Garden community (45)

Most working days I have lunch on my own at home. For entertainment while eating I position myself at the kitchen table so I can see the garden. It gives me a great view of all the visiting birds. Doing this often resulted in discovering patterns. And those patterns differ from those I observed previous winter. Here is a list of patterns and behaviour I witness almost every day. 

One: most birds come and pick their food in a similar rhythm as mine. In the morning when it’s light enough, midday and just before dark. 

Two: this year the biggest group of visitors are finches (last year house sparrows were the majority) and they don’t like each. They fight each other off the seeds constante. 

Three: the house sparrows, blue tits and great tits don’t get the fuss of the finches and calmly pick their seeds from the food silo dangling in the apple tree. 

Four: I have seen one hedge sparrow this season and it visits every day. Together with the robin it picks on the ground, and are always alert for threats. 

Five: the single pigeon that frequented the garden last year is no longer single. I call the pair Dolly and Doris. (Dolly is the name of the pigeon that stars in the famous children’s book Pluk van de Petteflet).

Six: the two turtledoves are chickens. They are the first ones to leave the scene when they think there is a threat. So far there were no real threats I observed.

Seven: the mouse, which I spotted for the first time three weeks ago, has settled under the beams left of the garden stairs. I see it almost daily. In the same rhythm as the birds it picks seeds from under the apple tree to eat and hide in its house. It has been spotted by one of my cats as well, so I fear for its life in the long run. 

Eight: Starlings, despite the wonderful shades of blue, green and grey of their feathers, love to make a shitty mess. I’m glad there are only two of them this season. The bird’s peanut butter is what they visit for.  

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Lokke Moerel over online privacy

Vandaag viel mijn oog op een interview in de Volkskrant met Lokke Moerel van vorig december. Heerlijk hoe zij van leer trekt over de cookiemuur van de Volkskrant zelf.

‘Jullie schrijven geregeld kritisch over grote techbedrijven die onze privacy te grabbel gooien. Terecht. Maar dan nu de site van de Volkskrant, die heeft een cookiemuur, waardoor ik alleen op de site kan als ik alle cookies accepteer. De krant plaatst vervolgens tientallen cookies die informatie, zoals welke artikelen ik lees, doorsluist naar externe advertentiebedrijven, waaronder die van Google en Facebook. Na eerdere kritiek hebben jullie nu een cookieverklaring, onderaan verstopt, met een link waar een betalende abonnee de digitale versie van de papieren krant kan lezen, zonder dat tracking cookies worden geplaatst. Zelfs de abonnee die deze optie vindt, moet dus nog steeds naar de website voor het laatste nieuws, en heeft daar geen optie de tracking cookies uit te zetten. Het is in strijd met de wet, maar ik vind het vooral Volkskrant onwaardig. Wél kritisch schrijven over Cambridge Analytica en Facebook, maar ondertussen zelf alle informatie van bezoekers van jullie site klakkeloos doorgeven.’

Lokke Moerel over de cookiemuur van de Volkskrant, ín de Volkskrant.

De rest van het artikel is ook zeer de moeite waar om te volgen. In het kader van sterke vrouwen, hier is er weer één.

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To embed or not to embed

In my previous post, I embedded a YT video. I am fully aware of the trackers an embed comes with, yet I did it anyway. The main reason: I know people are generally lazy browsers so clicking on a link is already a lot of work. A second reason: I placed the embed at a position in the article when it’s logical to watch the video before reading on. If I’d put in a link saying something like ‘go watch the video on YT before reading on’, you either click on the link, go to YT and get distracted with all the other wonderful videos YT has to offer you, or you don’t click the link, read on and don’t know what I’m talking about.

So from a communicative perspective (as is my original profession), embedding a video makes a lot of sense to make the entire reading experience better, but that also means Google is watching you when you’re reading my post or visiting my website (unless you have an ad-blocker running in your browser).

Is this a bad thing? Do you feel uncomfortable when I embed a video in a post? Should I stop embedding videos? Really interested to hear your point of view on this.

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Never-ending doubt (34)

I’ve been following Sean Tucker on youtube for a while now. He is a photographer and takes a different approach to his channel. He focuses more on the why of photography, not the how. I love his philosphical approach to photography, and the images he produces.

Yesterday, I watched a video in which he features Fiona Lark, a photographer who takes self-portraits, mainly in the Lake District (UK). I hadn’t heard of her before, but I instantly fell in love with her work. Her images have a very poetic feel to them.

I’m struck by her confessions of her self-doubt, and the cycle she goes through. It is something I recognize whole heartedly, but to hear someone, who so obviously is creating something so wonderful, can still suffer from this phenomenon of never-ending doubt is almost like a punch in the stomache: no matter how good you are, you will always doubt yourself. That hurts.

After watching Lark’s work I want to move to a landscape that is visually more exciting than the featureless ‘polders’ I live next to. But then again, I would probably would never get up at five in the morning to take pictures, not matter where I’d live.

Sadly, Lark’s main channel for sharing is Instagram. Therefore I’m only able to see a few of het pictures, before I’m prompted to sign up and unable to view the rest of her work. She does sell some of her work on Etsy, though. Very tempting!

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