Where to go Birding in the Netherlands

Posted by Arthur in Birds, Life in Holland, Nature

Here is a list of my five favorite birdwatching places in the Netherlands and some of my favorite photos of birds that we’ve seen. My top 5 birding locations are:

  1. Lepelaarplassen, Flevoland
  2. De Muy & De Petten on Texel, Noord Holland
  3. Starrevaart in Leidschendam, Zuid Holland
  4. Zuidpier in IJmuiden, Zuid Holland
  5. De Putten, Noord Holland

Common Kingfisher
Common Kingfisher near De Lepelaarshut
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January 3rd 2009 | 5:05 pm CET | 1 Comment »

Our new Wingscapes Birdcam

Posted by Amy in Birds

For Christmas I got a Wingscapes Birdcam from Santa. It’s a weather-resistant outdoor camera designed to take photos and videos of birds. I’ve had it take photos for the last couple of days and the backyard Birdcam bird count is up to twelve species. Here are some of the photos we’ve gotten so far: Blue Jay; American Tree Sparrow; Mourning Dove.

Blue Jay

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January 2nd 2009 | 11:28 am CET | 1 Comment »

Jarvis Migratory Bird Sanctuary

Posted by Arthur in Birds, Chicago, Nature

Yesterday we drove down to Lincoln Park in Chicago and briefly visited the Jarvis Migratory Bird Sanctuary. We had heard that a Great Horned Owl had been sighted there the last few days so we went to have a look for it. Unfortunately we couldn’t find it, but it was still nice to see the bird sanctuary.

Lincoln Park 017 (31-Dec).jpg

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January 1st 2009 | 10:10 am CET | 3 Comments »

It’s 2009!!!!!

Posted by Arthur in Life in America, Personal

Happy new year and gelukkig nieuwjaar!! We wish everyone a prosperous, healthy, peaceful and generally awesome new year. May all your wishing come true. It is now 12:23am here in Illinois and we’re watching Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest on ABC. New Year’s Eve is not as exciting here as at our old home in the Netherlands, where everyone does fireworks outside. No fireworks here, except for on TV. That’s a lot safer, though! 😉

July 4th Fireworks (Chicago)
Photo by TravISU

January 1st 2009 | 12:31 am CET | No Comments »

Fort Sheridan Forest Preserve

Posted by Arthur in Forest Preserves, Life in America, Nature

Today we visited Fort Sheridan Forest Preserve in Highland Park IL, just 20 minutes from here. The 250-acre preserve is located on the Lake Michigan shoreline at the site of the former Fort Sheridan army base. The area features rolling terrain, bluffs, ravines and trees set against the shoreline. There are a few scenic trails that wind through the preserve to the sandy shores of Lake Michigan, providing the first official public access to this section of shoreline since the Fort’s military operations began in 1887.

Ft Sheridan FP 027 (28-Dec).jpg

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December 28th 2008 | 5:09 pm CET | No Comments »

Craziest Thing I’ve Ever Seen: Shoe-Fitting X-Ray Machine

Posted by Arthur in Craziest Things I've Ever Seen

Amy’s dad told us about this the other day and we didn’t believe it, but it’s true: in the 1930s and 1940s shoe stores used to have an x-ray shoe-fitting fluoroscope to see how new shoes fit! Customers would stick their foot in a hole in the bottom of a wooden cabinet and when you looked through a viewing port you could see a fluorescent image of the bones of the feet and the outline of the shoes. It wasn’t until 1949 that the danger of the fluoroscope was revealed and the machines were quietly phased out during the 1950s. This is the craziest thing I’ve ever seen!

Shoe-Fitting Fluoroscope

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December 27th 2008 | 3:13 am CET | 1 Comment »

2008: Our Year in Review

Posted by Arthur in Personal

Just five more days and it will be 2009. We’ve had a busy year. We had a couple of short holidays, we ran around Holland to see things before we left, we spent months packing up our stuff and emptying our house, said goodbye to our Dutch family, on September 21st made the big move to Chicago, in October our cat Alex died and in December we bought a new car. Here are some pictures of our year:


▲ This is at Disney Wilderness Preserve on January 3rd. We started off the year at First Night in Leesburg, Florida. New Year’s Day had record low temperatures in Florida. More »

December 26th 2008 | 4:11 pm CET | No Comments »

Merry Christmas

Posted by Arthur in Personal, Photos

Wishing everyone a very merry Christmas! The following picture from December 2004 shows our cat Alex with a Santa hat. Alex died in October this year.

Alex with Santa Hat

December 25th 2008 | 12:01 am CET | 1 Comment »

Bird Prints

Posted by Arthur in Birds, Weather

It’s been snowing here all day and the forecast is more snow until 6pm tomorrow. Not so great for all those people that still have Christmas shopping to do! The roads around here were a mess today. When we got home we found hundreds of little bird prints on the porch. Looks like they had quite a party while we were gone. 😉

Bird prints

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December 23rd 2008 | 6:00 pm CET | No Comments »

Craziest Thing I’ve Ever Seen: Fainting Goats

Posted by Arthur in Craziest Things I've Ever Seen, Funny, Videos

Okay, this is a very old video on YouTube and more than four million people have seen this already, but this is incredible; the fainting goat is a breed of domestic goat whose muscles freeze for about 10 seconds when it is startled. Younger goats usually collapse on their side, but older ones learn to spread their legs or lean against something when startled. Why have I never heard of this? It’s the craziest thing I’ve ever seen:


December 23rd 2008 | 3:13 am CET | No Comments »