RDP Thursday: Fissure

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My raised beds, are full of gaps. I discovered that they are not empty, but occupied by various anachrophobic inhabitants. At first I did not see the spider hovering in the top right corner. I am still not sure, but believe she is even carrying an egg sack. On the left at the bottom is yet another one of the species. I am sure that my raised bed walls have now been taken over by the spiders. Perhaps they are planning an attack.

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They are already weaving their webs across my windows. It seem the bigger the fissure the better.

RDP Thursday: Fissure

RDP Thursday: Troglodyte

Dog 27-09 (3)

It all started as a surprise for Walter. He was now twelve years old and on that day his wish was to be fulfilled. His mother and father accompanied him to the animal home. He wanted a pet, a nice cuddly dog. As they entered the pens where the dogs were kept it seemed as if the dogs had got together to act as loud and loving as they could, barking at the top of their lungs saying please take me.

“OK son” said Walter’s dad “it is your dog, so make your choice” but Walter was overwhelmed with so many homeless dogs. It was then that he spotted a little grey puppy sitting on its own in a corner. The other dogs seemed to avoid it and when it tried to come a bit nearer, it was pushed back with a howling and growling.

“That is my dog” thought Walter “I will make him a good home and he will be my faithful pal. I want that one” he said pointing to the little grey dog in the corner.”

“Are you sure son” asked his parents. “He doesn’t seem to be as active as the other dogs. He certainly is no thoroughbred, but if that’s the one you want son, that’s your dog” and that was how Walter was given Charlie, which was to be the name of the new arrival in the family.

Walter took him in his arms and the little puppy licked Walter’s hand as if to say thank you. The puppy did seem to like the taste of Walter’s fingers and nipped one of them.

“Ow” said Walter, “you must be hungry”.

“What’s up Walter?” asked his mother

“I think my puppy is hungry, he tried to eat one of my fingers” and Walter laughed and so did his mum and dad.

When they arrived home, there was already a little bed and food waiting for the new arrival. Charlie found his way around quickly, but it seemed he really had a tremendous appetite. He finished his bowl of food and was looking at Walter with his big brown eyes as if to say “is that all?” Obviously you cannot leave a little dog without food in a strange place on the first day, so Charlie got second helpings.

Charlie made himself at home and grew and grew and grew. He also loved to go for walks with Walter. The only problem was that he kept straining on the line to go off on his own. Walking through the forest was easier, as Walter could remove the lead. Unfortunately Charlie would gallop away and usually return with a dead animal in his mouth. At the beginning when Charlie was small, it was just the odd mouse, and perhaps a rat. As Charlie was growing Walter had to search for him in the forest. He usually found him where he was tearing at the remains of a squirrel or perhaps a bird, that had been in the wrong place at the wrong time.

It was then noticed that Charlie was changing, although Walter and his parents thought this normal for a dog. After a year doubts began to grow. The full moon nights were the worst. Charlie would scratch at the door and jump at the window trying to go outside. Just for peace of mind Walter would put him on the lead and go out with him for a few minutes to calm him down. It was once very embarrassing when Mrs. Smith’s cat walked passed. Charlie was off like a streak of lightening and the poor cat eventually managed to save itself from Charlie’s claws and jaws by climbing the nearest tree. Unfortunately it was stranded and the firemen had to be called to retrieve the cat. Mrs. Smith was quite annoyed and told Walter’s parents that she would not pay the bill; after all it was their canine monster that attacked her cat.

“Son, we have to have a talk” said Walter’s father. “Charlie is becoming a problem.”

“Just because he happened to chase Mrs. Smith’s cat, that’s normal for a dog.”

“No, not quite son; he seems to be changing.”

“Dad, he is just a dog, and is getting bigger. He isn’t a puppy any more.”

“That’s what I mean son. He eats as much meat as we do and to be quite honest I don’t like the look in his eyes now and again.”

If Walter was quite honest, he also had his doubts about Charlie. He had not told his father about the incident that occurred a few days ago when he saw Charlie burying something in the garden. He dug it up and found it to be a human finger. Now Walter was shocked, but he just did not want any problems, so kept quiet about it. If Walter had searched further, he might have found the hand that belonged to it. Walter’s father did read in the newspaper about a body that had been found in the nearby forest, belonging to a tramp, its hand missing, but thought no more of it. Looked like animals had got to the tramp, and that was the end of it. Probably the tramp died from an overdose of alcohol and the animals did the rest.

