First I wish you all Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy 2020!
Merry Christmas - Prettige kerstdagen - Frohe Weihnachten - Joyeux Noël
2019 was a great and lovely year, the year that I became 50, the year that I enjoyed four month of vacation and photographed a lot of butterflies, the year of having fun & good conversations with close friends.....but also the year of saying goodbye to three beloved pets. Yesterday, on Christmas Eve we had to say goodbye to our beloved cat Dizzy. I found Dizzy in the summer of 2007; she was very ill with big bald spots in her fur. Fortunately she recoverd and as my childeren loved watching Bob the Builder we named her after the funny orange machine.
The last weeks it was obvious that Dizzy was very ill, the vet diagnosed a big tumor in her mouth and there was nothing we could do for her anymore except to let her go. Without Wanda, Hugo and Dizzy it's very quit but as long as I live here I will keep/take no more new cats....too much hunters/cat haters and crazy car drivers.
Not that I'm posting no butterfly pictures anymore, but the loss of Dizzy was the third in a row and she definitely deserves a photo to remember in my blog.
In January 2018 I found two dumped kittens in the forest and named them Hugo & Boss. Both were very funny, sweat, full of energy and cuddly. Boss was hit by a car in September 2018 and today Hugo lost his life on the same tragic way.....and for your information......I live in a speed limited zone of 30 km/h. The worst thing is that nobody stopped to look after them!
One month ago my three-legged-cat Grabou disappeared and I immediately felt that something happened to her. Of course I started searching for her as she always stayed within earshot but I did not find her. After Mini, Junior, Rosa, Toby and Hermann, Grabou is the 6th cat which is probably killed in the neighbourhood.
This photo is the last photo of her; together with Hugo & Boss (†) she joined me on the couch when I was working at my laptop. I found Grabou in 2011 as a little helpless kitten in the night I was ready to leave to France. She cried for help and I postponed my trip for some hours and arranged that she was save.
Losing her 7 years later makes me very sad and I hope that karma (Grabou's spirit) is a bitch!!!!
Eight month ago I found two little 'dumped' kittens in the forest. Not knowing what to do with them I took them home as leaving them behind in the forest was not an option for me. Once at home they turned out to be very sweet and socialized that I decided to keep them. They were named Hugo & Boss. Boss was smaller than Hugo and from the vet I learned that they had different ages.
Although they were probably not from the same nest they were very close and attached to each other. Boss was too tame to strangers and not afraid of cars.....in the passed months I was often worried about him. Yesterday evening disaster struck.....Boss was hit by a vehicle and my sons found him dead this afternoon.
After 12 days, last Monday morning Grabou was sitting at the back door and I was very happy to see her; but immediately I noticed that she was in a very bad condition. A part of her frontleg was missing and what's left was looking gruesome. Probably she was stucked in a trap and had to leave a part of her leg to get free....it's awful to consider what she's gone through.
The vet could only amputate the complete leg to safe her life.
Like I wrote before, it's inconceivable that someone nearby is killing and/or hurting my animals. I contacted a special department of the police and I will take some actions to catch the one who did this. In the meantime I did not touch my camera until today. Due to a bad physical conditon (headache) I only visited an area near the Kleine Beerze. I searched for some butterflies but could only find two Small Heath and one Large Skipper....also there are not much dragonflies to find.
Fortunately I could photograph some orchids which are growing in the wet part next to the creek.
It's a Dactylorhiza majalis subspecies 'praetermissa' and it's nice that within a few years nature is recovering and that orchid species can be found again!
On the day I arrived in France, I received the bad news that my tomcat Herman was disappeared. Disappearing in the village where I live means that I will never hear or see a sign of my cat again. All my cats are microchipped. It hurts a lot knowing that somebody kills them.
I found Herman in the summer of 2012; he was crying for help. After I rescued him he became the most cuddly animal I ever had. As a kitten he always slept under my chin; when he was a grown cat he still tried to sleep in the same position.
Due to this situation my mood has changed and at the moment (nature) photography became meaningless; so probably my next blog will take time!
Unfortunately, it does not end here. Since almost one week my cat Grabou is missing. Grabou always stayed nearby; when I called her name, within a minute she came. Like Herman, I rescued Grabou when she was in 2011 a little kitten. I'm very very sad that within a few weeks I lost two of my beloved cats and that somebody nearby, probably one of my neighbours, is killing my cats.
Beyond the door,
There's peace I'm sure,
And I know there'll be no more
Tears in heaven
I must be strong
And carry on,
'Cause I know I don't belong
Here in heaven
© Eric Clapton
Apart from French butterflies, nature, old rusty cars, cheese and wine, I love the typical French villages and their laissez-faire character. Walking through the small ‘rues` with old houses is a kind of discovery tour for old doors, doorknobs and banisters…..and sometimes, when it’s very warm some doors and windows are open and allows the visitor a view inside.
This French cat was not amused that I was taking pictures…..his look speaks volumes!
How dare I to disturb him.
Although I grew up with animals, in the beginning when I was living on my own I made the statement not to have animals as I would like to travel around the world. Then Max entered my life and the story of homeless, neglected and sadly looking animals started and probably will never end.
This white beauty is Grabou; I found her (she called me) in the night I was ready to travel to France. She was five or six weeks old, I rescued her, put her in a basket and asked somebody to bring her to the shelter. That 'somebody' did not bring her to the shelter but locked her up in my rabbit-cage for weeks....with water and food she survived but without warmth and cuddlings she became a bit detached. Outside she's like a dog. When I walk to Mrs van de Breemortel, Grabou walks with me. She is also the one who attracts my attention (probably because she is white) when she found something. She is the expert in finding caterpillars:
First, I read the sad story about Vargtass, a young wolf who was shot to pieces by Norwegian hunters/authorities followed by a cruel story about wolf hunting practices in the US. Wolfs are deer hunters and it is a big shame that they are not protected world wide!
An other sad story is the Canadian seal slaughtering. 12 days ago the hunting season started and in only 9 days 43.182 young seals have been killed yet.....43.182!!!!! UNBELIEVABLE, that this is still happening in our civilized world! Like most of the wolfs, the seals die a brutal death.
Sometimes I ‘m wondering if all the cruelty to animals will ever end but I believe that with HOPE anything is possible.
A few days ago I gave a lecture about photography for children. I planned the lecture months ago with the intention to photograph subjects in nature.....unfortunately it was raining so I changed my plans and took the children to my home and tried to teach them something about photography. Unfortunately the group was too zappy and after 15 minutes I let it go......they photographed and moved almost everything at my home and I was glad that I had a very cooperative ‘assistant’.......my cat Grabou:
This picture is taken by one of the children and it was heart-warming seeing how sweet children reacts to (my) animals......they gave me HOPE!
Here he is....the sweet little roisterer who is devastating my new furniture!
One week ago I rescued a very frightened and shy kitten but within a day he changed into a playful (and naughty) kitten.
Jibt dir dit Leben mal een Buff, denn weene keene Träne. Lach Dir'n Ast und setz Dir druff und baumle mit de Beene.