There is only one way a cryptoforest can be found. I keep repeating it. It's by getting lost.
Today I went out to take some photographs of an object alongside the A25 motorway (post forthcoming), did a little detour to check up on something, lost my bearing, was led a few kilometres astray as the motorway did not allow me to a take a turn in either way, ended up in the posh village of De Bilt, backtracked a little, found myself as 2 Km distance of Utrecht, cycled home and spotted a cryptoforest of gigantic proportions and ditto diversity. Judging by its form, the neighbouring fields and the gate (see above) this field used to home to sheep or maybe a few cows. The shape is oblong, maybe 80 meters in width and 350 (?) meters in depth. In any case: it felt immense. What was striking was the diversity as vegetation seemed to change every 40 meters, the most eye-catching plants tended to appear only once. I hope the following pictures and comments do justice to the qualities of this cryptoforest.
The blackberries and the dense undergrowth made getting to the back of the field quite a challenge, so it will be good to learn what it will be like in summer when the plants are ready to defend themselves with more vehemence.
It turned out that this field is only a couple of hundred meters down the road from where my journey took me to in the first place but in a direction I would have never have taken.
|The field itself was remarkable free from debris, though there were trails.This is the exception.
|A bit of hairy colour with bug attached, only one specimen of this plant seen.
|A view on one of a small number of Blackberry 'islands' that can completely overtake an area. In Dutch 'blackberriezation' is a word.
|Fingers on buttons: what is this name of this plant?
|My heart stopped when I spotted these Giant Hogweeds (?): it was like I was suddenly transported back to the age of the dinosaurs. The picture doesn't do justice to their immense size, 2,5 meters high, with the stems as big as my arm. These were localized in a tiny patch and I haven't seen the plant anywhere else in it.
|One zone: flat,flat flat.
|Another zone: trees, trees, trees.
|A flowering plant that radiated its colours, again only one seen.
|Two spruce trees (?), Christmas leftovers?
|A lonely pottery shard.
|As if a slimy blob from outer space has landed here.
|Majestic sign of desolateness, trees haunted by the wind.
|Right in the middle of the field (!), under a tree and it took me some effort to get to them.
|Zone: reeds, reeds, reeds.