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Blogging on animals, peace and war, science, social justice, women's issues, arts, and much more

Classical music in the botanical garden


Ragazze Kwartet, 25 May 2015

This cell phone photo shows Dutch classical music group Ragazze Kwartet on 25 May 2015; during a concert in the botanical garden in Leiden.

They played Maurice Ravel‘s string quartet in F major.

This video shows another time when they played that.

The Ragazze Kwartet consists of Rosa Arnold, violin; Jeanita Vriens, violin; Annemijn Bergkotte, viola; and Kirsten Jenson, cello.

Play fighting kingfishers, woodlark and little grebe


This video is about three kingfishers. On 23 May 2015, I had the privilege of seeing this species and many other beautiful birds in the Amsterdamse Waterleidingduinen nature reserve.

Near the entrance, blackcap, chiffchaff, great spotted woodpecker sounds. Barn swallows flying around.

In the Oranjekom lake, many tufted ducks. A coot tries to drive them away. Near the other bank, a little grebe swims.

Four great cormorants in a tree.

We continue to a bridge. Two kingfishers sit on bushes on the bank. Then, a fight seems to break out: both fall in the water, then fly back to the branches. Probably a play fight between two young birds.

Houndstongue flowers.

A young fallow deer.

A nightingale sings. A tree pipit, a reed warbler, a willow warbler, a redstart all sing.

A garden warbler. A cuckoo. A whitethroat.

Field mouse-ear and redstem filaree flowers.

Wild pansies.

A woodlark flies, singing.

Green woodpecker sound.

Cinnabar moths flying.

Much higher, a swift.

A common sandpiper.

Grey lag geese swimming with their youngsters.

A Canada goose flying, calling.

A reed warbler on a reed stem. Seconds later, a great tit on another reed stem.

We arrive back at Oranjekom. Not only tufted ducks; also a gadwall couple.

See also this report.

Classical and folk rock music


Willem Bodhi in concert, 24 May 2015

On 24 May 2015, Willem Bodhi played guitar and sang, as this cell phone photo shows.

This was an open air concert in the courtyard of the Jean Michelhof in Leiden; built in 1687 for housing elderly French-speaking refugees. The Jean Michelhof is a ‘hofje‘, a courtyard with almshouses around it. There are over thirty hofjes in Leiden. They used to be for elderly people. Today, mainly students and others live there.

Jean Michelhof courtyard, photo by Biccie

This photo shows the Jean Michelhof when the courtyard is empty.

This is a video of Willem Bodhi playing to thousands of people at the Parkpop rock festival in 2014 in The Hague.

In the small Jean Michelhof courtyard, though it was jam-packed, of course far less people could listen. Still, things went well, as the weather was sunny.

One of the songs Willem sang was ‘Here comes the sun‘, originally by George Harrison; with its line ‘It’s all right’. It’s all right with me as well … as long as that sun is not Rupert Murdoch‘s Sun :)

Among Willem’s other songs was another Beatles song, Come Together.

This concert was part of a big series of concerts with various types of music in the hofjes of Leiden, on 23-25 May.

Earlier on 24 May, we had heard another concert, also packed, at the somewhat larger Pieter Loridanshof.

A group of three musicians: Isabel Favilla on recorder and baroque bassoon; Filipa Meneses on viola da gamba; and Giulio Quirici on theorbo played baroque music there.

Nematodes helping against Lyme disease


This video says about itself:

Beneficial Nematodes For Pest Control In The Garden

30 August 2013

Beneficial Nematodes are a natural, easy and safe way to get rid of numerous pests like grubs, fungus gnats, fleas and ticks and other pests that develop in the soil.

Translated from Silvia Hellingman and Arnold van Vliet in the Netherlands:

Sunday, May 24th, 2015

Fighting ticks by using nematodes seems a promising and environmentally friendly method. The first tests show that sixty percent of the ticks dies within ten days after they have been contacted with the minuscule worms. The coming weeks several field tests will be performed to optimize their practical application.

These ticks cause Lyme disease.

Mouse feeding, video


On 17 May 2015, this hungry mouse fed on lungwort buds.

Roel Nijboer, from Driebergen in the Netherlands, made this video.