Tench swimming, video

This video is about a tench swimming in a canal in Leiden city in the Netherlands.

Aaf Verkade made this video.

Syrian war refugees interviewed

This video from the USA says about itself:

Super-Christian Mike Huckabee [one of the 16 Republican Party candidates for the presidency of the USA] Not So Christian On Syrian Refugees

15 October 2015

In an interview with Iowa talk radio host Jan Mickelson yesterday, GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee falsely suggested that the U.S. is not thoroughly vetting the Syrian refugees it is accepting, saying that unlike Vietnamese refugees who were resettled in the U.S. after the Vietnam War, Syrians are merely seeking U.S. benefits because they are “not living a very fancy life.” – See more here.

Huckabee Suggests Poor People Should Be Sold Into Slavery For Stealing: here.

In Dutch weekly Leids Nieuwsblad, 14 October 2015 paper edition, there is an interview by Hans Schuurman with some of the 120 refugees now temporarily living in a sports hall in Leiden city.

Mohamed, 30 years old, used to live in Damascus, the capital of Syria. Suddenly, unexpectedly again and again the violence of war threatens people living there. Mohamed fled three months ago. By train, by bus. And by rubber boat across the Meditteranean to Greece which cost 3,000 euros. Then, he continued on foot.

He felt most fear not in the rubber boat, but in Hungary: police might arrest him and jail him for years.

When he reached Germany, he said he wanted to go to the Netherlands, and then he could continue by bus. Why the Netherlands? ‘I have heard that the Netherlands is a tolerant country with many secular people. I myself don’t believe in Islam, into which I was born, any more. Please, don’t tell that to others. If ISIS would have got hold of me in Syria, they would have slit my throat’.

Michael, 39 years of age, is a Christian. He is from Aleppo, a city which suffers much from warfare. He hopes that it will possible soon to reunite with his wife and two daughters, 5 and 7 years old.

29-year-old herring gull in Leiden city

This video from Britain says about itself:

The first few weeks in the life of a Herring Gull

14 December 2010

in the summer of 2010 two Herring gulls built a nest on the roof of our neighbours’ house. We watched in amazement as they hatched their chicks and we watched them grow over the coming weeks until the finally learnt to fly.

On 10 July 1986, a new-born female herring gull chick was ringed in the nesting colony in Wassenaar in the Netherlands.

Now, in 2015, that gull is still alive, as the Witte Weekblad paper in Leiden city of 26 August reported.

Being 29 years old, she is old for a herring gull. As far as we know, the oldest herring gull ever became 34 years old.

Gull Green F.AMA (called so because of the colour of, and the letters on, her ring) is often at the Leiden market for fish and cheese scraps.

Sometimes, she is in Katwijk as well.

Fish and birds in, near the botanical garden

Jackdaw, 7 September 2015

This photo shows a jackdaw on the bank of a canal. We met it on our way on 7 September 2015 to the big AquaHortus aquarium and terrarium exhibition in the botanical garden. All photos of that day are macro lens photos.

The aquariums near the entrance of the exhibition contained tropical fish. In aquarium #1 were South American species: Nannostomus beckfordi; Hyphessobrycon columbianus; and Corydoras arcuatus.

This video is called Colombian Red & Blue Tetra (Hyphessobrycon colombianus).

In aquarium #2 were many cardinal tetras; and Hyphessobrycon bentosi.

Next, an aquarium with blue discus fish. According to an exhibition organiser, they cost 250-300 euros a fish.

Piranhas, 7 September 2015

In aquarium #6 lived piranhas.

Piranhas, on 7 September 2015

Their colour was more pale than usually. Still stress of being transported to the exhibition, which started only two days ago.

Paradise fish male, 7 September 2015

Next, an aquarium with paradise fish, both a male and a female.

One story higher in the botanical garden building were many small aquaria. In some of them were blue shrimps.

Killifish, 7 September 2015

In others, killifish. Many of them colourful, like these ones in aquarium #121. Unfortunately, no name tag on the aquarium.

