25 december 2019
Finally, two years after my first visit to the Nationaal Park Veluwezoom a.k.a. the Posbank I got to visit this magical place again. Last year the heather had suffered from the warm summer and got burnt. It was believed to take several years for the heather to restore from that. But nature is stronger than we think and this year the heather was in full bloom again. Its heather season!
On the socials raged what I call ‘heather mania’ everybody was posting awesome shots of purple heather. Last time I visited the Posbank I had set my hopes for a classical view with fog in the valleys of the purple rolling hills during sunrise. I did not get that image I managed to get some beautiful others though. So this year the purple dream remained in my head and after some preparation and planning, me and a friend set out for the rolling hills.
I knew from last time that you are not allowed to drive in the park before sunrise in order not to disturb the wildlife. So this time we decided to park the car outside the park and walk in. It was a beautiful hike of about 20 minutes but the weather was very warm. Excited we arrived at the chosen location. After passing numerous other photographers the sunrise was about to happen so I set up for the first shot. Not much fog in the valleys this day either but since we were here anyway lets not waste a good sunrise…
After sunrise I wandered through a small portion the park and got lost in photographic opportunities. Almost literally everywhere you look it looks like it’s a nice shot!
And then there was the silence. I live in the most densely populated area’s of the Netherlands so everywhere all the time you can hear traffic or city sounds. Over here everything was quiet. So my mind got quiet as well. I enjoyed being in this peaceful place surrounded by beautiful nature. Capturing its beauty with every step I took.
I was not alone though, I encountered at least 20 other photographers. I knew that during the weekends it could be quite busy and people were setting up their tripods next to each other. But I did not expect to see so many people on a friday morning at 06:30… It makes me wonder of how long the park rangers will allow people into the area. It must be disturbing for the wildlife. But I was one of the disturbing factors too and also contributed to the popularity of this stunning place over the social media. In a couple more weeks the heather season will be over and the park will become less populated during the off hours.
Finally it was time to go, the light was getting to harsh and we made our decent through the forest back to the car. The walk back to the car was beautiful and the only thing that prevented me from taking my gear out of the bag was the fact that I needed to get back to work…
When we were driving away it felt strange that only minutes ago we were in such a different and quiet place. Now all we could see were buildings, cars and roads an all other man-made structures. I wish I could go back… I’ll probably return with my family just to show them what’s so special to this location. I can show them the photographs but none of them convey the silence of nature as good as the real thing.
Till next time.