning on the beach. The phenomenon remains unexplained. No one knows if they float from sea or arrive from land. Or why! But they’re there again. Most of them were already dead, but some were stumbling […]

  • Lay me down

    Lay me down

    I am always scanning my surroundings. Most of the time that ‘something-on-the-road’ turns out to be a discarded newspaper or a fumbled plastic bag. On my way to the beach this morning I spotted a ‘black-something’. Ohh, I thought, an animal for sure! It turned out to be a sock. I wondered who had lost it, […]

  • Before the sun goes down

    Before the sun goes down

    The day before the funeral, we were busy preparing the flower arrangements. Beautiful pink roses in long green leaves, tied with ribbons of grass. As urbanwarrior took the fig leaves out to dry, I took some close up shots of the bouquets. I was thinking of his grandmother and her irradiated smile –  us as […]

  • Home away from home

    Home away from home

    Most people don’t like snails. They rummage around in the vegetable patch and eat your carefully grown baby spinach right from under your nose. Me, I don’t mind so much. So if someone I know wants to relocate them, I am happy to offer the snails shelter in the garden on my balcony. Just this […]

  • Meanwhile in the forest

    Found a crane fly on a public bin, his long mouth stuck to the green metal. He was unresponsive, but his vital signs were stable. Not a clue as to what he was doing, how he had ended up there, and whether he needed help. Life is weird like that sometimes.

  • Candied daylight

    Candied daylight

    On our day off, we went for a walk in the woods. Settling down on the sandy grass, I rested my head and looked at the clouds drifting by. A spot of dark-grey in the sky, announcing the rain that would soon come our way. Shortly after, during a friendly game of soccer, I noticed […]

  • The last song

    The last song

    It was a beautiful sunny day when I decided to cycle all the way to Pijnacker. Shorts, sandels and water in my bagpack – ready for adventure. I came through some quiet pastures as I cycled along the Vliet: long grasses everywhere, trees in bloom and spots of light reflecting of the tranquil water. That […]

  • Rhapsody in blue

    On my morning walk through the forest I stumbled upon a little mouse. She was just lying there, a red mark on her throat. Abandoned perhaps by a predator? I picked her up and noticed her soft whiskers were covered in tiny sand grains. Her eyes were withdrawn. I wasn’t sure where to bury her, […]

  • Whispering grass

    Whispering grass

    Driving home from a walk in the forest, I saw a dead animal lying in the shoulder of the road. I thought it was a raccoon and we stopped for a moment. We drove a bit further, then stopped again, stepped out and walked back to take a look and see if we could do […]

  • Fight club

    Fight club

    Feeding the birds at the pond on a cold winter’s day, a sudden eruption of violence nearby drew my attention. I looked to my left and saw to coots fighting viciously. At first there were two spectators, but one of them quickly flew the scene. It wasn’t long before the other one, the one who […]

  • The sweet escape

    The sweet escape

    An usual sight at the pond this morning: a cormorant! As I get a bit closer, I notice she has a limp. A piece of metal is sticking out of her left ankle. Given that she looks quite young – her feathers not yet black – and that no one else of her family seems […]

  • Lost her way

    Lost her way

    Cycling back from the city market, we noticed a coot lying beside the path. She had likely been killed trying to cross the street. Her black body blending in completely with the empty winter’s flower beds, only the white of her bill giving her away. Raindrops lighting up her feathers. For her sweet soul, we […]

  • Where do broken hearts go?

    Where do broken hearts go?

    On our way back from an exploration through Landgoed Sandvoort, we found a gull lying in a trench. She was out of reach, but we decided it would be graceless to just leave her there. I got hold of a tree and scooted down the side of the ditch. When I looked at her black […]

  • Forever blue

    Forever blue

    On adventure in the woods, we found a little mole lying in the middle of the muddy path, her fur completely soaked from the heavy rainfall. Her poor tail sticking up. I held her softly in my gloved hands. Not a sign as to what had caused her to leave her burrow in the midst […]

  • Where we used to live

    Where we used to live

    Today I found a little crab lying face down on the beach. I thought he might be alive, as he still had two limbs. But alas whoever had taken his other eight had apparently also taken his soul. For a while, I looked into his blurred eyes and wondered where he had come from and […]

