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There isn't really a lot of room for wilderness in the Netherlands... Being formerly a large swamp that drained into the sea didn't allow for much more than fish and frogs and skeeters, I suppose. The Netherlands exist as they are today because the Dutch engineered ways to extract all the water and put up big barriers to keep it out. As it is, the Netherlands is below sea level. Construction is fairly interesting, as poles need to be sunk deep into the ground just to put buildings up; basements take a lot of effort to put in, because of the amount of water that needs to be pumped out of the area. (The case is similar but different for Flagstaff, where basements are also rare, but in this case, there's huge basalt boulders that need to be drilled through and removed... very costlty process.)

In any case, the Dutch have been clever excavators and builders of the under-sea-level world, and much of the land has been paved, or bricked, over. I get the impression that many of the original cobblestones are in the same place as they were in the 10th century. As such there isn't much wild in Dutchmanland. Birds are plentiful--ducks, geese, swans, and gulls for certain, but also more terrestrial birds; crows, magpies, ravens, and several songbirds I am unable to name also abound in the area. We have seen fingerling fish in the local canals, and have run across frogs. The only wild mammal we have encountered is our friend the hedgehog, who I assume has now gone into winter hibernation, because it's damn cold out, even if you're a hedgehog. Even so, Kayenta is intent on checking the cemetary fence it has--until bedding down--regularly tunneled under.

There is not much for me to add. Kayenta and the hedgehog are pretty cute. I've run into it with her a few times (often without Beedoo!, as coincidence would have it), and every time she wants to rush towards it, only to find herself at a loss as to what to do with the ball of spikes.

Living in the urbanised half of The Netherlands I never had much of a connection with nature. My most prominent recollection of 'nature' is walking the dog with my grandfather as a little boy, and him pointing out birds and mushrooms ("See that big mushroom? Big kids broke it. What a shame, huh?"). My grandpa had a big influence on me...

Walking the dog is the most 'out' I have ever gotten. I'd never seen a hedgehog in the wild up until recently. But I enjoy these walks, even in the dark and the cold. There is something very pleasant about the relatively fresh air and the act of walking in the dark.

So long as I can go home within five minutes, of course...