The last straw was when Charlie’s teeth fell out. Walter was certainly worried, but the new teeth soon grew; much longer, more pointed than those previous. It was then that Walter’s parents said enough was enough. Charlie must go, he looked like something from a freak show. Walter was sad, he didn’t want to lose his companion. Eventually the arrangement was made that Charlie could stay, but he must now live outside in the garden in a special dog kennel. The funny thing was that it did not seem to bother Charlie at all. He was quite happy living outside.

In the meanwhile a few cats had disappeared from the neighbourhood and Mr. Smith was missing. These things always seemed to happen on moonlit nights. If someone had been watching, they would have noticed that Charlie was not stupid. He was actually very clever. You just had to hypnotise your human to do it. Of course Walter did not realise this, nor did he remember sleep walking to the garden in the morning when Charlie returned and replacing the lock.

Eventually things came to an end when Charlie made his metamorphosis. Again there was a full moon and Charlie had developed such strength that he stood on his hind legs and howled to be heard by all. Someone in the neighbourhood called the police, but there was no Charlie any more in his dog kennel. The kennel had been reduced to a pile of wood, mixed with the bones of Mr. Smith and a few missing cats; the identity of the bones was later discovered upon their examination.

Charlie was gone. Now and again someone disappeared from the neighbourhood, their remains usually being found in the forest. Charlie’s lair had not yet been discovered, he had found a nice little cave in a rock formation. Every walk he took with Walter in the forest without his lead, he managed to construct a little bit more in his cave.

So if you decide to buy your son or daughter a dog, then have a good look first. If the other dogs in the pound seem to avoid the dog you want, then you must also avoid it. There could be a reason.

RDP Thursday: Troglodyte

RDP Thursday: Bush

Bush 24.05.2018

This is what I call a bush. They grow in gardens, sometimes just wild in the country or  along a river bank and many have pretty flowers.

We do not have water holes, but rivers and our insects keep themselves to themselves: perhaps a spider or a bug.

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I just found this one crawling along my table outside and have no idea what it is. It’s a fast mover and you often see them late Summer and Autumn.

Our snakes usually go under the name of worm, so nothing to get worried about.

Otherwise I would love to visit the real Australian bush, but for me it just remains a dream.

RDP Thursday: Bush

RDP Thursday: Pebble

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“Thank you for the interview Mr. Widmer” said the journalist.

“No problem” was the answer “I am glad to oblige” and the journalist left the mountain chalet situated in a village embedded between the high alpine mountains.

Fritz Widmer was now sunk in thought. He had recently celebrated his eightieth birthday and was honoured that the newspaper had remembered him and wanted an interview based on his mountain climbing experiences. Those days were not even so far gone. He was lucky to be able to maintain his good health and did his last “four thousander” (meters) only a couple of years before. However, now was the time to forget hopping around in the alps and to settle down and watch how the youngsters succeeded. Of course, they had much more modern equipment than he did; steel with a strength not known in the first days of mountaineering and ropes, no longer ropes but synthetic, nylon, being able to bear a weight that was not able in the earlier days.

The journalist wanted to know about the first ascent he made on the north wall of the Number One as it was known. He told them what they wanted to hear, but reflecting on his actual experience he had left some of it unmentioned.

The north wall was overhanging; a difficult feat for even an experienced climber, but Fritz and his colleague Emil had decided to be the first to do it; two young men who met at the university and had the same hobby, mountain climbing. They departed in the early evening for the ascent to the mountain hut, maintained by the local climbing organisation. This was the first step in their climb and their last night together before they got to the actual ascent. At four in the morning the two men left the hut, laden with their rucksacks containing all the tools they needed and roped together. The weather forecast was good; a sunny clear day awaited them. They knew they had to get off early in the morning before the ice started melting, before the mountain path got too treacherous and slippery. They had good shoes with spikes, but having the shoes was one part of the adventure, knowing how to use them was the other.

“How do you feel Fritz” said Emil “do you think it will be a good climb?”

“As long as the weather stays fine” was the answer “and no clouds arrive. It could get dangerous the higher we get. I just hope we have no loose stones falling on our heads.”

Both men knew that would be the most dangerous of the adventure. An overhanging wall always contained its secrets and stones were the most unpredictable. Weather was also a uncertain factor in the mountains. It could change in a few minutes. They made their way slowly but surely and soon reached the half way crevice. It was known as such as the mountain had a break in the wall.

“Was this where it happened?” asked Emil.

