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Autumnal awesomeness in the Low Lands

Autumnal awesomeness in the Low Lands


Postby Lenore » Sun Oct 28, 2012 9:07 pm

Date walked: 26/10/2012

Time taken: 4

Distance: 15 km

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National Park Dwingelderveld, Drenthe, the Netherlands


It’s another 6 months before my next planned trip to Scotland and I can’t possibly wait that long to post another walk report, so I hope you’ll forgive me for posting this quickie ‘Outside Scotland’, one that’s suffering from a lack of hills but not a lack of beauty.

We all know it’s an illusion to think that there is much ‘wild’ nature left in this part of Europe, untouched by man, but some places are a bit more affected than others. My country, the Netherlands, is such a place. No wonder really, seeing as we’re 16 million people living on a speck of land the size of a stamp! And a boggy stamp, at that. As a result, our (oh so carefully) preserved nature is as much a testament to ways of life (and ways of making a living) of the generations before us, as it is showcase of what nature has to offer. Though this may sound as criticism, it’s not really. The more I travel and the more stunning the things I see abroad, the more I also appreciate the cute little place that we’ve crafted here. It’s a different kind of beauty, but one that warms my heart nonetheless.

So, back to the walk. On this fine autumn day I got up at 5 am to take the train north, to a place called Dwingelderveld in Drenthe Province. I’d been in the area years before in summer and thought the colors this time of year must be something worth seeing. And boy, was I right! I intended to get there before sunrise, but due to a broken-down train my trip up took 4 trains, a bus, and a good 3,5 hours, so I had to be content watching the sunrise from the train:

Zonsopgang Drenthe.jpg
Sunrise from the train


This walk was a 15 km circuitous route through National Park Dwingelderveld. It is one of the largest wet moorlands in Europe and is ‘actively’ preserved, meaning they are currently trying to ‘upgrade’ the biodiversity to what it was early 20th century before commercial foresting and farming. They’re doing a good job working with local partners; it’s a bother for farmers to have fields spread out in between forest and moors anyway, so with some creative planning, they’re trading land and giving the moors more space.

It was the diversity that struck me most on this walks. It’s not just moorland; there is extensive peat coverage, numerous pools and fens, grassy fields and many different types of forest. Some remnants of commercial forest, meaning various pine, but even in those nature has been given a free reign for years now. Moreover, its not just pine; you can find pretty much any type of tree you can think of here. There are bits of birch forest, beach forest, mixed woods, and even a stretch of century old juniper. Though I was too late to see the heather blooming, the fall colors were just breathtaking!

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Autumn colors


Perfect red oak:
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Red tree


Sun-kissed pine and birch:
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Sun-kissed trees


Partial change:
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Partial change


Flaming orange:
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Orange!


Some greens still:
DSC02387klein.jpg
Soft and green


It was also teaming with mushrooms, all kinds of sizes and colors, red, white, purple, yellow, golf ball??

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Purple


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Yellow


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Golf ball


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red and white


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Red and wet


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Spotlight


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weird


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It's diamonds!


The weather was just the right mix to appreciate the fens: not too much wind and enough cloud to reflect onto the water's surface; enough sun to give it that golden glow.

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Reflections


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Pano 2


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They use cows and sheep to keep the moors from being overgrown. Now I don't mind sheep at all, and I think cows are quite pretty from a distance, but I'm a bit of a wuss when it comes to walking past cows without a fence between them and me! And these were bulls :shock:

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Moooo


Luckily once around the water when I passed them they were only mildly interested and didn't move more than a few steps in my direction. Quite proud of myself for staying calm and not run :lol:

DSC02341.JPG
Stay there please!
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Re: Autumnal awesomeness in the Low Lands

Postby simon-b » Sun Oct 28, 2012 10:02 pm

Great photos, Lenore.The countryside can still be very attractive without mountains.

