Wildlife crime against plants, video


This 20 Febuary 2019 video from Naturalis Biodiversity Center in Leiden in the Netherlands says about itself:

Wildlife crime fighters, episode 4: Pills

Wildlife crime fighter Barbara Gravendeel studies traditional medicines! At Naturalis Science we help out Schiphol Airport, to monitor what medicines are made of. Spoiler: endangered plants and animals. Learn more in the fourth and last episode of our series regarding wildlife crime.

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Botanical garden birds and leaves


Moss, 4 November 2018

On 4 November 2018, we went to the botanical garden in Leiden. Where we saw this moss.

A jay flying.

Six ring-necked parakeets flying.

We went to the Japanese garden part.

Grass, 4 November 2018

Where we saw this grass.

Downy Japanese maple leaves

And these beautiful downy Japanese maple autumn leaves.

Downy Japanese maple, samara fruit, 4 November 2018

Among these leaves, samara fruits.

Downy Japanese maple, samara fruit, on 4 November 2018

As we passed the pond, a grey heron caught a quite big carp.

Leiden botanical garden video


This 27 September 2018 video from the Netherlands says about itself:

Autumn has started! In the Netherlands it’s time to plant the flower bulbs in the garden. Ever since the beginning of the Hortus botanicus Leiden we have cultivated unusual species of bulbs. In the olden days the rarer bulbs (like tulips) were grown in a fenced part of the Clusius Garden.

Nowadays our bulb collection has become so extensive and complex that we devoted a new part of the garden to cultivate, and a special glasshouse to display the crown jewels of our bulb collection. Together with researchers of Universiteit Leiden / Leiden University Naturalis Wageningen University & Research we are doing research into the endangered European orchids. Head of glass houses Rogier van Vugt explains why in this video.

Young Rembrandt exhibit in Leiden, the Netherlands


This Dutch 18 May 2018 video says about itself (translated):

Leiden has a new attraction where you can experience the work and life of the young Rembrandt. Exactly at the place where he got his first painting lessons, a special video presentation explains what the Leiden life of the young painter looked like.

With the Young Rembrandt Studio, Leiden is taking a first step towards making Rembrandt more present in the city. The Young Rembrandt Studio on the Langebrug street has only been open for a day and yet a lot of people come to take a look. First you have to walk past the souvenirs, and then you end up in the narrow building at a curtain.

Behind it is the 7-minute video. ‘I really liked it’, says a lady from Amsterdam. Together with friends she visits Leiden. “And without Rembrandt a visit to Leiden is not a real visit”, she says.

However, many tourists do not know that Rembrandt was born in Leiden and his first painting lessons were with history painter Jacob van Swanenburgh. Leiden Marketing has set itself the goal of making young Rembrandt a permanent part of what Leiden has to offer as a tourist city.

Big plans

‘This is one of the first places in the new Rembrandt Trail‘, says Lucien Geelhoed of Leiden Marketing. “And so we are going to develop a number of places, such as the Latin school [where Rembrandt had lessons] but also along the Rapenburg canal and around his birth house.”

No mass tourism

In addition, in 2019 it will be exactly 350 years ago that Rembrandt died in Amsterdam. And that has to bring money to both Amsterdam and Leiden. But Leiden people do not have to be afraid of mass tourism. ‘We are mainly targeting tourists who are interested in art and culture.’ It is the intention that young Rembrandt will get a permanent place in Leiden, so that the tourists will be able to find Leiden after 2019 as well.

This Dutch 17 May 2018 video shows an interview with an actor playing Rembrandt‘s painting teacher Jacob van Swanenburgh at the Young Rembrandt Studio.

Hot summer saves flowering plant’s botanical garden stay


Flowering agave at botanical garden in Leiden, the Netherlands. Photo by Cunie Sleijpen

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

Heat makes Leiden plants bloom after 60 years

The Hortus Botanicus [botanical garden] in Leiden was about to take them away. Those four agaves with flower stalks of a few meters high had been around for sixty or seventy years and they had never bloomed. “It’s like they’ve heard that”, says Rogier van Vugt of Hortus Botanicus.

Though no-one had counted on it, they suddenly all four were in bloom, reports broadcasting organisation West. “We wanted to take them away to clean up the cultivation collection a bit for the refurbishment and renovation of the front yard”, says Van Vugt.

The Agave americana, as the plant is officially called, specializes in water retention. The plant is adapted to life in dry areas. The Dutch climate is not good for the agaves, but according to the Hortus Botanicus, due to the continued heat now, they are “very pleased”.

Originally, the plant is from dry areas in Mexico and Central America. The agave is also known to need a long time before it’s going to bloom. Sometimes it takes eighty years. The flower stem can then grow up to 10 meters. “If it is blooming, then that’s an impressive and beautiful sight”, reports Hortus Botanicus.

After the blooming the main shoots die, but there are often small shoots left over. They can be potted and will later become new plants.

In Mexico, the plant is also used for the production of the alcoholic beverage mescal.

Agave americana flowers in Leiden. Photo by Theo Houthoff

West reports today (translated):

The flower stem can grow up to ten meters high, and hundreds or even thousands of upright fragrant flowers will form on the side branches. The flowers contain a lot of nectar. “Bees benefit from that, because it is not easy for them to get nectar with this drought”, said Van Vugt.