The Internet has radically changed my life and the way I work. I haven't set foot in a public library for years, to give just one example. Of course, the World Wide Web is crammed with revolting junk. But lots of goodies get caught in it too, from absolutely delicious appetizers and hors-d’oeuvres to the most ravishing pièces de résistance. It may take some searching, but you soon end up with numerous great sites you visit time and again. Here are some of my favourite addresses.
Missing links?
Do you have an address you'd like to share that would not look out of place in the list below? Please drop me a line or use the contact form to pass on your missing link. Only non-commercial sites are eligible.
Kindred sites

De eigenwijze tuin
In every meaning of the East Flemish word a
wijze (wise, interesting, stimulating, fabulous, nifty) site by Bart Vancoppenolle.

Mijn tuin. Mijn vakantie.
Appealing site by Thijs de Graaf about his hobby: gardening. Illustrated with photos of all the plants in his garden and of many insects, spiders and other creatures.

The Garden Safari
Extensive site by Hania Berdys and Hans Arentsen about the animals in their garden. In the past, the site often helped me to identify insects and other small fry.

Mijn site over voorouders, tuin, natuur en katten.
Searching for information about harvestmen, I happened upon this amazing, fascinating site by Jan van Duinen.

PijlTop

Identifying animals

General

Belgische soortenlijst
Nederlands soortenregister
SoortenBank.nl
Three taxonomic sites with information on and illustrations of thousands of animal, plant and fungus species of Belgium and the Netherlands.

Waarnemingen.be
Waarneming.nl
Initiated by
Natuurpunt Studie and the Stichting Natuurinformatie. Registered users post their observations, often backed up with a photo. Experts help to identify species.

De Natuur van Bert
Weblog by Bert Spijs with excellent nature and wildlife photos in some 30 categories.

Faunist
A wide-ranging site by Mark van Veen with hundreds of photos and many identification guides or tables for identifying dragonflies and damselflies, grasshoppers, shells and several fly families.

Determinatie van planten en dieren
Dutch Facebook group for the identification of plants and animals in photographs posted by members of the group.


Amphibians and reptiles

Hyla
Site of the amphibian and reptile study group of
Natuurpunt.

RAVON
Site of Stichting RAVON (Foundation for research on reptiles, amphibians and fish of the Netherlands).


Insects

www.veluwe-insecten.nl
Splendid site by Han Endt with many exceptionally fine photos of all kinds of insects. His collection of hover flies is truly impressive.

Insecten fotosite
Very nice site by Albert de Wilde with hundreds of photos of insects and fascinating information. Most photographs were taken in Albert's garden in Koudekerke, a village on the Walcheren peninsula.

De Libellen van Noord Nederland
Kenmerkengids Nederlandse libellen
Libellennet
Three sites about native dragonflies and damselflies. Many Odonata species are hard to identify from a photo or even in the field. These great sites come to the rescue.

Koleopterologie.de
www.kerbtier.de
British Bugs
Three sites that helped me to identify most of the less common beetles and bugs in the garden.

Cerambycidae
Site by Michal Hoskovec and Martin Rejzek about the long-horned beetles of the Western Palaearctic. The site provides information about over 650 beautifully illustrated species of Cerambycidae.

European Carabidae
International site with photos of over 5,300 species of European ground beetles.

Stippen!
Ladybugs galore! A great site with well-functioning interactive identification keys.

Diptera.info
Interactive English site dedicated to the order of Diptera (flies and midges).

Anthomyiidae – De Bloemvliegen nader bekeken.
Site devoted to indigenous species of the fly family Anthomyiidae. A work in progress by Dutch expert Joke van Erkelens.

Saltabel – Sprinkhanenwerkgroep van de Benelux
To laymen grasshoppers, crickets and other Orthoptera are often difficult to identify. This site offers illustrated information on all species in Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg.

Vlindernet
Stichting Tinea - Kleine Vlinders
Microlepidoptera.nl
To this day, the excellent interactive search tools on Vlindernet allowed me to identify all the butterflies, large moths and their caterpillars that I've photographed in the garden. The other two sites are dedicated to small moths or micro-moths, which are often very hard to identify to species level.

Nachtvlinders van België en Microvlinders van België
Two sections of the great site by Ludwig Jansen with nearly 1,500 excellent photos of indigenous macro and micro-moths.



Spiders and harvestmen

ARABEL – Arachnologia Belgica
Site of the Belgian Arachnological Society. Lots of photographs and a comprehensive list of Belgian spiders.

Eurospiders.com
Informative site, illustrated with hundreds of fascinating photos by Swedish photographer Stefan Sollfors. Arachnophobes beware!

Spinnen van Noordwest-Europa
Having a hard time identifying a spider or harvestman? This site by Ed Nieuwenhuys about the spiders and harvestmen of North-West Europe may help you out.

