Yes I am a little behind on blogging. I am behind because I am doing a course at Coursera again and that is currently taking prcedence over my blog. But I am not forgetting it and I am using time when I have it to blog a bit more.
It seems I have another repeat of some sort 🙂 I went walking again; And it was almost the same route as walking in the park last year. A few differences. Last year I walked south to North. This time the opposite way. A few reasons for that; a) because I had to be home at a certain time and I did not want to pressure SO at finishing work early b) because I thought it would be an new perspective and c) because I could. Another difference was; my garminbird was fully charged and I had spare batteries.
On the Wednesday morning SO drove to work and I was right there with him. He actually commented that it was nice to have company for a change on the way. We did take a bit of a detour due to road works and a major traffic incident but got there at a reasonable time yet later than his usual start. I got out just before the gates and SO went to work and I started my walk homeward.
It promised to become an unseasonally warm spring day and I had a T-shirt and my fleece. Mornings definitely are still cooler. So had asked me to keep him informed of my progress and I did, which really was kinda nice for the both of us. The first hour and a half were the fastest It is a good path and easy to walk. I got reasonably far and as it was not late and not that many people I saw some of the wildlife. I saw three rabbits and a deer as well as many birds of course.
I also encountered nature protection and learned some new things.
The sign says: Dunea wants to eradicate several invasive plant species. Species such as Ambrosia artemisiifolia, Heracleum mantegazzianum and Black Swallowwort or Dog-Strangling Vine. These species are a thread to the delicate native dune plants. Black Swallowwort or Dog-Strangling Vine is a poisonous vine that belongs I the Apocynacea family of plants. This plant species originates in southern Europe and was probably imported into the Netherlands as as pheasant feed compound. Up until 2012 the plant was kept at bay by mowing on a regular basis. Mowing does not eradicate the plant, but it does minimize its spread. However over time it was found that the plant root system was growing underground and as a result the plant was still spreading through the area Alternative eradication methods. Conventional alternative eradication methods are poisoning, manual pulling of the plant or digging it out with machinery with then sieving the sand. These methods are very expensive. Apart from expensive they may endanger the water winning from the dune area and cause more damage to the dunes and its ecological systems. Dunea therefore started to look around for alternative, less invasive/damaging methods, preferably cheaper An idea that came forward is based on camping grounds. Often these grounds forbid the use of non-breathing ground sheets under the tents, as these cause the grass to die off. In 2011 and 2012 non-breathable ground sheets were tried and it was found that the Black Swallowwort or Dog-Strangling Vine can be eradicated by using ground sheets that are both non-breathable and do not let any light through. The material causes lack of air and light and the plant dies of exhaustion and overheating. Wherever this method was tried the species has not returned, whereas native species did return. Due to the high success rate of the trials Dunea has decided to continue the use of this method Not all of the dunes affected by Black Swallowwort or Dog-Strangling Vine can be treated in one go. This is why the dark sheets are moved on a regular basis over the next few year to the target areas. It may look a little weird; an area wrapped up in cloth but it is a safe, cheap and environmentally friendly way to destroy an invasive species whilst keeping the dune landscape intact
As time went on, the temperatures rose and my speed went down. This time I was not going to take that damn beach again. But I found another path which has some loose sand dunes and also the path was twice blocked by water. Officially you are to stay on the path but as I had not brought my swimsuit and towel I did have to walk around the water. From the tracks seems I was not the only one having to do that. It was the hardest part of the walk but also by far the nicest part. It was only there that I felt I was away from the hustle and bustle of life. I had taken small cucumbers with me on the trip and to be honest that was a great little food for me. It has some water and fibre but is not heavy and munches away easily. When I felt a little tired an apple was perfect to get some instant sugar and energy.
I had two long breaks and two shorter ones. The latter primarily because of wanting to drink more than a sip of water. Also as the temperatures rose, so did the smog levels and it just felt more and more muggy and as a result a little uncomfortable . I arrived in Scheveningen at the Tram around 14.30 around which made that I walked the distance in around 4.5 hours. I took the tram home, walked from the tram home and trew myself in a nice warm soothing bath. This was around 16.00. Thinking I had plenty of time.
I got out of the bath and only then realised that it was 18.00 already and I had to hurry for my sewing class at 19.00 as I still had to have supper too. Anyway I went there and in the evening slept ever to well. I was exhausted in a good way. Loved it and want to do it more often. Oh yes there were more pictures too.