The ice is now thawing, but many Dutch folks, particularly Frisians, took to the ice this weekend on a gloriously clear Saturday to skate at least part of the famed Elfstedentocht route. Among those Dutchest of Dutch people was my fiancee Elger, who after each stretch of the route couldn't resist moving on just one town more. He's still skating right now, actually - he's close to Sweden by now. Well, that's not true. But, it was so fun to see Dutch people at their most quintessential: on the ice in their skates. The finishing glory of the day was the most beautiful sunset I have ever seen on the frozen IJselmeer, with one continuous range of colors in all directions.
Feel compelled to explain this shot a little bit: this mammoth is something of a recent obsession of mine. He is actually only half a mammoth, and he was built for an Ice Age-themed party/parade (his origins are somewhat unclear), then his next job was as a target at a shooting range. You know, because a mammoth is totally normal fare for the modern hunter. Now, he lives in the front yard of an unsurprisingly eccentric man in the city of Stavoren, and he was placed on the ice over the weekend. This is the first time in this half-mammoth's existence where his setting seems completely appropriate.