More Flamingos in Utrecht

Look What We Found!
Imagine my surprise when I was scrolling through my Twitter feed just now and saw a new story that said that flamingos were spotted in Utrecht. Did they mean me? Had someone noticed me while I was out on the grocery run today?

It seems they weren’t talking about this particular flamingo but two real ones! They were spotted in Hoograven today. According to the story, it seems they each have a ring, so they are most likely escaped flamingos, but it’s not clear yet who is missing a pair of pink birds. Check out the news story for some great photos of the two who made their own great escape.

Foto Vrijdag: Birdy

This is a leftover from our misty weekend. This weekend we’re just looking at rain. Nowhere near as much fun! Maybe I’ll go ahead and put up my Christmas decorations this weekend. Or not. Technically, the tree isn’t supposed to go up in the Netherlands until after pakjesavond on 5 December, which is the end of the Sinterklaas celebrations. I suppose my plans will decide on motivation and the lure of a comfy sofa, warm fleece blankets, the occasional cat, and hot cups of coffee.

Whatever your weekend plans, I hope they’re enjoyable. Fijn weekend!

A Few Photos on Friday

All that work I’ve been doing recently on the ol’ resume seems to have paid off; my proposal was chosen for one of the jobs I applied for on So for the past few days, I’ve been editing some articles about New Zealand tourism. Who knew my interest in the country would finally pay off! The “sound of Te Awamutu had a truly sacred ring” a few decades ago when I first heard Crowded House’s song “Mean to Me”, and I’ve been curious about the country ever since.

Unfortunately, the editing work meant I didn’t get to get out and enjoy the brief bit of sunshine we had this week! All I could do was look at it out the window. Someone else who got to enjoy the sunshine was this huge bird that’s been visiting our back garden for the past couple of weeks.
Big Bird
My cat Lola has been glued to the windows in the kitchen, watching this bird — possibly bigger than Lola herself — flitting from bike to branch to brick.

The weather isn’t looking too promising this weekend, but I’m determined to get out for at least a little while. Maybe a trip to the Saturday market, if nothing else. I need some new photos! I hope you all get to enjoy your weekend!

Fly My Pretties

Wall of Birds
This bit of wall art is over by the Griftpark, somewhere along the Weerdsingel Oz. It’s a lovely area to walk along, with lots of unexpected sights and some pretty views of the canal that essentially served as a moat for the old city. I like how the birds are painted not with feathers, but with urban and landscape designs.

Vogel Kunst

Musical Birds

Musical Birds
After yesterday’s wall art posting — and after a night of sleeplessness that hasn’t been conducive to much of anything — I’ve decided to do a bit of a theme this week of various bits of wall art around town. This mural of birds on a music staff is on Adelaarstraat, down the street from one of the molen (windmills) in town. I like the clean simplicity of the design, along with the whimsy of it all.

Big Yellow Birdies and Buildings

Friday I gave you a bit of a challenge to recognize where in Utrecht the big birdy could be found. Since I took the photo, I kind of knew, but to be honest, I was cheating a bit and hoping someone else could give me some more information about the specific location, because it’s more than just birdies. It’s part of a whole building complex.
Willem Arntsz Huis
I knew I’d seen photos of it before in one of the Flickr Utrecht groups, so eventually I did track down some more information by finding some photos other people have taken of the big yellow building. It turns out to be the Willem Arntsz Huis, a mental health institution. The modern yellow building is just part of a larger and long-standing complex, but it’s certainly an eye-catching and interesting one. It might not blend, especially in the museum quarter, but it’s still attractive. The more recent addition of the budgerigars adds a certain whimsy to the intense geometry of the building.
Geel Huis
For the record, it’s on Vrouwjuttenhof, just off Vrouwjuttenstraat, which in turn is off Lange Nieuwstraat.

Play Misty For Me

Despite the sun not making a return appearance today, it was still pretty today with the mist that has hung on throughout the day. The picturesque stillness of a quiet Sunday morning was more than I could resist, so Pippo and I headed out to the Griftpark once again. Quite a few other people had the same idea, but that didn’t detract from the experience, as the cold mist swallowed up any extraneous noise. There was something charming about the ghostly figures of couples strolling along the canal or children and dogs racing after toy balls.

The large pond in the center of the park was still frozen over, giving the birds and ducks their own skating rink.

My favorite Twisty Figures were looking particularly artsy against the misty, bare backdrop, although they were soon joined in play by a father, his sons, and a playful standard poodle.

There may have been a bit of frost on the ground still, and the monotone gray of the mist hid some of the brighter colors of the day, but there was still a hint of spring on its way as I spied these buds pushing their way up.

Poes en Vogel

This little guy has been hanging out in our back garden recently. This means that Lola has been hanging out in our kitchen a lot recently. Any time she catches a glimpse of him, she starts chattering away and stares intently until he flies away or we distract her.

It would seem that just the sight of him here on my laptop is enough to catch her interest, as she’s currently standing on my left arm and staring at the laptop screen. She’s a patient devil; I could be trapped here for ages! It wouldn’t be the first time she’s trapped me.

It’s a good thing she’s such an adorable little sausage!