maandag 28 maart 2011

The animal clientele of infrastructural engineering

The above image shows the A27 fauna passage connecting Utrecht and its outlying fields. The black line shows the artificial ditch (up to one meter in depth) that the animals must  follow to cross the barrier. The white dots mark the beginning and end of 2 smalls tunnels crossing the roads running parallel to the actual motorway that isn't tunnelled and must be navigated using a fenced-off passage underneath the bridge. The two sides along the motorway looked and felt different, something observed before.  

This cryptoforest is only a stone's throw away.

Compared to other fauna passages this one is unsophisticated to the point of being inhospitable to the animals. Surely they deserve some luxury? Like one of those horizontal escalators you see at airports. 

I went here in the vain hope to see animals or animal traces. Needless to say: I didn't, though I wouldn't now where to look in the first place.

The tunnels provides a thoroughfare for two types of frog, toad, snake, lizard, three types of mice, ermine, weasel and hedgehog.

The first pics from the passage (the left side on the top image) were made by doing something I feel terribly bad about: I jumped the fence even though the sign clearly states that doing so may pollute the area and discourage animals from using it. Though as you can see: I was not the first to enter it.

There were three of these heaps. My visit coincided with the end of the winter and I greatly look forward to returning and see what this will look like in spring and summer.

The reeds were all dried and snapped as I found my way.

The litter on the ground, also snapped as I went. I was the first human in a long time.

A path.

Hogweed, I later learned that Utrecht maintains an active extermination policy against it. This is the only I saw and they strike me, visually, as archaic remnants of an otherwise lost floral kingdom 
The view over the two meters high fence, under the bridge.

The other side of the motorway, less densely populated with trees, swampy and with a better defined 'road' for the animals.

The entrance on the side of the motorway.

The exit almost on the border of the agricultural fields that separate Utrecht from De Bilt

First time I have ever seen this plant, fatty, prickly and deep green. Much thanks to those readers recognizing it as a young hogweed.

A view on the tunnel on the city side.

4 opmerkingen:

  1. Yeah, you are right. As a toxic neophyt, that spreads all over the country, policy isn't in romance with this plant. In winter, when they lost their leaves and blooms, they look like the extraterrestrial formation above.

  2. Yeah, that's a young bereklauw*, or hogweed (of no known use, except for the deniable torture of siblings and providing impoverished hippies with ersatz-didgeridoos).

  3. Are bikes so common in the Netherlands that people just toss them into the weeds after a single-use? Maybe they are biodegradable?