page 31 stOOf

On page 31 of the “Dropped Feather” book you find a poem with the title “Stoof”, here follows the inspiration of that poem.

new land

The poetry in the book is about the moment. While taking the photos my mind wanders, sometimes to surprising places, at times following memory lane.
It took me a while before i found the place, cycling in memories on straight road framed with straight trees, along bare agricultural land.
Contrasting landscape compared with the river landscape, where so many of the photos come from. It is intensively farmed land and nature has no change, except along the edges. The above photo was taken in April 2020, ploughed soil, partly covered by plastic, artificial irrigated.
New land, the riverside is new nature, this is new created land from nature.

look at the photo top right hand corner.

Once the land was a cultivated natural landscape with mainly Willows. The Willows were harvest for basket making and other crafts, including clog making, them traditional wooden shoes.
The land was swampy with many creeks and small lakes, flooded during the winter months. There were little hills, called Terps the top photo shows one of them Terps with a small house. The houses on the Terps in the old landscape were used as shelter and sleeping areas for the Willow-workers. The whole area is around 1100 hectares, or was 1100 hectares.

In 1926 they started to take out the Willows and filled in the many creeks and small lakes, by hand, with shovel and wheelbarrow. Work for the many unemployed man and woman from the locale area, it was the way they earned their ‘benefit’ literarily the only way they could survive.
Refusing to work here was loosing your ‘benefit’ and with no money, no food etc. etc.

de stoof now

The worst of all it was seen as charity. The new landowners became rich over the backs of the poor who found themselves in a situation, which was not their making.
This story i was told as a little girl when my parents took us on the bike (they never owned a car) to a place we called de Stoof but its official name is Stoop.
We would picknick there on a sunny summer day. The Stoop is situated on an old Terp and was, this always makes me laugh, given to the community ha ha ha, it was made by the community.

Sitting there on the picknick bench i wrote the poem you find on page 31. Why it ended up on page 31 is pure coincidence, it has nothing to do with the photo.
The Stoof was written on 24 July 2020, the photo under the poem was taken on 16 September 2020, the photo next to the poem, page 30 was taken on 1 June 2020. The way to create Photo Poetry in some way related yet not at all.

http://roosboekjes.eu

BiesflOAT

here we go

an other go
reflecting on water flow
subtle selection while changing
suppression

an other one

dead body sturdy
hidden camera
which one to choose
pick the want
going for the wishful
on that other site search

the river beaches

sand mushroom
underwater poem
salix inspiration
many feathers
movie making
more feathers
right there 
over there

fallen

Went again to the other site, to see the familiar site, from new distance.
Had to cycle further to be on the right, of the left hand site.
Discovering new inside, an old.
The aim was and will be new photos, new inspirations, new words, found some.

map

After 40 years back, to where it once all started, the changes are fantastic, for me.
It takes time even to get here, 20 kilometres to get from me to the ferry>
It is a very special spot and you can read all about it here De Biesbosch

Next week the Photo-Poetry book will go to the printer for last checking and altering.
Still making my own alterations and adding new, perhaps better, photos from this trip.

Water goes,
Water flows
Where nobody knows

rOOs eyes wide open

Underwater Poem

an other try

Going back doing an other try, making an other, not.
Sticks stayed, dipper drift, tooooooo much debris, need to do it again.

waiting for an better moment

Sticks saved, put secure.
Waiting for the right weather.

The third try was ships law, 3 times lucky.

 

Line 1 and line 2

 

CONSTANT FLOW OF IMPULSE
ADJUSTING TOWARDS ALTERATION

 

line 3 and 4 and 5

 

BOAT BELLIES
PUSH PERSISTENCE WAVES
READJUSTING WHAT WAS THERE

 

LINE 6 AND LINE 7

 

CONSTANT COMING
PERSISTENT GOING

 

FINAL

Finally the sticks stayed on the beach, not sure for how long.
The work was started at 7 in the morning in all peace without people.
On the way back people started to flow in with whatever they could carry.
The river beaches are a bit of a walk.

The poem will be a part of the Clean Rivers project, this September. What goes into the rivers here can go around many places in the world, even going around the world.
The poem is now in my garden and noting was left in the river, except my footprints, maybe.
The aim is to remind people of the beauty of the spot, without moralising.

Now i need to work on the film a new experience, which will take time.

 

Bies Forest

You can find the beginning of the ‘Land Art Forest’ in the ‘BiesBosch’, which means the forest of Bies (common club-rush).
This area stands central for the land art, first as an example how we can give back and how we can recover nature. Second as this is the breeding ground for a lot of my thinking.