Spinnen van België en omringende landen en Genitaliën spinnen
Two sections of the site by Ludwig Jansen with nearly 2,000 photos of spiders in Belgium and neighbouring countries and over 500 exquisite micro-photos of male and female genitals.

Opiliones, Hooiwagens.
This section of the impressive, remarkably diverse site by Jan Van Duinen allows you to identify just about any harvestmen you come across in Belgium and the Netherlands.


Vogels

Vogelgids van Vogelbescherming Nederland
This online guide on the site of Vogelbescherming Nederland has information about the characteristics, the habitat, the breeding behaviour and the song of over 250 wild bird species indigenous to the Netherlands

BirdLife International
Site of BirdLife International, a global partnership of bird and nature conservation organisations from over 120 countries, including
Belgium and the Netherlands.

The Internet Bird Collection
Great site with videos, photos and sound recordings of over 95 percent of all known bird species.

PijlTop

Identifying plants

Wilde planten in Nederland en België
Enjoyable site by Klaas Dijkstra with descriptions and photos of some 1,800 native and established species.

Flora van Nederland
A site on the flora of the Netherlands with instructional videos. Initiated by biologists Maurice Martens and Herman van Wissen.

Plantengids K.U.Leuven Campus Kortrijk
A site of the biology department of K.U.Leuven Campus Kortrijk. Well illustrated survey of hundreds of wild plants.

Wilde bloemen
Exceptionally beautiful and interesting identification site by Lidy Poot with pictures of nearly 300 indigenous and introduced plants. Search by colour, flowering month and/or shape of the flower.

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Identifying fungi

Amanita
Lovely site by Marjon van der Vegte with photos of over 700 species of fungi from Gelderland (the Netherlands).

www.entoloma.nl
A site by expert Machiel E. Noordeloos with lots of information and identification keys for several groups of fungi.

Jeanne Lauwen – Natuurfotografie
This site by Jeanne Lauwen from Roosendaal (the Netherlands) is a breath of fresh air. Elegant down to the smallest detail, the site has over 1,600 great photographs of indigenous animals, plants, and fungi. When a mushroom I don't recognize pops up in my garden, this page is often my first stop.

Mycologie et Photographie
Belgian site by expert Yves Deneyer with nearly 5,000 photos of over 1,900 species. In French.

Mycofiel.nl
Site by Maurice van der Molen on fungi in the Netherlands with hundreds of photos and a comprehensive indigenous species list.

Nederlandse Mycologische Vereniging
Interesting site about moulds and mushrooms. The section
Determineren has links to several very helpful identification keys.

Paddenstoelen, schimmels en slijmzwammen
Dutch Facebook group dedicated to the identification of fungi and slime moulds. Post a photo of a fungus or slime mould here, and chances are that within a couple of minutes group members will either identify it or put you on the right track.

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Nature photography and other favourites

Belgiumdigital
Eos Digitaal
Two great sites for amateur photographers with excellent manuals and, especially, heavily used forums. On both forums, I am known by my username Niwrad. I regularly post one or more photographs, usually in the Macro section. Short versions of the first seven episodes of
Garden Soap were first published on Eos Digitaal.

My album on Photobucket
To post my photographs on Belgiumdigital or Eos Digitaal, I use
Photobucket. It's free and works well. Of course, there's always the risk the service will one day just disappear. That's why I don't use it for my photos on this site.

Werkgroep fotografie en film
A Facebook group of
Natuurpunt. Members can post nature photographs or videos and comment on them. Like!

Macrofotografie
Popular Facebook group for professional and amateur macro photographers. The group already has over 6,000 members.

Natuurfotoalbum NFA
Photo forum of
Natuurpunt with more than 80,000 photographs of animals, plants, fungi and landscapes. Launched in 2004 by Hendrik Borglevens in cooperation with a few dozen photographers and Natuurpunt. From time to time, I use the NFA to identify a species.

natuurfotografen.org
Delightful and interesting website for and by nature photographers with heaps of advice, manuals and a forum. Here you can also download the excellent free textbook
Natuurfotografie by professional photographer Rollin Verlinde.

Het Vlaams Zaadhuis
Before we had a car, we bought almost all our sowing seeds from this mail order company. We still order some of the vegetable seeds, bulbs and seedlings there. Nowadays, of course, we do that online.

Ecologisch Leven en Tuinieren
Homepage of Velt, the Society for Ecological Living and Gardening.

Tuinadvies
Instructive site with a forum and lots of advice for kitchen and pleasure gardeners.

Openbaar groen
Zoek je plant
Two sites by
VLAM, the Flemish Centre for Agriculture and Fisheries Marketing. Both sites help you to pick the right plants for the right spot in your garden.

w3schools.com
So you want to create a website? In that case, this site is an invaluable resource.

RapidWeaver
Everything you need to know about the software I used to create this site.

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Geraardsbergen, 10 December 2010.
Latest revision: 8 December 2014.