Tall trees are known by their shadows

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Heck cattle were developed in the early 20th century by the Heck brothers in Germany in an attempt to breed back modern cattle to their ancestral form, the aurochs. Lutz Heck, director of the Berlin Zoological Gardens, began extensive breeding programs supported by the Nazis during World War II to bring back the aurochs. The reconstructed aurochs fitted into the Nazi propaganda drive to create an idyllic history of the Aryan Nation. The breeding back is a controversial procedure in the scientific community: once a genetic lineage is gone, it cannot be bred back. Only 39 of the crossed cattle survived World War II. A Heck bull should be at least 1.6 m high and a cow 1.4 m with weight up to 900 kg. Heck cattle are twenty to thirty centimeters shorter than the aurochs they were bred to resemble. However, cross-breeding efforts continue to increase the size and weight of the breed. The Heck cattle development which is seen by some as competition to the conservation of the surviving native Wisent European Bison. Nevertheless, in view of today's farm breeding programs, the Heck cattle represent an important source of vital genes since ther Heck cattle are rarely affected by diseases than any other old farm breeds. Heck cattle are considered by some the most suitable cattle breed for low intensity grazing systems in certain types of nature reserves, due to their ruggedness and lack of need for human care. There are about 3000 Heck cattle in Europe and few elsewhere. In Oostvaardersplassen in Flevoland near Lelystad Netherlands, there are about 570 Heck cattle freely roaming without human interference.

I only noticed the tall shadows viewing it from a hill. When you're standing in the shadows you don't notice it anymore. I captured it a bit under exposed which brings the shadow much more alive! Photo of Heck cattle in the harsh winter taken at the Dutch nature reserve Oostvaardersplassen between Almere and Lelystad. I did enter the park at the Kottertocht entrance. It is hard to survive the winter. All animals are kept without supplemental winter feeding. In the last 2009 winter 2% of Heck cattle, 7% of Konik horses and 11% of Red deer died due to the cold winter. Many deer already crossed the frozen water in search for food. Some horses were stucked due to their weight did crush the too thin ice. These konik horses where consuming the fibres of tree trunks, because food is very hard to find, although it is not there daily nutrition. Especially when there is deep snow, lack of food causes starvation among the weak and the strongest will survive . So the survival of the fittest keeps the herds strong and healthy. Also Foxes, which are quite common in this reserve, profit from carcasses of deer, cows and birds in winter. Maybe in future a pack of Wolves could do a great job as natural predators in this part of Holland.

De gebroeders Heck stelden zich in de jaren '20 van de 20e eeuw vanuit een romantische insteek ten doel om een runderras te creëren dat gelijkstond aan de oeros, het oorspronkelijke rund waar al onze runderrassen van afstammen, maar dat in de zeventiende eeuw zelf is uitgestorven. Hoewel deze methode van terugfokken omstreden was en is binnen de wetenschappelijke wereld en dan ook niet alle kenmerken van het oeros terug werden verkregen, komen in het Heckrund wel veel kenmerken terug die in de gedomesticeerde koe weggeselecteerd zijn. Ze werden gefokt uit de oorspronkelijkste runderrassen die in Europa nog te vinden waren, zoals het Corsicaans bergrund, de Spaanse vechtstier, de Schotse hooglander en het Hongaars stepperund. Van het fokprogramma overleefden 39 dieren de Tweede Wereldoorlog. Daarna waren ze lange tijd vergeten tot in de jaren '80 de Heckrunderen werden herontdekt als landschapsbeheerders, die grote grazers een grote rol toekent in het openhouden van het landschap. Sindsdien is de belangstelling voor de beesten sterk gestegen en is hun aantal van 88 in 1980 gegroeid tot zo'n 2000 tot 3000 stuks nu. Het Heckrund wordt veel gebruikt voor begrazing van natuurgebieden. Zij kunnen het hele jaar buiten lopen en hebben weinig zorg nodig. In weiden die toegankelijk zijn voor het publiek is het Heckrund niet zo geslaagd; in tegenstelling tot bijvoorbeeld de Schotse hooglander duldt hij geen mensen te dicht bij zich in de buurt. Omdat de spijsvertering van het Heckrund efficiënt is produceert hij minder methaangas en is de consistentie van de mest veel vaster. De kalveren zijn relatief klein waardoor ze makkelijk ter wereld komen. Het duurt relatief lang voordat een Heckrund geslachtsrijp is. In Nederland loopt hij rond hier in de Oostvaardersplassen en op de slikken van Flakkee.

Astrid Photography., Steve-h, and 155 other people added this photo to their favorites.

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  1. rlsuk 51 months ago | reply

    Fantastic landscape! Well done!

  2. jim270. 50 months ago | reply

    Wonderful work!
    Thank you for sharing it with us in:
    award code by Adriënne, on Flickr
    Rhapsodic Poems of Homer & Odysseus

  3. 1D110 50 months ago | reply

    tres bien aussi

  4. atena-w. 50 months ago | reply

    Hi, I'm an admin for a group called Sogni di inamorati Dreams of love Sueños Visuri, and we'd love to have this added to the group!

    <

  5. Allan * 50 months ago | reply

    Hi, I'm an admin for a group called ¡Subjetividad sugestiva!, and we'd love to have this added to the group!

  6. Ragundadalen Turism 50 months ago | reply

    So beautiful! Plz Become a member of my group Ragundadalen :D

  7. ana.gr. 50 months ago | reply

    Impressive way of composing a tree picture. Love it.
    Seen in:


    Jotbe's Group (Invited Only)

  8. . ramosa . 48 months ago | reply

    great title, great landcape capture.

  9. thesuperartman 47 months ago | reply

    wow! de lo mejor que he visto!

  10. Syber76600 [deleted] 41 months ago | reply

    Please add your wonderful photo to:

    commented with FlickrComment

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