  • Bye bye blackbird

    Bye bye blackbird

    On a short walk just outside my school yard, I found a small blackbird lying on the grass. She was covered with cold, shiny raindrops. I noticed immediately that she was no longer alive, her head angled funnily to one side. I walked over to the nearby gas station to get something to cover her […]

  • Counting stars

    Counting stars

    Walking along the shore on a cold day, I noticed the tide was particularly low. I climbed on the weed-covered pier and explored the tiny pools of water. They were filled with starfish of all colours and sizes. A little one had stranded on a rock. I softly picked her up and put her on […]

  • Until we meet again

    On a very cold morning this new year we discovered a young tit on the floor in our living room. Slipped indoors to his own astonishment. As he looked paralyzed on his cramped toes, I enveloped him carefully with a light towel and brought him outside. There I took him in my folded hands, as […]

  • On the other side

    Cycling along a muddy path covered with fallen leaves and chestnuts, I spotted a toad. Without a second thought I braked hard and swerved around him. He didn’t move at all – something must be wrong with him, I thought. He was frozen in the middle of the road and I noticed that he was […]

  • You and your heart

    You and your heart

    On a lazy summer afternoon, brightened by a picnic on the beach and a refreshing but fairly cold swim, we were joined by the sweetest seagull. She had an injured leg, so we gave her some apple and in return she gave us a piece of her heart.

  • By the sea

    By the sea

    On a quiet walk along the shore, I found a small crab. Someone had made an altar out of driftwood, filled with sea shells and the remains of other water creatures, and so I left her there – wedged between a whelk and a mermaid’s purse.

  • So close

    So close

    Perched on the top of a hill, peering out of the birdwatching tower, trying to spot the exotic birds from our wildlife guide, a high-pitched scream filled our ears. How it could be that loud? After a while we realised it came from INSIDE the hut. A swallow family had build a nest there, and […]

  • Eternal sands

    Eternal sands

    On a beautiful day in the dunes – only the softest breeze rustling through the beach grasses – a sweet soul noticed a seagull lying on a hill. No clue as to how she had met her death. Four hands digging and then, a shallow grave. Softly I lifted her feathered body off the ground […]

  • The wettest country

    The wettest country

    The largest snail I’ve ever seen. And in the middle of the road, no less. Come now, let’s cross together…

  • Falling for you

    Falling for you

    Grasshoppers are notoriously shy. As soon as they notice that you’ve spotted them, they will hide behind the stem of whatever foliage they are on – with only their long legs sticking out on either side revealing their presence. But not this one. He was in such a hurry to come closer that he struggled […]

  • I’m here, I’m not here

    I’m here, I’m not here

    “Come quickly, it’s a dragonfly nymph!” – “No way!” “Yes, look! Right there…” – “Oh wow!” *leans in closer* “Ehm, where’s his head?” “His what?” – “His head! He doesn’t appear to have a head!” “Oh, my!” *looks again* “You’re right, it’s only his shed skin.”

  • Where I sleep

    Where I sleep

    Sitting down for a bit of a rest on a wooden bench at the riverside, my eye caught a little black blob amidst the wheat. Curious as to what it might be, I looked closer and discovered it was a bee. A bee! Just casually hanging there, like it’s a normal thing to do. I […]

  • Purple dream

    Purple dream

    On a sunny Friday afternoon, completely out of the blue, a hummingbird hawk moth visited our beach house. She fluttered in over the railing of the balcony, hovered above the purple violets, and disappeared without a trace… Meanwhile, at our forest house I too spotted this remarkable creature. That could have been the end of […]

  • Drift away

    Drift away

    On my walk along the beach I found a rather large crab, lying forlorn on his back, his sharp legs sticking in the air. As the light from the evening sun made long shadows on the sand, I carried him to the water and gave him to the rising sea.

  • A tale of two beetles

    A tale of two beetles

    Sunday. 1.55am. The countryside. Almost a full moon. Scene: In my tent, looking at the night sky, talking to the stars. A faint rustling in the grass above my head, almost soft enough to ignore. In the time it takes to find a flashlight, it sounds more like someone crawling over nylon fabric. The light […]

  • Dragonborn


    I couldn’t believe my eyes. Out of nowhere a dragonfly whizzed past me and landed on a leaf just a few meters from where I was standing. I dropped my bag and got my camera out as quickly as possible, my hands tangled with excitement. The first of the season! No way I was gonna […]

  • Just one look

    Just one look

    As I closed the lid on the last pot of paint and took a contended look at my pink wall, I realised I’d send out my change of address cards just in time. It’s mid-May, after all. And in my book that means one thing: an unannounced visit from a mayfly looking for room and […]

  • How blue can you get?

    How blue can you get?

    Treading through the woods on an Expotition to discover a Pole in the Utrechtse Heuvelrug National Park, I found a beetle infested tree. I have never encountered so many beetles blissfully chewing away, ecstatically crawling over each other to get to the best bits of foliage. Right there and then, this little fellow fell at […]

  • Brighter than sunshine

    Brighter than sunshine

    In the morning, when I stood in the garden, my neighbour came walking to me with his hand outstretched. I have something you will like to take a photo of, he said. He opened his hand and there she was, the cockchafer. Is she dead? I asked. Oh no, he said, look, he gently blew […]

  • Dazed and confused

    Dazed and confused

    Obvious to say, a bike lane is not a good place to be for a rat, especially mid-Monday morning. He’d been in some kind of collision and by the time I got to him, he’d died from internal injuries. When I lifted him up, I noticed just how big he was – all heavy and […]

  • When the stars go blue

    When the stars go blue

    Hundreds of starfish at the beach this morning. Big ones, small ones, pink ones, and white ones drifting back and forth in the shallow water or washed up on top of each other. Not a single one left alive to tell where they’d come from…

  • Watch over me

    Watch over me

    I stepped out of the back door and went looking if the tiny March violets had already appeared. Just behind the stone wall where the snowdrops grow and the crocuses, I stood still. I heard the rustling of leaves and to my right I saw a mouse. She ran away as soon as she noticed […]

  • Little greenfinch

    “All shall be well, all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.” Julian of Norwich It is sad. But it happens around our hillside house. We have large windows. With magnificent views from within our comfy inside, we can see many of our small-winged friends flying in and out our Guardian […]

  • Compared to what?

    Compared to what?

    Happy is (s)he who realises that the grass is green enough.

  • Life in the slow lane

    Life in the slow lane

    I almost ran over a snail crossing the road. Naturally, I went back to check that he was OK. Not a scratch, thank heavens. I realised he might not be so lucky next time, so I picked him up and carried him to the side of the road. Of course, I didn’t know if that’s […]

  • Here with me

    Here with me

    Winter is back with a vengeance. Arriving home, completely soaked from cycling through the slushing rain, I curled up on the sofa with some hot cocoa when I noticed Mel huddled on the balcony. She looked so cold and miserable, her feathers blowing ferociously in the wind. Together we shared some sunflower seeds and waited […]

  • The only one

    The only one

    After a visit to the botanical garden in Göttingen, we followed the Brüder Grimm Allee to Rohns, where the forest begins. There at the Herzberger Landstrasse we saw the place where once the house of Lou Andreas-Salomé had been and the house where Plessner had lived after his return to Germany after World War II. […]

  • Hold on, we’re going home

    Hold on, we’re going home

    Nothing but a blue sky, when I found a crab at the beach. At first I thought he might still be alive, but there was no longer any light in his eyes. It looked like he had been holding on for dear life to a piece of driftwood, so I scooped him and his buoy […]

  • Save me

    Save me

    Whenever I return a mussel to the sea, I think of the story of the little boy who is throwing starfish back into the water and when gets asked why since he really wouldn’t be able to make much of a difference as there are tens of thousands starfish washed up on the beach and […]

  • Between fog and sea

    Between fog and sea

    This morning I forgot my glasses. I am blind as a bat, and on top of that I got caught in a rainstorm walking down the beach. I couldn’t see my hand in front of my face, but somehow I still spotted a sea urchin. How serendipitous that she’d washed up on shore in the […]