How it used to be

The changing of this area over the years has been to say the least, dramatic. The area was created by St. Elizabeth’s flood of 1421. Due to war and the rush for profits the dykes were neglected therefor on 18 November 1421 the water broke through and the area became an inland sea/delta.
Nature used the rivers to create land again with silt, bit by bit water became sandbank, sandbank became silt plate, silt plate became swamp with reed and rush and finally meadow.

The BiesBosch became an important fishing area, in 1910 thousands of salmon were caught in a year, yet 23 years later the salmon fishery was finished due to overfishing. The same goes for the ‘Steur’ (sea Sturgeon) a big fish which was used for the caviar. In 1900 438 Steur were caught in the BiesBosch and in 1925 just 3.
The land was used for hunting, there were several Duck decoys used to shoot Ducks in large numbers. This came also to an end and the income of the landowners came from the harvest of Willows and Rush, and cattle from the meadows.

Willows are used to make clogs

Even it was cultivated land it was rich in wildlife due to the swampy character and the dangers due to the tidal difference of 2 metres. A knowledge about the area was needed to wander around.
The best way to visit was by canoe all them small creeks with growth all over it due to neglect as the market for Willow and Rush had dropped thanks to the cheap plastic, which is still today cheaper than Willow.
It looked like a jungle in my childhood memories with lots of birds and filled with adventures.

water reservoir

no comment

All this came to an abrupt end when the Haringvliet was closed to protect Holland from the sea and to stop flooding from happening again.
A flood once created the BiesBosch now flood-prevention killed the BiesBosch.
There was only 20 centimetre difference between low and high water, the water became still and dead. Botulism moved in and many birds and fish died and several people were infected.
Straight after the dam came the reservoirs for water, 3 big concrete basins to store water. Not that we didn’t have enough rain but because the rivers became too polluted to give safe drinking water for the big city of Rotterdam.
A nature area of a total of 693 hectares (1712 acres) of land came under concrete basins filled with water in 1973.
3 Years later biologist from the TU Delft gave a public speech about how it should be different this was for me the turning point perhaps better a starting point that we can and should do it different.

Nature and culture can go together, you don’t need to make a choice. While i spread my wings to discover the world and study, the fight for the BiesBosch went on.
The result is fantastic. In the seventies a big turning point was created by them environmentalist which many of us have forgotten. GreenPeace and the Friends of the Earth made a big impact on decisions and companies had to stop pumping their poison into the rivers. Slowly the rivers became cleaner, we still have a long way to go but progress is made.
Clean rivers bring better water quality to the BiesBosch and better land management created new nature.

BiesBosch back to life

life back into the BiesBosch

It didn’t stop there, people started to care more and more, so the politics started to change according very slowly, as politics always do moves slowly.
The people at the BieBosch however didn’t sit still and waited, they worked hard to create changes to reintroduce wildlife back into the area.
The BiesBosch became a National Park in 1994 many land parcels were given back to nature. It is back to a delta were rivers can overflow preventing floods elsewhere, showing how nature can help.
Climate change brings more and heavier rain to our land, don’t forget around two/thirds of the land in the Netherlands is under sea level.
Once they wanted to get rid of the Willows now they are a respected part of the landscape.

Land Art in the BiesBosch

Land Art is a part of this nature regeneration where culture meets nature and shakes hands. The Moon Spiral  made by land artist Paul de Kort, a brilliant piece to walk and enter nature, proves this.
There are more plans to give land back to nature to change agriculture land into nature. It doesn’t even stop there, the dam at the Haringvliet will be opened permanently to let the fish back in. It took politics 14 years to finally realise that this is a good idea. In the meantime the Sea Sturgeon has been reintroduced into the rivers after more than 65 years  they swim perhaps back into the BiesBosch.

It just shows so clearly, that we can make a difference and that a long fight do give results, we can give back to nature and enjoying it. When we help nature we help ourselves.
On the moment the Land Art Forest is just in her baby shoes, not much more than a creative idea.
It will be a hard battle to see how a group of people can own it and how we can prevent it from being sold ever.

For now I am looking for people who like to be involved and who want to help. In the next series of blocks you can read about the lessons learned from other Land Art projects i did. The Land Art Forest will benefit from all them lessons.
The blog will be written in English next to this a book will be written in Dutch. The idea is that people can use this to create their own Land Art Forest where ever they are in the world.
For now the focus is on a Land Art Forest in Portugal and in Holland. Both forests will have to deal with extreme weathers and both will be used to regenerate nature by people themselves.

In the end the blog will share lots of information about products that will help, together with which trees can be planted best.

trees feed

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