It is time again to prepare the hearing protection and the camera !!
Frisian Flag 2019
Exactly like in 2018, another major exercise is being organized at the Leeuwarden Air Base. Look at my album for pictures of this last year major event.
Leeuwarden Air Base
Leeuwarden Air Base will host the major Frisian Flag 2019 international exercise from Monday, April 1 through Friday, April 12. About 50 (hunting) aircraft train large and complex international missions from the air base.
Additionally to the F-16s of the Dutch Air Force, the coalition partners Germany, France, Great Britain, Poland, Switzerland, and the UnitedStates are also participating in Frisian Flag on (fighter) aircraft.
Finally 2019, New road ahead and lots of new things to do.
Now, 6 -7 weeks after moving in my new home everything is slowly getting its place again. I’m used to having a lot more space, therefore, I have to be creative with the available space. My house is a lovely place though. I even have a real garden with quite some little-feathered friends 🙂
I went to several events, started a new job and moved to my new home. Regrettably, I was not able to keep the updates going. Too busy and too much going on to get everything arranged for the move to my new home.
My photography never stopped. Luckily, I still have loads of unposted pictures, therefore, posting every day will not be a problem. Follow me on my social media accounts to find out what has been posted.
2019, New road ahead, lots of new things to happen!
With regard to planes and helicopters, the next visits of airforce bases are already planned.
January 9, we had the Farewell Sea-King at the Airforce base Koksijde The three of us left early so we had some time for a coffee, halfway the trip. Certainly, we arrived on schedule. This event started at 12.30 and we left (earlier) at 18.30. (We had an evening shoot as well!!)
I tell you, it was a very cold day I can tell. We were standing in the open field, just beside the runway. N-W wind straight in our faces, with a few hail and rain shower.
See some of my pictures down below
June, 14 and 15th on the Airforce base Volkel, the Dutch airforce will organize the “Luchtmacht Dagen 2019”
It’s summer holiday. 6 weeks of time where kids don’t have to do anything… Well, just having the holiday. That’s all. But it’s also time to do things which have never done before. What about an Airshow?
As I’m a great aviation fan and try to visit airbases as much as possible. Someday my 8-year old son mentioned, after showing him some pictures of recent airbase visits, he wished he was there with me. What a chance he had on his first day together with his dad, during this holiday. An airshow was planned on August 4th, just an hour and a half away!!
Did you ever hear a sound of a P51 Mustang? (turn up your sound)
The event tickets, the overnight stay and the boat crossing were arranged easily. Airshows can be very noisy, so some ear protection was required for the little guy as well.
After the show, the plan was to visit my parents up north so Yaz was with us as well. But having Yaz with us all day, would not be a good idea so we arranged a nice place to stay, close to the airport.
After a good night sleep, eventually, we went to the airport and o dear…… Shops!!! However, it required some pushing not to by them all empty. Quickly to the airstrip and wait for the show to start.
I mean, it was great to see all the shows. Unfortunately, some show had to quit early or didn’t start all due to (weather) circumstances. But did we see some good stuff.
In short, with regard to an airshow, the next one is already planned. The Belgian Air Force Day. A real air force base is very exciting of course and therefore the little guy is looking forward to it already.
During a walk with Yaz, a few weeks ago, I met the owner of two beautiful dogs. One full breed Australian shepherd dog and a mix of an Australian Shepherd – Border Collie. More important for me was that I found out that the mixed breed was pregnant! Dad is a full breed Border Collie… O dear, what a beautiful mix will that be. After that walk, I’d meet the owner a few times more and we agreed on a Puppy Shoot.
And what an amazing opportunity I had this week. One shoot when they are three weeks old and after this one, one shoot will follow when these little monsters will be 6-7 weeks.
Taking it easy
Indeed, this was my very first time I would do a shoot with little puppies. I did visit them 2 times prior to the shoot just to get acquainted with the puppies, the mother dog, and the location. This first-time, the shoot is just at home.
Did you ever see a bunch of 10, blue-eyed puppies crawling around? As a matter of fact, some of the 3 weeks old youngsters were even challenging each other, showing their teeth which aren’t even there yet.
It was difficult but so much fun to do. They were moving around all the time. It was almost if they knew some idiot was taking pictures of them. But after an hour or so I had them all captured and to tell the truth, I’m looking forward to the next shoot. I mean when they are +6 weeks old. In short, that will be a challenge for sure.
As I’m living close to a river, every day there is something to find, see or hear. One of the “something” is the Actitis hypoleucos…, the common sandpiper.
The common sandpiper breeds across most of temperate and subtropical Europe and Asia and migrates to Africa, southern Asia, and Australia in winter. In the Netherlands, this little bird is on the red list which means that this bird is about to disappear. (or already disappeared from the Netherlands) It seems that in the Netherlands only a 10 – 30 pairs stay to build a nest.
Sometimes I hear the sound of this small bird when I take Yaz out for her daily walks. The sound, during sunset or sunrise, is for me absolutely wonderful.
When I see them, they’re flying in small flocks, low over the water surface.
Most of the time I have the camera ready but these little creatures are quick and so small and therefore difficult to find on the rocks or to follow when I have them in sight.
Last Tuesday I took Yaz for a walk, camera ready. Suddenly I heard that beautiful sound again and I saw 2 of these little creatures flying, away from me, down the river shoreline!! One of the common sandpipers landed not far away from where I was, so… Finally, it’s time to do some photographic hunting.
O, I had Yaz with me right? She listens very well but what to expect from a 3 years old Flat-coated retriever. Indeed, she has carrots in her ears most of the time. O yes, she will listen after she has done her thing. Whatever that is…
This time I ordered her to stay on her spot and lay down. Accordingly, I sneaked closer and closer, taking photos when I could. When I was looking, where Yaz supposed to be, about 30 yards away back… Guess what. She was still there where she ordered her to stay! I only saw a small part of her head and fluffy ears.