  • Blinded by the lights

    I saved a hawk moth last night. When I turned on the light in the kitchen she suddenly flew up, angered by the bright light. I turned it off immediately, of course. I found her against one of the cabinet doors and I managed to catch her with a glass. I released her in the […]

  • Younger than springtime

    Younger than springtime

    Last week I was amazed to spot the first new born of the year: a tiny Egyptian gosling. He belongs to the couple who lives by the little ditch just at the end of my street. It is still awfully cold outside, so I was delighted to see that his mother let him disappear completely […]

  • Stay warm

    Stay warm

    tip #31 wear your food for a coat

  • Breathe this air

    Breathe this air

    On one of those days that everything feels right – the cold air filling my lungs, the radiant sunlight on my cheeks, the endless horizon just beyond my reach, feeling connected to everything around me, I came across a crab claw, covered with seaweed, no longer attached to its owner, and realised you have to […]

  • Snow falling whisper

    Snow falling whisper

    On a beautiful cold morning, cycling home from the beach and contemplating the quiet joy of uneventful moments in life, I found a bunny on the side of the road. An odd place for a rabbit, really, in the middle of the grass next to a gas station. She was covered with frost. I wrapped […]

  • Goose bumps

    Goose bumps

    My first day back at the beach I found a large signpost washed up on the shore. As always, I went to take a closer look. Attached to it was the most curious thing I have ever seen: dozens of tentacles with some sort of shell at the end of it. At first I thought […]

  • Stardust


    At the botanical garden I found this fallen beauty. Seeing her sky blue wings, all torn, made my heart ache. We contemplated taking her home, but we decided to let her rest peacefully under warm leaves in the greenhouse. At the observatory they said that almost every element on Earth was formed at the heart […]

  • On the road

    On the road

    On a hike from the Kathagenberg, that lies at the foot of the Castle of Fürstenberg, we walked till we reached the landing stage of the passager liner (also sailing mainly in summer) and there we returned. From a distance I saw lying in the grass a kind of orange-red cloth, but coming nearer I […]

  • Too late, too late

    Too late, too late

    I have to admit that I was never much of a fan of spiders, especially as they have a tendency to creep up on you in the shower. But since I have been learning more about them, I have a newfound appreciation for the little eight-legged critters. So when – out of nowhere! – a […]

  • No matter how small

    No matter how small

    This morning there was a beautiful blue pinkish hue in the sky that lifted my spirits as soon as I stepped unto the sand. The gulls were swarming the surf, flying up and diving into the sea. I splashed through the water and watched the tiny diamond drops suspended in the air for a split […]

  • Hideaway


    Autumn is here. Instead of bathing suit, I now wear extra layers of clothing to the beach. Splashing through the water in my wellies, I notice a seashell rolling over the sand. I pick it up and find a little hermit crab inside, hidden away. How exciting to meet such an extraordinary creature! With great […]

  • Fallen


    On my morning walk at the beach, as I was watching a seal play in the shallow waves, I found a little bird lying on the sand. His feathers wet from the salty water, clinging to his frail body. No signs of life. I picked him up and carried him home. We buried him under […]

  • It’s a long way home

    It’s a long way home

    The tide brought in a massive jellyfish. She had washed up on the shore by the time I came across her.

  • Lay your head down

    Lay your head down

    I stumbled upon two damselflies stuck in a spider web. One of them was completely wrapped, but the other one appeared to have been caught only a moment before. Swiftly I pulled her out of the sticky silk that she was trapped in. She made it out alive, but in the end the venom proved […]

  • Happy munching

    Happy munching

    Our forest garden attracts a lot of wildlife. We are used to seeing all kinds of animals, but sawfly larvae munching on the edge of a leaf in synchronised formation was a complete surprise. I dare say, I’ve never seen anything like it in my life!

  • Between the raindrops

    Between the raindrops

    A little white butterfly caught in the rain. No longer stories to tell.

