The Return of the Firebugs

Two Firebugs

If you go out into the garden today, be careful where you tread. Firebugs have been appearing now and again since the weather warmed up, but now they are back in their full numbers. They have even left the garden with the plants and are moving in on the porch. According to Internet Firebugs generally mate in April and May. Their diet consists primarily of seeds from lime trees and mallows . They can often be found in groups near the base of lime tree trunks, on the sunny side.

They can be seen in tandem formation when mating which can take from 12 hours up to 7 days. The long period of copulating is probably used by the males as a form of ejaculate-guarding under high competition with other males.

OK, not wanting to go into details about their marital attempts, they are everywhere. I do get a bad conscience if I happen to squash one or two, especially when they are so attached and concentrating on the maintenance of the species, but I think they are taking over. We do have mallows in the garden, although it is too early for seeds, but they are probably finding some seeds in the ground. We do not have a lime tree, and there are no lime trees in the village, so I just do not get what the big attraction is.

This morning they were congregating in a patch of sedum, but this afternoon they had deserted the sedum for the cracks in the tiles on the ground. The tandem formation is quite popular at the moment and they are walking around two by two. Luckily they seem to agree on the direction, otherwise a nasty accident could occur when they both have a different opinion.

They do no harm and make a nice colourful subject for a photo.


Colour Your World: Red Violet

Sky over Feldbrunnen, Switzerland

And another evening sky with a touch of everything – I hope

Roasted Horse Chestnut seller, Solothurn

Every Winter we have roasted horse chestnuts in our market town of Solothurn. The same family return from the Italian part of Switzerland. They have a hut on the main square. The inside is panted in a sort of red violet colour. Inside the hut on the right you can see the large container where the chestnuts are roasted. On the right of the photo a corner of the fountain next to the hut.

Colour your World: Red Violet

Daily Prompt: Footsteps

Footbridge over the River Aar by Zuchwil

It is a thing with manufacturing footsteps, and there are certain rules to follow. If you are walking across a wooden bridge, there is no problem. You will hear each step you take quite clearly with resonance on the boards. They will echo and will assure you that your feet will be attached to your ankles which is an important part of footstep production. It goes without saying that the complete foot system must be associated with the legs. Often a problem arises when the knees do not want to play. They might refuse and at an important part in the process the knees could sag and give way. This is not a problem taking footsteps across such a bridge. There are railings to support you on the way. How often did I pause on this bridge across the River Aar separating my side of the river from the other, resting a while and co-ordianting my limbs to carry me further. An advantage on this bridge is that you can always hear the others following your footsteps, and indeed overtaking your footsteps with their own. I discovered it is then a good choice to stop, rest awhile and think “do I really want to continue”, but as I have no choice I make my way to the other bank, knowing that my feet will conquer the return journey.

It is, of course, a problem if your feet decide to take this path.

Steps from River Aar to village Feldbrunnen

Not only must the feet be screwed on to the ankles completely, but the pulling pressure must be adjusted. How often have I taken a walk along the river bank and decided to ascend by these steps, not want to cross the river but remain on the same side. It is not an easy choice, but it can be overcome with determination and careful planning. Of course you do not just march up the steps one at a time, that would be foolish. It could be that your ankles refuse to accept the attachment of the feet and footsteps, no matter how powerful and determined, will rescue your legs. Before the ascent it is advisable to rest on a bench and think about it. Luckily the benches are placed in strategic positions to help you on the way.

As you can see there is already a rescue party waiting at the summit of the stairs, Mr. Swiss, hoping that Mrs. Angloswiss will be able to co-ordinate her limbs, above all her footsteps, always forms the support as you never know what could possibly happen. He tends to get somewhat nervous when my feet attack these stairs and I am on my own, although he has a good view of the events.

Now the time arrives for the ascent. “Feet are you ready to step the way?” I always ask, just to be sure. Feet then send a message to the ankles, but there might be a discussion. “Legs guide us through the stairs” say the feet and ankles together “not without me” say the knees. Generally they all agree to carry me where I want to go and so the ascent begins. This time I need my arms and particularly the arms which are hopefully connected to the shoulders. The hands and arms are a supplementary support as they grip the fencing on the side, supplying a further assurance that you will not fall but can hang onto the wood in a worst case scene. With the co-ordination of all four appendices there is a chance that I will conquer the summit. At the beginning it was difficult and Mr. Swiss would walk behind me, to catch me in the safety of this arms,  in case I might fall, but I could always save myself by clinging to the railings.

Now we are professionals, my footsteps and me. I can even conquer the height in one full march without taking a pause in between. I think it is approximately 60 steps, but it might be more. Once I arrive at the top Mr. Swiss is happy, almost ecstatic. His wife has again proven that she can do it, and together we are strong (I mean my feet, ankles, legs, knees and any other limb I might have to employ). Even my footsteps are no longer sounding the beat as I march over wooden slats. My footsteps are now the steps of a professional. And now to sit on the bench placed at the top of the steps to recover.

Daily Prompt: Footsteps

A Misty Morning

Misty morning

I decided after the lazy day yesterday I could rise punctually this morning to get things done, not there is very much to get done, but now and again I do make an effort. For a photo I approached the window and saw it was a misty morning, the sun was still thinking about its arrival. We live near the River Aar which flows just below our tribal settlement, and on Spring mornings  as well as Autumn, we have the benefit of the mist.

It is very romantic still scenery probably because the birds do not bother flying through the mist. They have difficulty finding the worms I can imagine. I have difficulty finding the breakfast table on some mornings. I kept the street lamp in the photo just to show that it was an inhabited area. Unfortunately the building opposite also got into the picture.

This morning my signals on the phone told me I had to take my weekly Vitamin D drops. I sometimes wonder about them. Our doctor seems to distribute them to everyone saying that it is because of the lack of sun in Winter etc. I wonder how I survived without them in the days gone by growing up in a sunless environment in the East End of London. Even Mr. Swiss gets them from the doc, but he only has to take half the amount I take weekly. I don’t actually like those drops because they seem to be a better version of caster oil and just slide down your throat.

Otherwise it will be a chicken casserole for lunch with saffran rice before you ask and another lazy day. Mr. Swiss will go on safari to the supermarket for me whilst I deal with my domestic hobbies like vacuuming and mopping etc.

Have a nice day, and don’t forget today might be your last chance to stock up on food as on Sunday & Monday the shops will be closed, at least they are here in Switzerland, but my fridge is running over with food as well as the freezer.