When I signaled her to come over to me there wasn’t any dirt filling the sky. Normally she is a little canon. Now, she approached very carefully, staying low, until she reached me. Just a hand signal and she stayed.
Yesterday evening, dark clouds were floating in from the south-east. I was checking the weather-app all the time to find out what it would bring this evening.
A few weeks of warm weather, no rain, eventually made me wish for something, which I like a lot. Watching the sky and checking apps it just had to be. Thunder is coming.
Photographing thunderstorms or lightning is something I never did before. So, for me, it was time to do an experiment. In the room upstairs I had a good view on the arriving thunderstorm.
As soon as it started raining and the lightning was getting more intense, I grabbed my tripod and my camera with the AF-P Nikkor 18-55, F 3.5-5.6G lens. Trying to get a good focus somewhere in the sky… Shutter speed set at 10″
During the set up I missed a few good ones… Shame.
But the view without the lighting was nice already!
New setting for me
I never used the interval shooting option on the camera so I had to figure out how that setting worked. I read about it in the manual but there was no time to read that part again. After fiddling with the camera menu I was ready to go. Again, missed some good lightning shots. First two times, I used the interval setting 125×1 with a shutter speed set on 10″ The third run was on 375×1 with the same shutter speed. That would take an hour to finish.
As a result, I have been experimenting a total of 2 – 3 hours. You need to take time for this, right?
After finishing up and when I was laying in my bed I really needed to see the results. Of course. In total, I had over 600 pictures of this thunder experiment. How many with a lightning ray?
But there were also some other interesting photos as well. The river de Lek, in front of my house, is always busy with all kind of ships. I mean Cargoships just keep on moving. Also when normal people, who have nothing to do with shipping, are sleeping…
I’m not normal I guess. On the other hand, it gave some nice photos which I need to sort out first.
I need more of these moments, eventually… Instead the room upstairs, a different setting next time. Maybe somewhere in the fields??
Eventually, new photos will be added on a regular base. furthermore, for any new experiments or experiences, I’ll make post updates.
After a long time, it was today I’d planned a meeting with some friends in a small forest close by. Not sure they were at home though…
Entering the forest, with my dog Yaz, was a sort of homecoming. For Yaz too as she was on top speed in a record time, down the track in front of us. Well, in this case, it assured my friends knew I was there.
Forest and meadows
Wow! It’s an amazing day with a lot of sunshine with beautiful flowers and little creatures. In the background noisy birds… My friends.
In the meantime, while I was shooting pictures, Yaz was transforming into a wet mud monster. As usual, she didn’t realize she had to get back home again… In my car. Well, we’re just on our way so, that being the case, there was time to dry.
Did you ever have an exciting coffee? Well, I did today!
Preparing the coffee
Sometimes you have the feeling you need another cup of coffee even though you already had quite a lot of it. I have a lot of these moments so, my cup already close to the coffee machine indeed, it was time again.
Because picking up my cup, I think, something moved fast away from me… Such as through the air! In all honesty, It scared me for a moment. Having a quick look and I was on my way to grab the Fuji-X30 camera. (good macro function)
First of all, I see these spiders a lot around the house and on the balcony. In bad weather, they hide in small silk litters in crevices and cracks, where they also spend the winter. Let’s say, we have a lot of these hidings around the house Jumping spiders are day-active animals and prefer to stay in warm, sunny places. They stalk their prey on the ground, on walls or in bushes. When an unlucky prey comes within reach, it will be jumped.
A side note is that not all of the jumping spiders are carnivores but some spiders live partly on nectar.
Spider vs camera
I tried to make a photo of this little friend. It attacked the camera by jumping against the lens and on top of the camera. Because this little one was a courageous spider definitely.
Hydraulically stretching of the hind legs makes them able to jump as they do. Jumping they catch prey and escape enemies. Before the spider makes a jump, it first strands a security thread, in case it gets out of the course. A prey normally has little chance because the jump is usually very well calculated.
Have to say that my camera did not make any chance!!
Finally the coffee
As a result of all of this, it was indeed an exciting coffee. Especially because I was able to capture this beautiful creature with the camera.
A highly respected photographer whose work I know always adds the following text with his photos, “You have got to love nature and its creations.”
Yesterday I had a good walk with my dog Yaz after she had to take in easy the last few weeks. She had surgery on her left paw. Quite a big wound which had to heal properly. So no running, no jumping or long walks.
After a nice walk in a small forest nearby it was time to have some lunch. For me, a cup of coffee and fried eggs were ordered. Suddenly I felt tickling on my foot…..
There was something else having its nature lunch too!!
A spider wasp dragging its catch to its nest. Only my foot was in its way obviously.
The Spider Wasp
Adult spider wasps are nectar-feeding insects and feed on a variety of plants. The female wasps search for a variety of spiders for their larva to feed on, like wolf spiders for instance. It first bytes of the spider’s legs. It then can drag the spider more easily to its nest where it will lay one egg on the spider. So this wasp was not having lunch, obviously.
The wasp larva feeds on its host, it saves the vital organs, such as the heart and central nervous system, for last. By waiting until the final larval instar, it ensures the spider will not decompose before the larva has fully developed.
The newborn wasp will emerge the following spring. Until then it stays it its little hole in the ground.
Yes, my lunch was excellent, no complaints. Had a coca cola too which was very nice. It was quite warm outside, even in the shade.
Keep an eye on my portfolio The creature in this post can be found in the “Insects” gallery. I’ll make some changes (still) in my portfolio and albums the next couple of weeks.