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Snake's head fritillaries are quite rare in The Netherlands and most of them are located in the west part of the province Overijssel. The key area is formed by the floodplains of Zwarte Water and Overijsselse vecht. Along the IJssel river, there are some patches where you can also find them, which is the case shown on this picture.
The location is in the area where the IJssel river makes a delta and to be precise, in a nature reserve called 'Scherenwelle' which lies completely in the river floodplains close to the Hanseatic city of Kampen. The blooming time is roughly between mid April and beginning of May. Due to cold and wet weather this Spring 2021, they started blooming a bit later. The nature reserve is open to visitors, only walking is permitted and I visited the area on an evening in May.
When I arrived there I was surprised by the beautiful light, caused by the time of the day but also because rain showers with heavy overcast were slowly going by and the evening sun with soft light appeared again. To be able to picture the fritillaries in the context of the landscape, I used my 14-24 mm wide angle lens (on 14 mm). I used the vertical frame because in this way I could combine the flowers with the dramatic dark sky. This picture is taken during last light, which shines on patches of the meadows in the background. Most of the Snake's head fritillaries are purple but sometimes there are some white ones in between(there is one hidden deeper in the grass next to one of the purple ones). It is one of the most beautiful wild flowers of The Netherlands and I already took many pictures of them, mostly with the flowers as the most dominant object. In this case I chose to photograph them as a part of the landscape, because of the last light and the dramatic sky. I would recommend Spring as the ideal time to picture these flowers, specially between mid April and mid May.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor