It’s no surprise the Amsterdam herons flew right into my knitting patterns. You can see them everywhere around here. On the Albert Cuyp Market after the fish market stalls have left or when I dogwalk my four-paws Sindy around the jagged edges of the city. Usually we start our daily walk at the Hunting Path (Jaagpad), that meanders along the water called the Schinkel, that is connected with the big Amsterdam water the IJ. We always meet the grey shaggy looking one called Kareltje who squats next to the houseboat of a very old lady every day at 12 o’clock sharp: lunchtime!
“It’s a great opportunist and it flies” the Dutch papers (NRC, December 2017) say about the heron. The great silver heron proves to be one of the most growing populations in the Netherlands, more than 7.000 birds have been counted last October. And the blue herons even outnumber them with 17.000 birds. When they are flying and squeaking over our houses, flapping their mighty wings, leaving white flags on the pavement, herons are spookily impressive.
Walking around the New Lake (artificial lake De Nieuwe Meer) we meet and greet that big black other bird, the cormorant. Keeping their distance they balance on the water poles we can see them stretching their glistening wings out in the sun to dry.
For me, a real city dweller, the birds are real Amsterdam wildlife. Six paws trotting in silence, Sindy in her element as the ultimate guide, I enjoy their beautiful forms, let the impressions flow through my head to direct my knitting fingers for some genuine Beauxknits colorwork. And my little hunter podenco Sindy? She gets wildly excited by them too: “Come here, I wanna grab you!”
p.s. The Dutch ‘Vogelbescherming’ places camera’s for some intimate birdwatching again, watch three families of a peregrine falcon, a little owl and a see eagle & enjoy!
© Drawing and photograph by Beauxknits
* This story accompanies my knitwear Birds of Amsterdam Series, hand knitting patterns to be found on Ravelry