The Heather in Bloom

The heather in bloom, it is a lovely sight to behold. There is a nature reserve about a mile from home called Tenhaagdoornheide. The “heide” in that name is Dutch for heather. So when you go for a hike at the right time, you know you’re in for a purple treat. And the fun isn’t just limited to that area. The neighbouring nature reserve – called “De Teut” – might not say it in its name, but it is also heather heaven.

It always starts very innocently. As is the case during the whole year, there are just a lot of shrubs around.

Depending on how much traffic the hiking trail gets, there might be a wide path in between the heather, or the plants may constantly be trying to edge in and fill up the gap again.

At a certain time, usually somewhere in late July, some areas of colour start to appear in those shrubs. They might be hard to spot at first, but they are definitely there. If you pay close attention to the area to the right of the tip of the wooden pole in the photo below, you may notice that there is a slight hint of purple creeping in.

Not sure? Let’s zoom in:

Yep, that one bush just couldn’t wait, and had to start showing its flowers before all the others.

But soon, everybody starts to join in. There is no avoiding it anymore. There is purple all around: it’s around the corner,

at the edge of the field,

just everywhere you look, it’s all purple!

So when you get the opportunity, just go for a hike in the heather. It would be a shame to have to wait another year to witness that purple explosion.

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