the wwf’s living planet report 2014, which discovered that we’ve lost half of all the world’s wildlife in the past fourty years, showed more specifically that the population of common dormice dropped by 43 percent between 1993 and 2010.

not only are dormice vulnerable to habitat loss, but they’re hesitant to cross open fields, and the grubbing out of hedgerows in recent decades has removed the wildlife corridors between woods that has allowed the dormice to move more freely to new habitat.  

dormice have very specialized diets of berries and nuts, and with less habitat they are unable to seek out enough food to fatten up before their six month hibernation (which was featured in these two posts). 

photos by (click pic) andrea zampatti, richard austin xmiroslav hlávkobengt lundberg, david kjaer and ingo ardnt



Cycling Across The Netherlands

I left the Netherlands about a week ago, but I am finally taking a break in Hannover, Germany to try and process what I have experienced thus far.

These are my favorite photos from my week in The Netherlands from:

Rotterdam-> Delft-> Den Haag-> Gouda-> Utrecht -> Arnhem -> Groenlo and everything in between!

It was so wonderful cycling across The Netherlands. I was lucky with wonderful weather. The countryside is covered in bike paths crossing canals and bright green fields.

I mostly followed the bike signs from city to city and a little bit of the LF4 Cross Country Route. Overall I appreciate these routes and the great signage, but it is so annoying when these routes send me in circles. I guess they want people to take the most “scenic” paths, but to me, everything is “scenic,” so I can live without going backwards, forwards and where-ever. I am slow enough with my heavy loaded bicycle.

There were a few nights when I would be looking for a place to “wild camp” and legal campsites would appear, so that was nice. I did camp in a few odd places on other nights though: deep in the woods and once in some dense trees by a freeway. Every night was an…adventure.

Everyone I met was so nice and helpful but it does get really old to hear: “wow, what you are doing is not safe, especially for a woman. I would never let my children do that. Be careful.” I appreciate the concern, but sometimes these comments get to my head, especially when I am alone at night.

I know I am safe. Most people are in the world are good people. I have a higher chance of dying in a car accident back home than I do with cycling and camping. And I am careful, whatever that means. I am not stupid. I try to make the best choices, but of course, I don’t know everything, especially when I am traveling through foreign countries. So I make mistakes, but it is okay.

Bicycle touring is mentally exhausting more than anything else, but I will write more about that later, for now here are some Dutch highlights!