The wondrous world of wild plants

I’m keeping a habit of making a short walk every day. Since we moved to a house with a garden I’m all about plants and finding out which species is which. And with spring being in full swing, a lot of little flowers pop up in the green sea of regular grass – making it easier to identify these little plants.

I have no training whatsoever to idenify plant species, so I use the PlantNet app, which lets me upload a photo and its algorithm compares it millions of other uploaded photos to determine which species it is. I found it works pretty well, although I always look for a bit more information on the plant if it’s really the thing. Many species look very much alike, and part of the fun is learning about them!

Identifying wild plant species feels like a lost art. I find it super interesting to be able to name wild plants and learn about their properties. After all, they form the largest part of nature around us, they grow on every roadside and field. I’d love to combine this new-found interest with illustrations of some kind, but I’m not sure what kind of project yet. But I’m thinking!

Back from Vacation to the Baltics

The reason there weren’t any posts for the past three weeks: holidays. To Latvia and Estonia, to be precise, and a one-day trip to St. Petersburg. 🙂

If you ever to to St. Petersburg (or Moscow), go eat at Теремок (Teremok)! It’s a Russian fast food restaurant, although I can’t say it’s really fast food you’re getting. You can choose between soups, buckwheat and many different blini (Russian pancakes) with meat and vegetables and potatoes or fruit or chocolate. Delicious! And so much better than the McDonalds which is everywhere. >.>

On the way home I suddenly realized how terribly designed my country is – the landscape in Latvia and Estonia isn’t that different at first sight, it’s almost as flat as the Netherlands but with lots and lots of forest. But in a country bigger than mine but with a population that’s less than a tenth from here, there is so much space and nature, it shows it is really different. In the Netherlands, every single square cm has been planned and designed, every field, hill, dike and ditch is man-made. Look at aerial photographs and it’s a checkboard pattern of fields and ditches. Heck, we even create land out of water! I never fully realized that until now.

Another thing I noticed, I feel the people are much closer to nature in Latvia and Estonia. We’ve seen multiple times people collect berries and mushrooms in the forests during our hikes. In the Netherlands there are very little people who do that, even though there are plenty blackberries and raspberries to pick here too. The people who do pick berries are mostly Polish immigrants XD. Some even think it’s weird. Thing is, these plants mostly grow on municipal grounds, so it’s also there were people walk their dogs and the like. I even think it’s illegal – same as it is actually illegal to pick flowers from the roadside when they were planted by the municipality. >.<

Anyway, I’m glad to be back home. 🙂

Too bad school starts in two weeks.