It's always very nice to get away from where you usually spend your days and explore fresh surroundings. You don't have to travel far to do so, as long as there's some contrast in the environment and in what you do. So when a couple of very good long-time friends invited us up to the coast for a dune walk and a pleasant dinner, I did not take much to say yes (and thank you!) and leave.
We started our afternoon with a good hike through one of the nicest dune areas in Oostduinkerke: the 'Doornpanne'. Although most of it is fenced off for the occasional tourist - it is a nature reserve and a water extraction area - you can still follow some nice paths through the sand hills. The wind was blowing strongly, and the skies were threatening, we did get a good shower at the end of our walk! So in all not too many inspiring vistas to get the camera clicking.
And then, at a turn in the path, we suddenly faced a small herd of donkeys. A small number of these animals have been let loose in the dunes to graze them, and thereby stimulating the growth of new vegetation. There's some ponies around as well, but these are kept away from the areas you can walk unguided. It was fun to watch the playful younger animals interact with each other. And though I had only a wide-angle landscape lens at hand, a good opportunity for some shots as well.
Lesson learned: always be prepared for the unexpected opportunity!
Gear notes: D700, 28-200G, 17-35/2.8
Click on the image(s) to see a larger version