The planet is our home; we need to be more responsible. Here's what I do.
Near our house there’s a lake. It’s man made and squarish and fed by one of the many water ditches that connect all the water in Holland so it can be monitored and controlled.
The lake has a social purpose for fishing and gathering. And when there’s sufficient ice it’s a great training rink!
But it’s the site of a bold story too. One of craziness and of triumph over adversity.
Our local area is home too to many water birds. We have graceful swans, coloured Egyptian geese, moor hens and regular ducks.
Like this family, they have all spent spring time focussed on raising another brood.
Now these feathered friends face many hazards. There may be predatory birds on the lookout for a snack or cars that snuff out their fragile legacy when they stray into the road. A badly supervised, domestic dog may strike or a hunting cat claim a trophy.
But many birds show determination and such resilience that their brood can thrive and reach the summer.
One such hero in our neighbourhood has a threat of her own making. The defiant coot in question took on a manmade challenge on that lake when she selected her nest site. An inconspicuous platform in the middle made an ideal location. It was road and flat and gave a clear view of approaching marauders. The first time she nested here was about three years ago.
She carefully constructed a twiggy home.
There was a catch!
The unexpected bonus of this home was a water feature! It’s a fountain.
I don’t have a photo but I did witness the sweet coot fighting the upward flying stream to sustain her handiwork.
The good news is the neighbours rang the council.
Now every spring the fountain is switched off.
The coot remains undisturbed until her family ‘swims’ the nest!
a blog by a multilingual expat-since-birth, linguist, researcher, mum of three, living in the Netherlands and writing about bilingualism, multiculturalism, parenting abroad, international life...