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Melantrys’ Page » wildlife

Archive for the ‘wildlife’ Category

Dear unknown cat owner…

Saturday, June 13th, 2015

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… I am sorry.
I am so terribly, utterly sorry.

But it was so tempting.

And so unexpected.

And then really unexpected.

I never meant for it to happen.

It just did.

And I am quite sure we had fun.

Um, we are selling pet brushes…..
I just thought I might mention that.

Ahem.

Dear, confused reader,

when I left work yesterday a cat like this was sitting in the parking lot, staring into the shrubbery.

I made trying-to-attract-a-cat noises, and it turned and looked at me while staying where it was.
So I slowly walked over towards it, fully expecting it to run or saunter off, depending on its temperament.

But it stayed.

It never started purring, and its tail was even twitching a bit, but soon after I had started petting it it began rolling around on the floor.
The sandy, dirty parking lot….

And it rolled, and presented its belly to be rubbed, and let me tickle it under its chin, and rolled and rolled around on the dirty floor.

The trust this animal was showing me, the strange human, was so spell-binding that I just couldn’t stop petting the poor thing.

I am so sorry about the ruined fur, I really am….

Bees

Monday, May 31st, 2010

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soaking up the sun 1
Just soaking up the sun…

soaking up the sun 2

at work 1
… or busy at work.

at work 2

at work 3

at work 4

at work 5

at work 5 close-up

Spot the pheasant!

Tuesday, April 6th, 2010

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As you all had so much fun with the bird riddle I figured I could feature another one.
To make things easier, the search photos contain a much larger bird.

The pheasant.

Of all the scatterbrained fluffballs populating this country, the pheasant seems to range among the most scatterbrained.
Usually a very shy bird, it tends to shun populated areas, except in winter when it comes sneaking in to eat the grains the smaller birds drop at their feeding places.

It will take off - emitting loud and somewhat hooting noises - when spotting a human. The same applies for scary noises, like the “clonk-twanggggg” that the lock of our door leading onto the terrace makes when finally yielding to our wish to pull it open.

On the other hand, the pheasant is the bird that discomfits me the most when spotting it by the roadside.
It will sit in the grass staring at the road.
It will continue to do that until your car is almost upon it.
Then it will leasurely start crossing the road.
If it looks as if you’ve been really close already and will pass the bird before it reaches your path, it will then speed up in a spirited attempt to still get flattened by your car.

Feathered lemmings they must be, I dunno.

Oh, yeah, right, here’s some photos of our winter guest:

first glimpse through window
first glimpse through window

Then I decided to chance going outside, which startled fluffybrains into running into the shrubbery.
Can you see him hiding from the two-legged noisy monster?

spot the pheasant 1
spot the pheasant 1

spot the pheasant 2
spot the pheasant 2

I then sat down inside the doorframe (freezing my ass off, I might add) and waited.

After a while sillywings seemed to be unsure about why he was sitting behind a bush.

Had there been something that posed a danger or not? Hm.

Apparently not willing to chance too much, he then started strutting up and down along the fence, occasionally ducking behind a convenient shrub.

pheasant 1

pheasant 2

pheasant 3

.

Now, the odd thing is, at least two pheasants seem inclined to stay here for good.

When I came walking around the house three days ago to pick the first budding autumn crocus ramsons, there was a hectic flapping of wings and some hooting emanating from a pheasant fleeing into the next garden behind the fence.
After a while I heard some other noises, and discovered that there were two pheasants on the neighbours’ lawn, having a heated discussion concerning territory.
I ran and fetched my cam, but the damned buggers kept moving about so fast that there was always something in my line of vision.
This last photo was the only one I managed to snap off, showing at least one of them, with the other one being behind the neighbours’ rhododendron.

pheasant fighting
pheasant fighting

Looks like they’re moving into the village for good.

.

In other news, there will be a bunch of photo posts coming up shortly.
This is mutating into a photo blog.

Birdies!

