Thursday, March 10, 2016

Another Day Out in the Dutch Polder, Near Almkerk


I get antsy for this, you know, needing to see and feel it again.  It's gotten under my skin.  And besides, you never know what you're going to see!

In this case, we specifically went to Almkerk, 7 km south of us across the Merwede river, to find a cat weathervane we knew was there (a long story related to a Facebook friend we know here).  As it turned out, we never found the cat...but will go back with our friend to guide us later.

In the meantime...we were NOT disappointed....

...because we saw our first BUTTERFLY vane!

And, looking at that center image above, do you see a haystack/silo (with a vane on top, yes)?
The roof rises or falls on those corner poles depending on how much hay is stored.
Don't you wonder how the Dutch think these things up?!

It was a good day for vanes, even though we never found the cat!
I included a view of several houses in a row to show how plentiful the vanes sometimes are.

Almkerk also has it's own water tower, restored after the original was destroyed in 1945's WWII.

And two windmills, of which this is one:  the Oude Doornse Molen c. 1700.

And then, of course, you can't have the polder without swans.
Astrid counted 30+ swans in this group, all "children," she says, waiting to find their own field.
Swans pair up for life and live in one spot...one pair per spot/field.
I do hope these kids find their perfect mate.

It was a sunny day, so Mother Nature was out in force, doing her thing.

We were able to tell immediately that the horse rider was handicapped.
How splendid to be taken care of so well...on a beautiful day.

One thing I have learned about the Dutch:  they HAVE to be outdoors.
I don't go outdoors every day but maybe one day I will...and find that I, too, am Dutch?!
I have no excuse.  I just need to do it.


12 comments:

  1. I love the weather vanes. The fish vane was curious to me.


    I love the windmill. I posted one last week in an article about van Gogh. The Dutch countryside is beautiful and the windmills are one of my favourite structures in the world, a testament to hard work, beauty and ingenuity.

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    1. When I find weathervanes, Marie, especially ones I've never seen (like the butterfly), it's like finding money with the metal detector. HA! Totally my idea of FUN.

      You would love this country for the windmills alone! They never disappoint!

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  2. Oh the Dutch polder...I love when you have polder postings!! Love it all!

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    1. How can something so "simple" be so profoundly affecting, Robin??!!

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  3. Such a beautiful spot you have. I smiled when you talked about the kids (swans) and then showed goats. :) And as for the handicapped rider, did you know we have a farm across the road with a horse riding program for disabled kids?

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    1. Astrid says they do a lot of horse riding as therapy for disabled people here, Ruth, so it sounds like it straddles the Pond. Good. You'll see the polder when you come in July. Who knows what extras might come along then!

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  4. Going out to the polder, even if it is not far away, there is always something new to see. We will go back for the cat weather-vane and make a day out of it. Those swans are impressive an they will pair-up. Goats are so adorable, I only saw half of him... HA.. and for the horseback-riding, I know handicapped people love the movement of the horses. wonderful posts and wonderful pictures of 'yet another day :)'.

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    1. You know me and the polder, Astrid. It's in my blood by now and needs visiting with regularity. Thank you yet again for another venture into our own backyard!

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  5. Oh this gave me my Dutch fix, I have grown to love....the weather vanes, the windmills, the beautiful countryside...bliss!

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    1. We'll make a Dutch Lady out of you yet, Donna. :)

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  6. For us swans are an invasive species, and they can be pretty nasty, but they also have little fear of humans, it seems. I suppose it’s worth taking that as a warning.

    The weathervanes!!!! Thank you for showing them on a row of houses. Amazing. We have one on out cupola, but it is made of copper and in the form of a Great Blue Heron. There was really no choice when it came to choosing what we wanted flying over our house.

    …and windmills, sigh!

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    1. There are some swans, Ted, that are "invasive" here, too, and have to be killed. We know a man from the polder who smokes swan, which is a wonderful, lean mean we have grown to love. We make sure we always have some in the freezer.

      I do think I have a heron vane somewhere but probably NOT made of copper. Maybe one day you can take a photo of yours for me to see? I'd like that! :)

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