  • Sweet dreams

    Sweet dreams

    At breakfast I found myself staring at a moth. At first I didn’t think she was still alive. Apparently this is an easy mistake to make, as a spider building his web nearby had spun a thread around her rear leg. When I released her from it, she woke up with a shock. She looked […]

  • Sound of silence

    Sound of silence

    Walking along the path between the grain fields, I suddenly stop in my tracks. Right in front of me I see a casualty in the middle of the road. It’s a tiny shrew, her feet sticking up in the air. I roll a piece of foil from my pack of crackers and lift her up […]

  • An unfinished life

    An unfinished life

    I opened the doors of my hut after having been away for some weeks, eager to start writing again on this crisp summer morning. Immediately I spotted a beautiful butterfly lying on the floor. She looked so peaceful with her legs folded in front of her chest, like a fallen ballerina. Carefully I carried her […]

  • Caught in the tide

    Remember this little guy? I was going for an early morning swim on a particularly hot day, when he floated past me on a wave. I came closer just as he went under, belly up. With cupped hands I scooped him up in one go. I carried him back to land and intended to leave […]

  • Lavender shelter

    Lavender shelter

    This summer I got some fragrant lavender for the rattan basket on my balcony. The very next day a snail appeared! It is so lovely to see how much she enjoys her little purple haven. Just like last year, we are happily co-habitating.

  • Close call

    Close call

    I came across rather large caterpillar on the bike lane. I offered her a lift to the other side. She gladly accepted and thanked me by letting me take her portrait while she was munching on some purple flowers.

  • Release the dragon

    Release the dragon

    Who heard it first? A very peculiar. yet distinct buzzing sound. It was unfamiliar, but resonated in a way that made us confident that something was up. We looked around the allotment garden. It seemed to be coming from the giant sunflowers. We walked over to them, following the vibrations in the air. Then we […]

  • Be my shadow

    The waltzing surf waves. The continuous rustling of the meeting between the shore and that immense deep green blue sea. I enjoyed a turbulent swim, receiving head on these white crested tumblers, floating on my back up and down, turning down and up again. Leaving the surf just from satisfaction, the water temperature above 15C. […]

  • Black beetle

    Black beetle

    Coming home from a lovely walk in the woods, we crossed the road and found a big stag beetle in the middle of it. I was afraid to pick him up, so I ran to the side of the road to find a stick of sorts. With an old cigarette pack I scooped him up. […]

  • Shelter from the storm

    We were sitting on our veranda on a hot summer’s evening, when dark clouds started gathering east of the hillside. When the thunderstorm started, we got some blankets and watched the lightening bolts in the distance. Soon we were joined by two racoons, their fur spiky from the rain. A bat started flying circles under […]

  • Catch and release

    Catch and release

    I was walking barefoot through the garden on a beautiful summer’s morning, when I heard a scream from inside the house. A baby robin had flown in through the patio door and was frantically bumping against the window. We came to the rescue and caught her. When I opened my hands, she didn’t move, still […]

  • Young Jack

    Young Jack

    Cycling through the streets of The Hague, I found a juvenile jackdaw. He was hopping around, not able to fly yet, and his parents were sitting on a ledge above, screeching loudly. I wasn’t sure what to do so I called Animal Rescue. They told me that it’s best not to do anything. Jackdaws are […]

  • Frozen


    When I grabbed the almond milk out of the fridge to make some sweet morning chai, I noticed a fly sitting on top of my leftover coconut curry lentil soup. Poor thing! He had been sitting in the fridge since I’d put the container in there the night before, perhaps hoping to have a little. […]

  • Darling Mel

    Darling Mel

    Meet Mel. She’s a sweet pidgie who has grown accustomed to visiting us for a little snack of something and some fresh water on warm days. She lets me feed her grains from my hand and stroke her soft feathers. Did you know pigeons can recognise indidivual faces? Even when I haven’t seen her for […]

  • Another May friend

    Another May friend

    Remember the may fly came to live with me two years ago? It shouldn’t be a surprise that one showed up on my doorstep this time time of year looking for shelter, but I was still amazed. I really enjoyed her company while she climbed my curtains and crawled over the open windows. On the […]

  • In memoriam

    In memoriam

    It’s still early morning, when I step outside in the garden. I put fresh water in the basin for the birds and raccoons, put some nuts and oats on the tree stump, and take my camera to look for a picture. Going down the steps, I see a big insect hanging on the little flowers […]