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

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Each winter when there is frost or snow we use the plum tree as a feeding place for the local birds.
“Local birds” being every two-legged, feathered creature in the vicinity, apparently.
It really wouldn’t surprise me (much) if I were to look out and see an ostrich among the assembly.
Even the crows find something acceptable to eat in the form of the fat & seed balls meant for tits1 which they simply drag up to the branch they’re sitting on, clever buggers…

The pigeons are too big and unwieldy to partake of the feed suspended from the tree and too brainless to do as the crows, but luckily the smaller birds are messy eaters, so they don’t have to go hungry either.

fluffed up pigeons
fluffed up pigeons

The deep snow sure made for some funny impressions:

'duck' on a pond
‘duck’ on a pond

Here’s one of the messy eaters:

feeding bird
feeding bird

And if you’d all take a look at the original photo, I have a riddle for you.
Apart from that yellow birdie at the feeding station there is one other bird in the photo. Can you spot it?

feeding bird - riddle
Spot bird number two.

Eyes smarting already? Ok, let’s get on with the photos.
Here’s some sorting through the seed mess on the floor.
Note the duck impression the one in the back is giving. ;)

bird assembly
bird assembly

These two don’t have much going for interspecies relations, stolidly staring off in opposite directions.

not talking
Pigeon and magpie: not talking

Two more birdies feeding:

lookout
lookout

And for those who need it - the solution to the riddle above:

feeding bird - solution
spot the bird - solution

.

  1. The songbirds of that name, Caesar, the songbirds… :P [back]

Kasteel Doorwerth - pt. 3 - the surroundings

Sunday, August 9th, 2009

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I may have neither the know-how nor the impressive gear that Kik has, but still we have one thing in common: give us a camera and some nature and we’re happy as a pig in the muck, and cavort around, taking pictures of just about anything.

Which we then did.
As you might have guessed.

I tried to narrow it down to a certain type, but did not succeed, so all I can say is that the following pictures show mallow.

pink flowered mallow
pink flowered mallow

pink flowered mallow, zoomed
zoom on pink flowered mallow

pink flowered mallow, closed buds
closed buds of pink flowered mallow

pink flowered mallow, opening bud
opening bud of pink flowered mallow with bug

white flowered mallow
white flowered mallow

Near a pasture I found a patch of white clover (Trifolium repens), which stunned me somewhat:

giant white clover 1
white clover

“Well, yes, that is white clover,” I hear you say. “Seen it, searched for the four-leaved ones, thanks to those never-quite-dying superstitions… But those are all only trefoil, so what’s the big deal, Mel? Don’t get out much, do you?”

“No, no,” says I, “I know my clover. Actually, we have tons of it growing in our lawn, unfortunately.”

“Well, it looks a bit tatty,” you say, trying to be polite.1

Ok, it seems you’ll never guess, so I’ll just show you, ok?

giant white clover 2
OMG, it’s teh giant man-eating clover, ruuuun!!!

*coughs*
Sorry.
Got a bit carried away there.

Anyway, a bit further on we found some normal sized clover, which came as a bit of a relief for me.

normal white clover
normal white clover, with bee

And there was more - albeit less astounding - flora to see:

thistle
thistle

grain
some grain growing wild, with insect

white campion
white campion (Silene latifolia)

But what’s a foray into nature without some buzzing insects?

soldier beetle
soldier beetle, on flowering goutweed, if I am not totally mistaken

Then someone got it all wrong about photos and how they are taken and alighted on the telephoto lens of Kik’s camera…:

common scorpionfly
common scorpionfly (Panorpa communis) being “photogenic”

Let us now get to the point Pandora has already been demanding in part two of my castle posts:
The shy creatures that were on the pasture I mentioned earlier on.

sheep 1
“Bummer, that two-legged creature found our hiding place…”

sheep 2
“… let’s go, Lizzy.”

landscape 1
And last but not least…

landscape 2
… a bit of a view.

P.S.:

baaa
“Who’re you lookin’ at?!?”

