Since my trips to the Mercantour I was longing for a photo of the Grisons Fritillary on which the difference, the pearly row, between this species and the Heat Fritillary is clearly visible! In Aosta - Gran Paradiso I found them!
Except butterflies I miss the great view of our accommodation, the delicious ripe gorgonzola and the good italian wine......and last but not least the company of my two friends Frank & Gerard. I hope to return to this lovely place in 2021.
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.
Although my holidays in the Provence are behind, last Friday I was in France again with a pleasant reason.....to buy my own Nature Walhalla in France. Years of dreaming came to an end.
After the signature session at the notary, together with the sellers I visited 'my' house again and recieved a lot of information about the house and the nature encounters they had around the house. The sellers had deliverd clay for building a breeding place for the kingfisher high enough to keep the present grass snakes out of the nest. Next to butterflies, big fishes, frogs, toads and deers I also have snakes, dormouses and kingfishers!
The handover of the keys will be in six to eight weeks and then my new adventure will start....to create (a lot of jobs needs to be done first) my own pleasant nature walhalla.
Back to the Provence....these two Marsh Fritillaries liked each other very much and on this image the differences between male and female are clearly visible. The right one is bigger and the left one is more furry......the left one is the female and the one with the sexy chest hair is the male.
Near the access route of accommodation in the Provence I discovered a meadow full of all kind of fritillaries.....after 20 Marsh Fritillaries I stopped counting them as much more were sitting there on the flowers.
Things always happens for a reason! Since years I wished for a dog but due to the lack of time I could not raise/train a pup. Secondly, it had to be certain kind of dog breed.....a German Sheperd who would join me during my nature trips.
And after years there she is: WANDA. Her owner passed away suddenly and she needed a new home. It can't be a coincidence that a Sheperd with that name came into my life.
She is very very sweet and I'm surprised how quickly she accepted me. Although she is not a pup anymore I need to train her a few things.....the first is to get/jump into the car when I wanted her to do it. A few days ago I wanted to drive to a forest area nearby for a walk and Wanda did not know what the intention was with that four-wheel-thing. She looked at me like I was stupid when I asked her to jump into the car. After a while I tried to pick her up but with a weight above 30 kilo not the easiest job. Secondly I need to train her that the couch in the livingroom is my couch and third that my food is not dog food.
Just in case you miss my regular blogs.....I'm outside with Wanda!
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
As I received some questions about my internet absence, I return here much earlier than I had planned. I was in hospital for an operation (although I tried to convince the surgeon that I would like to keep my organ, he had no mercy with me!) and I did not know how long recovery does take.
Fortunately I’m on my way back! In the meantime I met the first butterflies, a Brimstone (Gonepteryx rhamni) and a Small Tortoiseshell (Aglais urticae) and I was also able to take some photos of flowering Violets (Viola odorata). Springtime definitely arrived in the Netherlands.
Canon 7D; beanbag; remote release; 180 mm, 1/125s at F3.5 and ISO100
Maybe you started wondering why this blog is titled ‘piano man’. Well, when I landed back on earth in hospital on the recovery department, the first thing I noticed was music ....... I heard Billy Joel’s song ‘Piano Man’. What a beautiful song to start with ....... I couldn’t move at all but my ears and brains enjoyed this song and I decided that this will be my song for 2012!
Canon 7D; beanbag; remote release; 180 mm, 1/30s at F5.0 and ISO100
Sing us a song, you're the piano man
Sing us a song tonight
Well, we're all in the mood for a melody
And you've got us feelin' alright
Yeah, I feel alright and my intuition tells me that 2012 will be great with a lot of beautiful nature moments, study and business plans, short trips and journeys through Europe and meetings with new people ........ maybe the piano man!
Jibt dir dit Leben mal een Buff, denn weene keene Träne. Lach Dir'n Ast und setz Dir druff und baumle mit de Beene.