To be honest, the last few weeks my forest walks were not really fun for me.
Last November there was a round of felling of trees and they're doing a final round now.

Again and again open spaces appear where previously stood proud trees. Again and again
new heaps of sawdust, again and again new piles of branches along the path.

I saw a lot of goldcrests among the branches of a newly felled pine, which was kinda nice.
No doubt it's all very necessary but it still makes me sad. Especially when it comes to old trees,
especially when it comes to trees that are already sprouting.

I took a few of these budding branches home and put them in a vase. No doubt it's of no use
because these branches will die off soon but I wanted to give these buds a chance to bloom.

Anyway, branches start to sprout, the (willow) catkins are hanging from the trees, spring is
approaching and I can't wait to draw these wonderful changes.
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The first day (after two weeks of Christmas holidays) I was able to visit the forest I couldn't
because it was too windy.

The next day the wind had settled and lots of branches had come down, branches that could
have ended up on my head 🍃

This little bird's nest also came down. I took it home, after which I spend at least 20 minutes
shaking all the vermin and spiders from the nest 🕷

It's next to impossible to find out exactly what bird build this nest but someone on the
facebook Determination of Dutch Birds page suggested: garden warbler, common
whitethroat or the eurasian blackcap.
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During the Christmas holidays I didn't have much time to go to the Amsterdam Forest and
unfortunately I didn't have much time to draw either.

Today I had a walk in a mostly bare Amsterdam Forest when I noticed a dark shape hanging in
a tree. The dark shape hung at eye level.
At first I thought it was trash, a lost glove or a broken bicycle saddle. 
Taking a look up close it
turned out to be a dead crow! 
It was such a curious image... I took a number of photos to
work from later.

I could not leave the crow hanging like that. I imagined the poor animal hanging from the tree
until it would rot and fall apart.

With the help of a plastic bag I easily got the crow out of the tree. Doing this I found that the
animal, apart from some bone fractures, had no wounds and probably fell down dead and got
stuck on its way down.

Once I had the animal in my hands I decided to take it home to draw. The result is the three
pages above.
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Last time I wrote I hardly saw any fungi anywhere but for the past two weeks they've
been popping up like crazy 😊

The shaggy inkcap couple in the middle of the page is the same couple with a one-week
interval 🍄
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Lately I haven't seen a lot of mushrooms, just the Common ink cap or Inky cap.
Leaving the Amsterdam Forest I noticed a weird looking bushy thing next to the bicycle path.
It was roundish and quite small.

At first I thought it was a bird's nest but when I cycled back and gave the thing a proper look it
ended up being a bunch of roots. Probably some kind of reed.

When I picked it up I noticed a cluster of gray blueish things the size of woodlice but it turned
out to be tiny mussels! 
Very empty and very dead.
Maintenance has been very busy preparing the forest for the flowering season. They've been
cutting, weeding and sawing. Also along the waterfront. So this find is probably a remnant of
that dragged into the forest by a dog 😄
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