.

  1. I can’t help the feeling that this sounds like the type of conversation I might have with Pandora…. [back]

The bird protection net as perceived by a female blackbird

Monday, July 27th, 2009

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Oooooooh, blueberries!!!!
Yum, yum, yum!

Eh! Whazzat?
What’s all this green webby stuff doing in front of the berries?
I want berries!
There must be a way through this to the berries…

*stagger*
Drat, now my foot got caught in this weird green webby stuff.

*twist, flap*
Aargh, my wing, my wing!!!

*twist, flap, hop*
My other foot, oh, my god, oh, my gooooooood!!!!

*flap, flap, hop, twirl, kick dust*

Um.

Help?

Oh, oh, oh, shiiiiit, a huge monster!!
*duck*

Phew, it’s going away again.
Oh, no, there it comes again!!
Heeeelp.
*duck, crawl, pathetically flap*

No, no, don’t…. Aargh, it got me, it got me, help!!!

*screech, flap, struggle*

What’s that?
Oh, no, this is cold and looks dangerous.
And it’s making weird snipping sounds.
Heeeeelp!!

*screech, struggle, bite monster*

It’s letting me go, it’s letting me…. no, it just took me in its other paw.

*peck, screech*

(various repeats of *screech*, *struggle*, *peck* and *bite* while the monster shuffles it from paw to paw and the dangerous looking cold thing keeps making terrifying snipping noises)

*bites into thickest looking claw*

Noooo, what now, the monster is standing up! It’s moving, it’s moving!

It’s bending down again.

What…. it let go of me, it let go of me!!!!

*lets go of the monster’s thumb and flies away, loudly screaming defiance at the monster*

*sits down in tree and unruffles feathers*

*ponders*

Oh, cool, all that icky green webby stuff is gone.
Lucky me that this weird stuff fell off again.

.

Author’s note: lucky you I found you before the neighbours’ cat did…

The restless are going native

Sunday, May 31st, 2009

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So, is this writer’s block, or plain laziness?
I don’t know, but I’ll try to ramble in a vaguely interesting way for a while.

*sips some Grüne Witwe*

*draws a blank*

Maybe it really is writer’s block then.

Anyway.

My Lilium Erotica has survived the relatively tough winter and shily put forth its first flower today.
The Lilium Perversum looks like it might soon follow. Well, all I can hope for then is that the flowers will distract from the otherwise really sad look of the poor thing.

A good week ago, when I went to water the lilies I discovered that the leaves of the red one were thoroughly riddled with holes.
There were a lot of bright red bugs sitting close to the stem, and they were kind of looking guilty, so I picked them out of the lily, threw them onto a stone and stepped on them. *squish* The few eggs that I found I rubbed between my fingers. *mash* :shifty:
And before you call me evil, firstly, they were responsible for the bedraggled look of my lily, and secondly, despite their nice, friendly colour and all, those bugs gave me the creeps. I had to seriously force myself to reach out and grab each one of them. The German wiki has the best photo; the English one might be more comprehensible to most of you though. ;)

What else….?

Have been working at work, and here at home weeding, weeding, weeding…. Why do weeds grow so much better and faster than pretty, pretty flowers and veggies, eh?!

Got a variety of tomato plants inside the greenhouse and out, also peppers sweet and hot, chilis, eggplants, freaky decorative eggplants, courgettes in light green, yellow and “white” (Thank you “Uncle Bob” Bobby Seeds!), and round ones.

Furthermore we ordered some stuff from a mailorder gardening shop: thornless brambles, a blueberry shrub, figs, interesting strawberries, and an ‘erb with annoying habits.

When the plants arrived in early spring, I planted them all out into the garden. The spring starflower, which they are selling here as Andean garlic, was already merrily in bloom. As the flowers are edible too, they made for nice deco on the odd salad. :)
Then the first one seemed to dry off and die. Shortly afterwards, the second did the same. The third and last held on a little longer and appears to be lying in its death throes now.
But.
Little green shoots are suddenly growing out of two empty patches in my herb bed and out of the middle of the “dying” third plant.
From what I just read when I went picture-hunting, that’s absolutely normal behaviour for that plant…. ‘K.