“You mean the disappearance” answered Fritz. “Yes, one of the first roped teams lost their way; two of our best mountaineers, my father and his brother. The weather changed and they were never seen again. But we have no choice, it is getting darker, temperatures are getting colder and this is the only place wide enough to take our rest for the night.”

The two men lit a small fire and filled a small pot with some ice that they scrapped from the surrounding stones. The idea was to make some tea. They opened their rucksacks and took some dry meat and had a small meal.

“I don’t like the look of that sky” said Emil “too many dark clouds.”

“You are right; I just hope it holds for us.”

The two men lay together on the narrow ledge in their sleeping bags and tried to get some sleep, but they could already hear the echoes of thunder in the distance. It was then that the rain mixed with snow started falling; bringing some small pebbles with it.

“Emil, quickly put together what you can and into the crevice in the mountain. It is dangerous, but less dangerous than being exposed on this ledge.”

The two men did their best to get into the crevice and then the heavens opened and a full mountain storm began. They were so surprised that they could not take all the equipment with them, and most important, their compass was hit by a stone and broke. They both spent a very cold and uncomfortable night on the mountain. They had already started writing letters of farewell to their families, in case they were ever found, having given up with being rescued. Only few mountaineers in those days had ventured on Number One and the route was not so well known.

During the early morning hours they decided either they marched on further or had no hope left. The men looked at the path, but it had become unrecognisable. Through the covering of snow and ice and the dangers of falling stones, a further march was almost impossible. It was then that Fritz saw something.

“Look Emil, footprints; prints of mountain shoes. Can you see them?”

“You are right Fritz, shall we follow them.”

“I think it would be our only chance.”

And carefully they marched, tied together with their ropes, following the prints. At one point Fritz looked back to where they had spent the night. He could have sworn he saw two figures standing there dressed in the old mountain clothes of days gone by. The figures were just standing as if frozen stiff. Then there was a flurry of snow and they disappeared. They marched on and eventually found themselves on the last slope leading to the top. They both knew they were saved. If they reached the top, it would be a quicker descent on the safe south wall of the mountain.

Fritz had kept this story for himself when the journalist came. Emil had died a few years ago and he was the only person with memories of this ascent. When mountaineering became safer the equipment better there was a expedition again to the Number One. Emil accompanied the expedition and when they arrived at the memorable place where Emil and Fritz had spent the night, they found two frozen figures. The mountain had given back Emil’s uncle and father. “Perhaps they had been standing there since that memorable ascent many years ago” thought Fritz.

If you now visit the little mountain cemetery in the village where Fritz lives you will see many mountaineer’s graves of those that were found in the mountains. One particular grave is very well known. It is that of Fritz father and uncle. Apart from the stone with the names, there are also two mountain shoes. They were those belonging to the two men. Fritz had them preserved in a metal coating. They are a reminder of the night when Fritz and his colleague Emil thought they had climbed their last mountain.

RDP Thursday: Pebble

RDP Thursday: Grass

Horses 13.04 (2)

We are surrounded by grass and the horses love it, as well as the cows. We live in farming country. Perhaps you have grass in you own garden and  so you mow it to keep it tidy and curse because you have to mow it. That is the reason why our neighbours had their grass replaced by artificial grass – synthetic. It does not grow, does not die and is always green. I remember the guy next door being happy to get rid of his lawn mower – no more mowing.

We also had grass in our garden.

Laying the lawn<

It was a rolled lawn, bought by the meter, but even this died a long suffering death. The June weevils got it and devoured it from below. We were left with bare patches.

Back Garden

And so we had it replaced with this. Two raised beds resting on stones. I have MS and Mr. Swiss also has mobility problems. Now not a blade of grass to be seen anywhere and above all no more bending.

Hay harvest 08.07 (3)

We have a wild meadow outside our garden and once a year it is mowed down and serves for hay for the animals in Winter. Grass serves its purpose, but only in the right places.

Wild Meadow and Lilac

RDP Thursday: Grass

RDP Thursday: Sham

Shamrock 12.09 (2)

A shamrock is not a rock
It does not even try
I call myself an Angloswiss
But my German is just standbye
50 years ago
I met the man of my life
On the day that we  got married
I became a very Swiss wife
My Rösti is quite perfect
I see the alps every day
Although I have never climbed one
The summit too far away
Deep down I am still a Brit
Although I pay in francs
I will no longer return to England
Stay faithful to the Swiss Banks

RDP Thursday: Sham