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Spring has truely sprung! There are blooming flowers everywhere, birds chattering and during
my walk I had to pay very close attention to the forest floor as not to trample any forest
dwellers like caterpillars, snails, slugs, beetles and this pair of mating flies.

Empty eggshell Song Thrush
(Turdus philomelos)
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This is a forest diary entry that took me a long time and it had everything to do with the theme.
I love the changing of seasons, especially spring and fall. In both cases the colours are beautiful,
the scents magnificent. 
One is a promise of life and the other a promise of certain death.
For several years now, all that emerging life has also become a reminder of dying.
Today (April 17th) would have been my mom's birthday. In 2013, two days after her birthday,
she died of colon cancer. 
She thought she had a bad flu...
The period after her death it felt like I had a gaping hole in my chest. As if the wind had free
rein and whirled through the hole, whirring and tugging at the ragged edges. 
During that time I
did a lot of forest walks. 
Slowly I felt grounded again and at the same time I felt an enormous
connection to nature, to the earth. 
More than ever before I was aware of the cycle of life and
death, how one comes from the other and both can't exist without the other.
This awareness helped me to cope with the loss of my mom and also brought me back to an old
love, drawing nature. 
(Wilted-) flowers, insects, mushrooms, toads, birds. I have to draw the
overwhelming beauty of it all and share it.

The flower my mom called hers, the flower that coloured the street where she grew up pink
during her birthday, is the cherry blossom, the Japanese 'sakura'.
Symbol for transience, symbol for life, both beautiful and short.
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This is from when spring really started last March.
Blooming hazel catkins and great crested grebe doing their mating dance 💗
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This forest diary entry partly dates from April this year.
The last few months I've been so busy I couldn't find the time to continue but today, finally I
finished this page 🎨

'Up Sammy, look up Sammy
Because up there is the blue sky'
is the song by Ramses Shaffy, famous Dutch (and French/ Egyptian/ Polish) chansonnier.
It is a beautiful song, but sometimes there are beautiful treasures to be found on the (forest) floor.

Feathers, hatched blackbird eggs, snail houses, leaves in many colours, dew drops, flowers and
seeds, all kinds of fungi and mosses, the shield of a Polyphylla fullo beetle, a drowned
butterfly, a hornet finished  fighting.

But down there creatures live, crawl and love, creatures such as insects, snails, slugs, toads ...
We walk and cycle into the forest or park and look up and we forget about the world down
there, enjoying "high" and "the blue sky" our feet and tires crush a lot of beautiful lives.

It’s breeding season this time of year for amphibians. Frogs, toads and salamanders
wake up from hibernation at a temperature of 8 to 10° Celcius which has to last for at least 3
consecutive days.
First the smaller men wake up and a little later the ladies follow and travel back to the breeding
ponds where they were born themselves.

However, many will never reach the ponds of pleasure. Their journey ends beneath our feet
or tires. So, Sammy, look down too 🐸
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