And a last garden thing…
For my birthday I got a flowerpot from the neighbours. Guess it was on discount, as it looked rather Easterly, with a huge fake white egg and a bow made out of greenery stuck into the middle of it… :lol:
Anyway, the main inhabitant of the pot was a hydrangea with white flowers. A, not to put too fine a point on it, shrub. Growing rather nicely out of the 20 by 20cm pot it came in.
Once the weather was stable enough for me to dare allow it out into the wilderness, I got a surprise. Most of the room inside the pot was taken up by plastic foil. The actual inner pot size was about 8cm.
The kind of pot I put my veggie seedlings in.
So.
What kind of plant hating gardener puts a shrub into such a small pot?
I don’t have to mention that it contained more roots than soil, do I?

Oh my, now this is almost a pure garden post.
You poor readers. :P

Let me quickly add another topic:
Music.
These days I am listening to a lot of Malicorne, while occasionally cussing the fact that they don’t exist anymore.
If someone invents a time machine, please let me know, I’d really have liked to see those guys live.
*sighs*

Here’s some “videos”. Enjoy the songs (hopefully)!

A capella:
Le Prince d’Orange

Quand je menai mes chevaux boire

Branle/La Peronelle

La fiancée du timbalier

And for those with more than 10 minutes to spare:
La fille aux chansons (Marion s’y promène)

Now it’s almost 1am, I am feeling tired and headachy and almost sure that the title of this post is more amusing than the post itself. ;)

Good night, everyone!

A road sign that needs inventing

Wednesday, March 19th, 2008

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squirrel

Today, in the garden

Thursday, July 19th, 2007

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bumblebee 1
*sniff, sniff*

bumblebee 3
“Damn, why is this flower so much smaller than the others…?”

bumblebee 4
bzzzzzzzzzz

bumblebee 5
Another of those weird small ones…”

.

Aren’t bumblebees cute…? :lol:

Graspop 2006

Wednesday, July 5th, 2006

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Wow, it seems people have been missing me, so let me bore you to tears with the story of my weekend! :D

Due to the late decision/opportunity to go to Graspop this year the most sensible way to still obtain a ticket was to ask M. in Arnhem to get one for me.
A long story about free train rides and late arrivals follows, so let’s skip that and just say that this lead to me getting up at fucking 3:00 in the morning on Friday, picking up my ticket in Arnhem before the Dutchies boarded their train and heroically arriving earlyish and reserving a nice spot for our tents and the gazebo on the camping ground in Dessel.

When the others finally arrived I felt like kissing the ground, as after hours of me defending my piece of pasture against the enemy all by myself the neighbours became pushy and asked about putting one of their tents a bit into my reserved space and then merrily - but thankfully slowly - went about setting up two tents. Buuuut the others arrived just in time. :)

For us, Friday was a slow day, meaning we had a lot of time to check out the toilets, food and drink before it was time for the others to “see” Lacuna Coil. Well, there isn’t much to see if you’re sitting on the ground. ;)

Then it was Moonspell time, but what with the distance and lighting I unfortunately cannot provide any pictures. The video clip I made is equally blurry, but I’ll just “watch” “Opium” with closed eyes then, lol.

It was dark; it was cold, but we bravely waited till 1:20 in the morning, passing the time by meeting Kenny, putting Kenny into a straitjacket and J. and R. hallucinating that they were in World of Warcraft, and not the real world. Well, I suppose sitting in the dusty cold does that to you. When the cold freezes your brain, and the dirt starts eating away at your bronchi….


Kenny, er, J.!

And then, the highlight of the evening - for me probably of the weekend: Die Krupps.


