KISSMYARTS
// text and photography by Marjolein den Hartog
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Further Adventures on New Land

These past few months, I've spent quite a bit of time in the Netherlands' newest province, Flevoland, which only came into existence some 30-odd years ago, after the former Zuiderzee was reclaimed from the sea in the 1950s and 1960s.

Nature played a big role in shaping this new man-made landscape – and it still takes up a large part in this densely populated area. Four nature areas will form a new national park called Nieuw Land (‘new land’), and – as part of my photography assignment for the national park – I had the privilege to get to know them inside and out in the past few months.

I spent early (and I mean early!) mornings and late summer evenings at the Lepelaarplassen, Oostvaardersplassen, Markermeer, and the marvelous new Marker Wadden islands, looking for unexpected landscapes and people enjoying their adventures in this ‘new land’… all the while spotting some wonderful wildlife along the way.

If I had to pick one particular experience that really lifted my heart, it was the morning encounter with thousands of cormorants taking a dive in the Lepelaarplassen. At first, they remained hidden from view by the reed beds, and I only noticed something was going on behind all of that by an indescribable sound. After peeping over the reeds, I couldn’t believe my eyes! Unfortunately, I wasn’t really prepared for this kind of event, so the photos don’t really do justice to the amazing experience. Next time, I might include some video or sound recordings. Oh – seeing a flock of starlings fly in front of a rainbow over the Oostvaardersplassen was rather special too!

(Some of my work can already be seen on the national park’s website: www.nationaalparknieuwland.nl.)

Marjolein den HartogComment