What you say about human ways of life and the effect on the landscape isn't only true of the Netherlands. The scenery of Great Britain's mountain regions has been shaped by the activity of generations of people, as well as nature.
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Re: Autumnal awesomeness in the Low Lands

Postby ChrisW » Mon Oct 29, 2012 2:03 am

Lovely low level hike Lenore with beautiful photos too (you even got the cows without and camera shake :lol: ) I love the 'Sun-kissed pine and birch' and the detail of the fungi ........ stunning :clap:
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Re: Autumnal awesomeness in the Low Lands

Postby BlackPanther » Mon Oct 29, 2012 10:12 am

Fantastic colours in your pics :D :D I think autumn is the most interesting time to take photos, especially in the woods, with the specific climate of the fall - all the colours of the rainbow :D
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Re: Autumnal awesomeness in the Low Lands

Postby Lenore » Mon Oct 29, 2012 1:58 pm

BlackPanther wrote:Fantastic colours in your pics :D :D I think autumn is the most interesting time to take photos, especially in the woods, with the specific climate of the fall - all the colours of the rainbow :D


It is! I don't think I always appreciate fall as it should be appreciated. Did do that this time around, though :D
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Re: Autumnal awesomeness in the Low Lands

Postby Lenore » Mon Oct 29, 2012 1:59 pm

ChrisW wrote:Lovely low level hike Lenore with beautiful photos too (you even got the cows without and camera shake :lol: ) I love the 'Sun-kissed pine and birch' and the detail of the fungi ........ stunning :clap:


Thanks Chris! And that while the one bull on the left was actually on the move towards me. Nerves of steel :lol:
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Re: Autumnal awesomeness in the Low Lands

Postby garyhortop » Wed Oct 31, 2012 11:13 am

Some amazing shots there Lenore...really caught the autumnal colours!! Nice to see a walk outside of the ordinary as well..even lowland ones! :D
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Re: Autumnal awesomeness in the Low Lands

Postby Lenore » Wed Oct 31, 2012 8:06 pm

garyhortop wrote:Some amazing shots there Lenore...really caught the autumnal colours!! Nice to see a walk outside of the ordinary as well..even lowland ones! :D


Thanks Gary! It was such a lovely day :-)
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Re: Autumnal awesomeness in the Low Lands

Postby clivegrif » Wed Oct 31, 2012 10:59 pm

Lovely! Great mushroom pics! :clap:
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Re: Autumnal awesomeness in the Low Lands

Postby john923 » Sun Nov 04, 2012 7:12 pm

I'll second that. And puffballs are tasty too - sliced and pan-fried with a bit of butter and garlic. (But don't think about doing the same with the red and white fly agarics though).
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Re: Autumnal awesomeness in the Low Lands

Postby Lenore » Sun Nov 04, 2012 8:33 pm

Thanks guys! Also didnt know any of them were edible!
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Re: Autumnal awesomeness in the Low Lands

Postby wilkiemurray » Wed Nov 07, 2012 1:10 am

loved your pictures - the autumninal colours are amazing
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Re: Autumnal awesomeness in the Low Lands

Postby Play2End » Sat Nov 10, 2012 4:48 pm

I enjoyed reading your report of the route you did in Drenthe Province Netherlands. The photos were really peacefull and calming and so varied. Please post some more of your trips and photos in the Netherlands as I feel nostalgic to the time I lived there for a while. I even climbed Drielandenpunt! Can I tick it off on any Dutch Walkhighlands website?
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Re: Autumnal awesomeness in the Low Lands

Postby Lenore » Sun Nov 11, 2012 9:42 am

Play2End wrote:I enjoyed reading your report of the route you did in Drenthe Province Netherlands. The photos were really peacefull and calming and so varied. Please post some more of your trips and photos in the Netherlands as I feel nostalgic to the time I lived there for a while. I even climbed Drielandenpunt! Can I tick it off on any Dutch Walkhighlands website?


Hahaha now there's an idea, play2End! We'd be done rather quickly as that list would include about 4 hills (not counting speed bumps) ;-p Whereabouts in the Netherlands were you at? I live in Utrecht.

If the weather holds I'll be going out again next weekend!
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Re: Autumnal awesomeness in the Low Lands

Postby Play2End » Mon Nov 12, 2012 6:36 pm

Lenore, I stayed with friends at IJsselstein, and worked for Dolmans, demolishing fire damaged buildings! This list of four hills in the Netherlands, can they be done in one day if they are all in the Dutch Alps?
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