Die Krupps…

I had thought that after Lee Altus had left and Engler founded DKay.Com, Die Krupps had become the past, over and done with.
And then they were announced for Graspop! At some point Engler mentioned that it was their 25th anniversary, and the backdrop suggested the same. But…. that was a very ominous backdrop.


… or not Die Krupps?

Why are the Die Krupps rings crossed out? Is this just an anniversary tour, or will we be hearing more of Die Krupps again in the future? I’d appreciate the latter, as I don’t really like DKay.Com. Yeah, sue me, Mr Engler! ;)
A few songs (e.g. “Alive”) sounded a lot more electronical than I remembered them, but still very Die Krupps. That concert was great. And Jürgen Engler was great. He may not have very many moves, but he performs them with grace and he does have stage presence.

Saturday was my busiest day. But first I had a very photogenic guest lounging on my tent:

Then it was time for some Florida noise, i.e….


…Obituary

Check out their equally bad pic of the crowd on their homepage!

It was very, very stifling in that tent, but it was to become worse:

Stone Sour, main stage, out in the blazing sun. Yes, Caesar, that’s when I was whining at you about heat strokes… or rather after their gig.
What can I say? Liked their show, got my brain fried through….


“This song is dedicated to the great American traitor, Mr. George Bush. This song is about real freedom.”

Close to the end of their set Corey saw himself in one of the big screens on the side of the stage, which led to the following little conversation with the audience:

“Do I look like that? I look like shit.
Do I look like shit?”
“YEAH!”
“Fuck you too.”

As I was well done by then I used the break to trudge back to the camping, where I rested a bit and washed my arms and wet my hair in the tent with the wash basins. That cooled me down a treat and kept me refreshed for… like…. 10 minutes?

Talking about the camping, this sign did confuse me a bit.


No hunting?!

But I had brought my bow and arrows and my gutting knife! Dang!!!

I barely made it back in time to see Alice in Chains (main stage, out in the sun of course…), but I was very disappointed. Not that their new singer was bad, but if the voice of a band dies, they’re in a spot of trouble. The show totally sucked for me; sorry, dude.


My Dying Bride…

… made me forget that right away. Aaaaaah, sweet whiny melancholy… :)

Was too far away from the stage and Soulfly then for any postable pics, but I took a nice picture of a young lady who - like her boyfriend - was trying to avoid inhaling the flying dust that just crept everywhere:


terrorist ;)

Lol, I just saw that I also captured a “nice” belly in a men’s skirt in that pic. Enjoy!

After Soulfly I peeked into the tent Opeth were playing at, but that was too odd for me after that long and hectic day, so I wandered back to the camping.

Things got even odder on the way there. The security people sitting in front of the comfy crew camping area were listening to….. Celine Dion! Mildly traumatized I stumbled on and fell into nightmare-ridden sleep in my tent. I think I was at sea. ;)

Good thing that Sunday was such a slow and relaxing day for me then. ;)

As a Coal Chamber fan I had to go and see Devil Driver of course. What can I say? Dez needs a diet :P ; and I wish he’d still sing and not just scream. Nothing against screaming, but he has such a wonderful singing voice, at least in my opinion, so I miss that of course.
The show was great, and Dez is too nice too be metal, lol.


“There are some little motherfuckers in the pit - 11 or so - so be careful.
Man, I love this shit!”

He didn’t just seem to care for the safety of the little motherfuckers, but also about the safety of all motherfuckers.

Is a circle pit the in thing these days? I have no idea.

Anyway, on the first day some old school band on the main stage (Y&T? I think it was them; who cares…) wanted a circle pit as well. Their only concern seemed to be that people should only form it in the exact moment the band wanted and not at any other time.

