Winter in the Dunes

Yes, it is still winter here.  I don’t even see buds on the trees in the dunes yet and since there aren’t any bulbs occurring naturally here, there are no little flowers popping up either.  There are, however, lots of interesting tree shapes.

These photos were taken Sunday while DB was running and I was walking in Zuid-Kennermerland National Park, just a short 10 minute drive from our house.  If you continue west through the dunes you end up at the beach, either Bloemendaal or Parnassia.

I saw several trees with bark rubbed or cut off.  How did this happen?  I think either humans or the Highlands Cattle that roam around here did this.  I can’t imagine why a human would have wanted to do this but I can imagine that a bovine with an itchy head and horns would do this.  Or maybe the deer with new antlers.

After about 40 minutes of wandering around, DB came running up.  These photos make it look like we had the whole dunes to ourselves. Not quite.  There were actually a lot of runners on Sunday.  It’s a popular place to walk and run, even on a grey, cold winter day.

Brrrrrrr!

Today marks the longest streak of below freezing weather since 1997.  It was only a week ago that I was complaining that it’s been an incredibly mild winter which felt like just a prolonged Fall.  Daffodils were blooming already.  Them WHAM the weather blew in from the north and we haven’t seen any temp above freezing for a week, day or night.  It’s supposed to continue for at least another week.

Today I didn’t feel at all like running.  The only place I could imagine safely running without slipping in the snow would have been at the beach.  And running on the beach with a super freezing wind blowing on your face didn’t sound at all fun.  I convinced DB to come for a walk instead.  I expected we’d walk for an hour, just around town.  We ended up walking for 2 hours and about 10km, all around Haarlem Noord.  Here are photos I took.  The canal skating was at 3 different places around town.

Weeeeeee!
Weeeeeee!
any hill will do
any hill will do

There was a group of boys who had taken the wheels off of their skateboards and just stood on them and glided down this little hill.  The poor boys snowboard I guess.

making an ice rink
making an ice rink
learning to skate
learning to skate
canal in Haarlem
canal in Haarlem
clearing snow for skating
clearing snow for skating
ice hockey in the park
ice hockey in the park
cold feet
cold feet