We continued to a hothouse. Many tiger barbs in an aquarium.

In the next hothouse, an aquarium with two tropical seahorse species: Hippocampus erectus from the Americas, and Hippocampus barbouri from south-east Asia.

We left the hothouse, and had to get used to the colder autumn open air temperature. Not a problem for the animals in the aquariums outside. They were North Sea animals, including sea urchins and crabs.

A bit further, there were aquariums with wildlife species living in the canals of Leiden city. Including invasive American crayfish. And various freshwater fish species: eel (both juveniles and older ones). And carp (juveniles, as adult ones would need too big an aquarium).

Also Cottus perifretum.

Perch shared an aquarium with zebra mussels.

Next, an aquarium with three young northern pike.

Then, an aquarium shared by two species: the smallest Dutch fish at the exhibition, three-spined sticklebacks.

Ruffe, 7 September 2015

And somewhat bigger, but still small, fish: ruffe.

Ruffe, on 7 September 2015

Next, a rudd aquarium.

Finally, a bream aquarium.

As we walked back, pondskaters in the stream in the garden.

On the bank of the pond, a grey heron. Twice, it managed to catch a fish: a roach?

Stay tuned, as there will be more blog posts about the AquaHortus exhibition, especially amphibians, reptiles and plants!

Ancient Egyptian sculpture acquired by Dutch museum

Newly aquired sculpture from the age of Pharaoh Amenhotep III

Translated from the National Museum of Antiquities in Leiden, the Netherlands:

The Egyptian collection of the Museum of Antiquities has recently been supplemented by a series of objects from the former collection of HC Jelgersma (1897-1982), a psychiatrist who studied Egyptology in his spare time. The most striking object of this is a small statue from the time of Amenhotep III (1391-1353 BC), the father of the famous Pharaoh Akhenaten. It is a thirteen centimeters tall head of a statue that has stood in an Egyptian temple.

Figurine with features of Amenhotep III

The sculpture has the characteristic features of Pharaoh Amenhotep III, but the wig with vertical strands indicates that the head does not represent the pharaoh himself, but a god with the facial features of the monarch. Amenhotep III had hundreds of these idols made for many temples in the country.

Rise and fall of the sun cult

The statue is made of red quartzite, a type of stone that was popular in this period of Egyptian history. Probably the colour was associated with the rising sun. That suited the cult of the sun as almighty god, which was booming at this time and culminated during the reign of Akhenaten. On the forehead was originally the head of a cobra, a symbol of power, worn both by gods and kings.

September 2, 2015

Big aquarium, terrarium exhibition in Dutch botanical garden

This 24 August 2015 video is about preparations for the AquaHortus exhibition, in the botanical garden in Leiden, the Netherlands.

From 5-27 September 2015, there will be that big aquarium and terrarium exhibition, called AquaHortus.

The displays will be in several botanical garden hothouses and other buildings and in the open air.

The plans say there will be 68 terrariums. And 95 big aquariums. And about 200 small aquariums, mainly for killifish and shrimps.

Among the fish will be tropical sea fish, tropical fresh water fish, North Sea fish and fish of the species in the canals of Leiden city.

In the terrariums will be snakes, chameleons and other lizards, turtles and tortoises, salamanders, poison dart frogs and scorpions.

There have been earlier AquaHortus exhibitions here.

In the 1950s, this was one of the first places anywhere were one could see luminescent neon tetras in an aquarium.

This is a neon tetra video.

Dutch storm damages Japanese old tree

This is a Japanese video about Japanese walnuts.

On 25 July 2015 there was a storm in the Netherlands. In the botanical garden in Leiden, it damaged an old tree. It was a Japanese walnut tree.

In 1859, famous Japanologist Philipp Franz von Siebold had brought it from Japan to the garden. Now, the storm broke off its branches, and only the trunk still stands.

The botanical garden is investigating whether the tree can be kept alive.

Marie de Brimeu, Clusius and the founding of the Leiden botanical garden: here.