Dez wanted one as well, for the duration of a whole song. So what did he do? He told people to open up a huge space in front of the stage (5×5 or 6×6 m, I’m not good at estimating measurements) to have room for the circle pit. Didn’t see anyone get hurt in there, not even the little motherfuckers - who really looked like being 11 or so. :)

As my festival food source had run out of rice and I don’t like his noodles, I sadly trudged back to camping and had some icky Belgian French fries and coffee. While I was sitting there the Flood happened, er, I mean, it rained. Mightily. When things had calmed down a bit I hurried back to the tents, as they had been giving out (thunder) storm warnings all day long. Luckily T., Kenny, er, J. and S. were back as well, so I had some help in taking down the gazebo. For that I was very thankful not so much later when the storm hit while I was whiling away the time reading in my tent (I said Sunday was a slow day for me…). We had another Flood, thunder and lightning and wind enough for my one tent wall to occasionally duck into the tent and say hello to me. Was a tad scary weathering out the weather there….
Little did I know what the day would still bring…

S. put it so accurately: “It’s amazing how the little guy can produce all those vocals.” (Don’t hit me if that wasn’t a 100% true quote; I’m senile.)


Cradle of Filth

Caught the little Brit out on something during “From the cradle to enslave” though. Sometimes it does pay off to try and pay attention to screamed lyrics. At some point he sang “I don’t know the fucking words to this song… *mumble, mumble*” Hilarious.

After that we split up. S., T., Kenny, er J. and me got some drinks and returned to the tents.

We went to sleep, or in some cases tried to.

I don’t know if you are familiar with this odd spreading habit of people at festivals. They take either old tents or are fucking rich farts.
Because on the morning after the festival there always are people who set their tent on fire instead of taking it home again. It must’ve become such a widespread habit that the Graspop people are even mentioning on their website that it is forbidden to burn your tent there.

So. I was just undressing/changing when I heard a mixed group of men discussing in English that they felt like setting a tent on fire right now. The notice on the website was mentioned, and that they had to exactly time this because of the fire brigade patrols. Someone asked if it was illegal, and someone else said “No, of course it’s not!” One of them started wandering around and hollered at a tent that the people inside had to leave it now, no joking, and if they had a lighter, please.
In the end they rather settled for lighting up the downed tent beside mine.

From the inside of my tent it sounded as if they had dragged it up right against mine, which frightened me some. (I had ceased undressing and started to sit listening with wide eyes some time ago…) From the sound of it they were all drunk; and who’d light their tent with one night still ahead anyway?! So when it became obvious that they were seriously going to set it on fire there and now, I crawled half out, but they had dragged it away to the “sensible” distance of maybe 3m off.

The fire brigade was there within one or two minutes and put out what was left of it… Two men had quit the scene the moment the fire truck appeared on the horizon.

I was still spooked, so I read for about an hour or so by the light of my flashlight.

Sometime then people started arriving back from the festival. I didn’t get much of what was said, but one thing I did get: one of the new arrivals was the owner of the tent. He stayed calm and alerted security. I think it was a security guy whom I heard on the phone right behind my tent some time later talking about the young man wanting to involve the police, and that several tents had been burned on the camping area. (He obligingly spoke very slowly and well-modulated which helps a German understand Dutch… or Flemish, if you’re in Belgium. Whatever.)

T. told me in the morning that he heard at some point that someone fell over a tent. So that was the reason it was down, not that people had already been taking it down…

Actually, the poor sod’s belongings had been in as well of course.

Fat chance they’ll catch ‘em (the two leaving were the main driving force…) but a gal can wish. They should be punished for that. Burning other people’s property is not metal, that’s the behaviour of scum. And being drunk is no excuse.

I wish I hadn’t mistaken them for some idiots lighting their own old tent…

But to something more enjoyable. After breaking camp on Monday morning we hauled our belongings into the breakfast tent and had breakfast, coffee, or nothing, depending on taste and mood.

A couple of benches on some guy suddenly raised a sorry breadroll or something, speared with wooden forks, into the air and started singing “Happy birthday”, motioning for people to join in. (Was it really someone’s birthday by the way? Do tell!) I went over when they were done with the singing and set to lighting the “candles”.

Pictures published with permission: :D

P.S.: Especially for you, Davie:


the Dutch - German border at Venlo