Walking wild

As a slightly alternative and less costly holiday this easter we went north to Jutland to wander for a few days in Thy National Park (see website, also in English!). Our walk began at Svankær went south, then west to the coast and north through Stenbjerg, Nørre Vorupør and then looped back to the car.  Armed with gas stoves, dried food and large amounts and cheese and sausages we walked for 3 days and stayed in shelters for 2 nights. This wasn’t my first snail-like experience. There is something so appealing about carrying all you need to survive on your back. It simplifies things and allows you to focus on the nature around you with no distractions except maybe your sore feet!

A Danish style shelter (like a big dog kennel) - our home for the night.

We were blessed with fantastic nature as we wandered along wetlands, sand dunes and through forest plantations on Denmarks west coast. So far I have found it a little difficult to get close to Denmarks nature, or better said, away from Danish civilization! Denmark is a flat land, which allows for easy cultivation, and as a result a large percentage of the country is arable. This forces one to look a little closer, turn a few more rocks and wander off the path a little further to find the wild things. But believe me, they are there! Here’s some of what we found.

Wetlands next to sand dunes, near Svankær. Althought not in the picture...here we spotted two cranes (trane) flying overhead (a first for me!) and a group of 10 female red deer (kronhjorte).

Fossil in chalk on Denmarks west coast - north of Stenbjerg

Green tiger beetle (Cicindela campestris) grøn sandspringer is a sun loving beetle that lives on dry soils. Green with cream spots.

Buzzard (Buteo buteo) musvåge, soars above us in clear blue skies. If you look closely you can see it's missing one of it's primary or flying feathers. A very common bird of prey in Denmark.

The glanville fritillary, okkergul pletvinge a type of butterfly spends most of its life as a small black spiny caterpillar.

Common lizard (Zootoca vivipara) skovfirben - When the sun was shining we came across many small brown lizards like this one sunning themselves at the edge of the path. If it's a warm day, they can be very hard to get close to!

I have an affinity for small mammals, and we came across this dead shrew (spidsmus) and I had to pick it up!

Simply beautiful - but easily overlooked

Getting closer, getting a better perspecitve, it's amazing what you will see.

Common ringed plover - stor præstekrave. Hard to spot on a stony beach.

Possibly herring gul (Larus argentatus) sølvmåge, most juvenilles.

Our backpacks taking a well earned break at Stenbjerg in the sun.

It’s taken me a while to learn to appreciate the more subtle beauty of nature here in Denmark. It’s an important lesson for me. I’ve been spoiled by large wild spaces in the past, but now my personal challenge is to find the beauty that exists in smaller amounts. Wild is everywhere, I just need to get better at looking.

Advertisements

Tags: , , , , , , ,

3 responses to “Walking wild”

  1. Helena Murphy says :

    Hey Jen, like the blog! I know how difficult it is to find nature in places like Denmark or the Netherlands but I’ve a trip planned for next week in a national park this one (plenty of sand dunes, the odd forest) and may be persuaded to ditch the bike so I don’t miss anything! Good luck

  2. Helle Hjorth says :

    Hi Jen
    Great and sweet pictures from my favorite landscape i DK.
    I sometimes stay at B&B in Svankær, so I know the wonderfull 5 kilometers walk to the coast. Home of cranes and otters to.

    The biggest luxury in DK is the silence and scent of Thy!

    See you for coffe at the housewarming.
    Best regards

  3. Mark says :

    I drove through Denmark some years ago and saw so many wild flowers by the roadside I was impressed. Someone said it was at the queens request/command that wild-flower seeds were sown across the country. I thought that was a lovely thing to do, and a great things for the little creatures.

Let me know what you think...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: