20 October 2018 at 6:37 pm (Zaventem, Belgium)


This year we had the best summer I can remember but in the last few days fall has finally started to make itself felt. The days are still beautiful and warm but the nights and the mornings are chilly. The color palette is changing too in the leaves of the trees and in the sky. Until six or seven years ago, these signs indicated a period of staying indoors most of the time. But since I took up a photography project about hunting and eventually became a hunter myself, the signs of fall indicate a couple of months of being part of nature and spending days outside whatever the weather is.

The 15th of October is the official opening of the hunting season here in Belgium and today was the first hunting day for the little group that I usually hunt with. The fog, the rising sun and the chill in the air added to the anticipation of the first day in the field. We know that in our area the vegetation is still too dense at this time of year to have a lot of success. But for all of us it’s about being out there, enjoying the company and check if the work that we put in outside the season to improve the area for all wildlife has paid off. Despite of what a lot of people think, most hunters are not ruthless killers, we like to see nature doing well and we only harvest what’s sustainable. The areas our hunting group manages, do considerably better than some neighboring land managed by a nature conservation organisation.

We manage to flush a couple of pheasants and a fox but either there wasn’t a safe shot or our aim was a bit rusty. Then we here the calls of a skein of invasive Canadian geese. Suddenly the appear magically through the fog, shots ring out, the dogs do their work and real organic meat enters the food chain.



Sometimes I wonder, is the forest an escape or is it home?

August 22, 2018 AT 11:37 AM (Zaventem, BELGIUM)


Run, shower, house keeping (laundry), work
Repeating patterns

AUGUST 15, 2018 AT 5:11 PM (Nollevaux, BELGIUM)


The 15th of August is a bank holiday in Belgium and as tradition requires, the week of the 15th is a family holiday with my parents, my sister's family and us. The 15th is also Noa's birthday. 11 year olds still wake up pretty early, so I wake up even earlier to make breakfast. When I look out of the window, my sister is making a selfie with an escaped sheep. Noa takes a royal birthday bath while my girlfriend and I hold court for the traditional help desk event in which my mother and sister furiously bomb us with all kinds of weird computer issues. Birthday portraits are not a tradition yet, but I'm trying to make it a tradition to take a portrait of everyone who celebrates a birthday in my presence. I don't have time to structure or reread my post because I'm under great pressure to light the barbecue. See you next week for a more structured post. 

August 8, 2018 at 11.54 AM (Zaventem, Belgium)


We have been keeping the curtains shut for weeks to keep at least some of the heat out. But to not much avail, Belgian houses are not built for long stretches of 30C plus days. In the morning it's 28.5 degrees in the living room, which is the coolest part of the house. A tarp brings some illusion of shade but the only way to cool down is take a shower and in the process I get a nose bleed from the temperature contrast. 

In the mean time, Noa woke up and after a breakfast of cereal and YouTube, she helps me make some healthy snacks. Exercising in this weather is suicide so I try to take extra care of eating healthy. Slicing and drying fruit feels like a workout in itself. 

Noa and Maya are getting bored sitting at home with a dad that's trying to get some work done and therefor is of no use to them. Every summer, I deal with this. I feel guilty that I can't do fun things with them all the time and I feel guilty that I'm behind on work. Like every year, I'm trying to come up with a solution but can't find it. So I drive them to my parents where they'll have something to do. 

The weather forecast is promising us thunderstorms and rain. And indeed by 8 AM the clouds roll in and a few drops of cool rain start to fall. Three minutes later they have evaporated again and the only way to cool down is ice cream and another shower.

It's too hot to sleep so I watch the weather app and see one thunderstorm after the other skirt past my town. But then it finally happens. The wind is slamming doors and rain starts coming down hard for ten minutes. With the bedroom window wide open, a gentle breeze caressing our bodies to sleep at 4 AM. 

I'm so tired that I never hear Griet leave for work and I wake up at 9:30. I make some more healthy snacks (Mexican Honey Chicken Jerky) and come to the conclusion that nothing has changed. 

August 1, 2018 at 15:38 AM (De Haan, Belgium)

By Bert Stephani

Between my two of my son's football practices we immersed ourselves in nature, friends, family, sand, barbecued food and 36 hours of living the life. 



We want to evolve
We want to keep pushing
We want to achieve
We want to move

Us and them

We require
We do
We try
We might

Achieve through partial reflection