  • Rush hour at the dunes

    Cycling through the dunes on a sunny Saturday morning, I was enjoying the quiet wind, the salty air and the blossoming spring around me. I spotted a bunny right next to the path, and felt completely at peace with myself and life as I know it. I noticed a snail crossing the cycling lane, and […]

  • Heartwarming tale

    Heartwarming tale

    Attending a green event, I incidentally met the gatekeeper of the park where we found the abandoned bunny. We got to talking about the bunny, and he told me they had found a family willing to adopt her, so in the end they hadn’t called Animal Rescue. I was elated to hear that. Even though […]

  • Take shelter

    Take shelter

    Opening my hut one morning I found a rather large moth. We left the door open so she could fly out after dusk. Around midnight she was still there, however. After two days I got concerned, especially as I found her perched against the window, so we build a butterfly shelter for her. As I […]

  • Secret garden

    Secret garden

    Buddha once said: “All creatures tremble before violence. All fear death. All love life. See yourself in others. Then whom can you hurt?” When we are working in the garden we try to work with nature as much as possible. Clearing the ground of all the fallen leaves, I threaded carefully and found this little […]

  • Goodbye my friend

    Goodbye my friend

    We found a rose chafer on the garden path, and noticed that he was barely moving. When I leaned in for a close-up, he extended his antennae however – a sure sign of life. I spend some moments next to him on the ground. Despite our optimism, he died shortly after.

  • Like a moth

    Like a moth

    I noticed her as I grabbed my coat to go out the door. A tiny creature with heart-shaped wings. I had no clue what kind of animal she was; she looked like a moth to me. It turns out she is a moth fly. She is incredibly sweet to have around. Opening a cupboard to […]

  • Indigo sparrow

    Indigo sparrow

    I was visiting my family in town, when I found her on the balcony. A little sparrow. Blood drops on the concrete tiles. Too late to save her. I don’t know long how she had been dead, but when I held her in my hands I felt how cold she was. I brought her home […]

  • Star of the sea

    Star of the sea

    We went for a long walk on a sunny January day – the perfect day to go to the beach and enjoy the marvels of nature. The gulls were flying in swarms larger than we have ever seen. There were so many beautiful shells to admire. And then there were the starfish. We found the […]

  • Seal rescue

    Seal rescue

    It’s a beautiful afternoon and I put my bike away at the seaside near the Zandmotor. From far I could see a seal trying to reach open sea through the very undeep waterway. It was ebb, but still half an hour before it’s all tide out. A man had already called for Animal Rescue. “She […]

  • Broken hearted

    We were walking along the meandering lane of a secluded garden, when we stumbled upon a cardboard box. Completely surprised we approached it, when all of a sudden a little black head popped out. For a second, we panicked and looked at each other. We quickly walked over, and I kneeled down. It was a […]

  • Just in time

    This morning I arrived at the gym, just as the owner was about to grab his electric insect killer to go after a wasp. I immediately objected, asking for a glass and paper. It took a while, but I managed to approach him and catch him. I brought him outside to release him. On my […]

  • A storm is coming

    A storm is coming

    On a rainy Sunday afternoon, picking up some fallen pots on my balcony, I find my butterfly friend huddled under the pink dahlias. She is shivering, so I offer her my hand and she steps onto my palm without hesitation. Together we enjoy the warmth of my living room. She spend the rest of the […]

  • Lost and found

    Lost and found

    Yesterday on the beach oakhillside found two empty Ensis clams, covered with two cockles. She had brought them home, because she found them so interesting. When she showed them to me, I saw them move and cried: “They are alive!” And indeed the two cockles glued on the outside moved. We put them in water […]

  • Butterfly dreams

    Butterfly dreams

    She arrived on Sunday evening. I found her on my living room ceiling. She spend the night and when I returned from work the next day, she had moved into my bedroom. She stayed till Saturday morning. I was beginning to worry about whether she would need some food, when she suddenly flew towards the […]

  • The snail

    The snail

    The snail has moved in. She lives in the rattan flower basket on my balcony. Every morning I go out to say hello to her. It’s the greatest gift that of all the places she could go, she’s chosen to come live with me.

  • Broken butterfly

    Broken butterfly

    Cycling through the dunes, we found a Garden Tiger on the path. He didn’t move when I tried to pick him up, and we figured that he must have been killed in an ugly traffic accident. We took him home and as we were laying him down in one of the flower pots, we noticed […]

  • R.I.P. pidgie

    On my way home I found an injured pigeon and brought him to the bird shelter. Unfortunately, he could not be saved. He would starve to death within a couple of days (or worse, be eaten by a predator), and so they gave him a deadly injection.

  • Saving Maggie

    Saving Maggie

    Walking along the maze, we found a dead magpie lying on the path. We went closer to take a look and see if we might bury her nearby. Suddenly she moved her head. Taken by surprise, we decided to save her from certain death. She desperately tried to get away and hide under the bushes, […]

  • Tram interrupted

    Tram interrupted

    Coming through a little lane we saw the lightrail coming to a stand, the tramdriver got out and walked in front of his tram. A woman already stood there and I suggested to my husband that we would have a look. Could it be that an accident nearly had happened? When I came closer I […]

  • Wounded swan

    Today I saw a young swan, in the grass along the busy road where the cars drive swiftly. He limped in the direction of the road and I decided to look what was the matter with him. I saw a bit blood on the ground and I managed to get him further away from the […]

  • Skyfall

    On my way home a pigeon tumbled from the sky in front of me. I jumped off my bike, stopped traffic, and scooped her up. With the help of a kind stranger I called Animal Rescue, and together we waited for them. I held her against my chest with one hand, and was surprised at […]

  • For a moment

    For a moment

    Now and again the raccoons visit our forest garden. They are always a delight to see!

  • Furry visitor

    Furry visitor

    This morning I found a bat in the garden. She was lying on the  ground and seemed to be shivering profoundly. I asked our neighbour, a biologist, what to do for her. When we came near to pick her up, in one second the little creature flew away.

  • Shelter for the parrots

    Shelter for the parrots

    Today I cycled to the parrot shelter nearby. The owners of the shelter take care of abandoned parrots. It very sad to see them sitting on the branches of a tree, most of them with very few feathers left. I think it’s good work that they do!

  • Unusual houseguest

    Unusual houseguest

    I found a mayfly hanging from the washing line. When it started to get dark outside, he jumped unto the curtain in my bedroom, and ended up staying three nights. Basically his entire life…

  • Back to black

    Back to black

    I found a dead blackbird lying on the foot path. I gently scooped him up and ran up the steps, calling loudly for oakhillside. Together we buried him under the Christmas tree higher up the slope. A burning red candle near it.

  • La tendresse

    La tendresse

    When we reached the pond this morning, we noticed a dead gull lying on the pavement. I picked her up and carried her to the bushes to give her a quiet place to lie under some branches.

  • Pure as snow

    Pure as snow

    On our walk through the forest we saw this tiny raccoon covered in snow. We hope she got home safely.

  • Queen


    This morning we found a queen wasp on the balcony. She appeared to be close to death, so we were quite concerned about her. We decided to catch her in a glass. When we released her across the street, she fly off without a hint of fatigue.

  • Poor thing

    Poor thing

    Boink. I look out my window and see this pigeon on the outside ledge. She must have just flown against the window. What in god’s name has happened to her? She looks like she was attacked and then drowned. I grab my keys, my phone (to call the animal ambulance or rscpa; I’ll have to […]

  • Friends forever

    Friends forever

    Kneeling on the ground, the pigeons eating sunflower seeds out of my hand, I noticed a mother and child approaching. “Look, she is taking photographs of the pigeons”. When I looked around the boy was standing behind me. I asked whether he wanted to feed them too. He did. I gave him some seeds and […]

  • Inner city blues

    Yesterday I left the balcony door open and one of my new pigeon friends hopped into the living room, only to get lost and try to exit through the closed window. After some failed attempts, I caught her. I’ve never held a pigeon before and it really moved me to feel her soft feathers in […]

  • Without a heart

    Without a heart

    We met these two cute parrots today in a home for neglected parrots. It’s was so tragic to see that parrots, which have been kept in tiny cages and mistreated, start pulling out their own feathers. Some of them were sitting bare skinned on a branch shivering in the wind. It’s astounding that people mistreat […]

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