Daily Prompt: Trust our eyes

My dad would not trust very much. He would read the worst newspapers, revel in the ridiculous stories they would bring and then he would tell me “I don’t believe any of that stuff I see unless I see it with my own eyes”. Somehow I got lost with the logic on the way. He would be amazed to see that a prehistoric man had been found in the alps, frozen, preserved in the various layers of rock and mud, but then would tell me it is all a trick and unless I see it myself I do not believe it. Yes, my dad had a wonderful sense of logic. However, he would still buy his daily paper, apparently for the racing results. He loves horses. I remember a a kid, I think I visited every race track in the south of England. We even spent our annual summer holidays in Great Yarmouth in the North of England where it happened to coincide with the racing days.

Today I had a revelation of trusting my eyes. Mr. Swiss decided to remove our Mowey, the automatic lawn mower, and transfer him into hibernation to the cellar. Mowey’s job is done for the year, as we have now stopped mowing the lawn. It is no longer growing, the weather getting colder. Mr. Swiss called me to show me the wild life that had collected beneath the mower during the past Summer. I came armed with my camera which had the zoom lens. I decided I would have to stand too far away so returned for the camera with the macro lens. It was a good opportunity to take photos of two worms, worming around together and a third worm also appeared to see what the other two worms were doing.

Worms

Snail eggsIf you look carefully you can see another curled shape at the top of the photo. This shape eventually straightened out and became a baby slug. There was also a collection of slug eggs on the earth. Yes beneath our Mowey there was a world of nature’s miracles waiting to be discovered. You can always trust nature to take over. Mowey had been resting on this piece of earth for six months and the underground life could develop with no itnerference from outside. No creatures were harmed in the writing of this blog. Mowey has now been replaced with a cover. I asked Mr. Swiss if he had removed the slug eggs and worms before fixing the cover on the earth, but he said no. He left everything as it was. Life was developing in the underground regions of our garden and we were the trustees.

Eventually Mr. Swiss was becoming impatient and asked if the photo session was now coming to an end as he wanted to complete the job. I told him I had to take a few quick snaps with my mobile phone for today’s blog and then I would be finished. As I returned to my computer I discovered a fly buzzing around. Another opportunity for a few photos. I now have about 20 photos of a house fly in different poses. He even rubbed is front legs together for a different angle on the photo.

And that was the excitement for today. I do not really know if this has much to do with trust, but life is built on trust. I have to trust my computer(s), trust WordPress, trust my cameras and trust my cane when I take a walk. I do not have to trust Mr. Swiss, that goes without saying.

Daily Prompt: Trust our eyes

Good Morning

Hostas 11.05 (8)

After the monsoon rains during the past week, my hostas have made the most of it and decided to expand and grow their leaves. That is an advantage of rain, it makes things grow. We are particularly glad as the bare patches in our lawn that were repaired by our gardener are also no longer so bare.

SlugUnfortuately there is a negative side to rain, ana new other threat on the horizon. The advance troop, consisting of one member, was seen the day before yesterdy making a reconnaissance of the conditions and whether they would now be suitable to embark on a take over bid. I know that one slug does not make an army, but the others are waiting in dark and damp places. This year we expect mega giant snails as last year was a dry summer and they did not get a chance to unpack their knives and forks and apply their 3,000 teeth. They are also supported on the quest for food with 4 noses, so what does a leaf have to defend itself. Personally I learnt a lot from two years ago. I had planted cucumber seeds and they began to grow and then the slug invasion took place. I only had stalks remaining, the first 2-3 leaves had been devoured. I visited the garden center to buy some plants as I realised my do-it-yourself efforts woudl bring no fruit if the slugs massacred them before they had a chance to produce a flower. The garden assistant informed “sorry no cucumber plants, the slugs got them first”. Yes, it was a cucumberless Summer that year. This time I am prepared. I had a full box of those nice blue anti snail pellets in my garden cupboard. It was an economy box. The box is now empty but the pellets are laying on the ground, distributed between the hosta leaves, and other plants ready for the invasion.

Two slugs matingIf you ever see this in your garden then be prepared. It means that there was a casual encounter of two slugs and do not bother to find out which is the male or female of the species. They are both which saves time in the search for a partner. Here they are getting to know each other. The result, a few days later, preferable in damp weather, there will be 30 babies deposited somewhere in the soil. They waste no time and will soon be on their way to their favourite plants to try out their baby teeth. Never trust a snail no matter how photogenic he/she is. My precaution is anti snail pellets and do not plant anything that would give them a five star meal. Hostas are the only exception I make. I have learnt through experience what they prefer on the menu card. No parsley or basil, just stick to lanvender.

Today is Sunday, the day of rest, although golden oldies alwyays have daily rests in between. I am stepping down a bit on the blogging front. I will still be writing but perhaps no longer visiting everyone. I noticed not everyone visits me and what is a “like” more or less. My mail box is often overflowing. and I now wish to spend a little more time on my Russian studies.  I will not do you the favour of disappearing completely, but would rather spend my computer time on composing prize suspicious articles, or showing my Ansell Adams lookalike photos.

Have a good Sunday everyone and do not forget, if it is not raining now, it will eventually – at least that is the forecast of the Swiss weather prohphets.

Blog nicely to another.

 

Good Morning

>Tabby

As you can see there is not very much good about the morning. It is raining, and has been raining for the past 2-3 days, more on than off. At least the slugs can begin to sharpen their 3,000 teeth and tune up their 4 noses to prepare for their hunting season which generally lasts during the monsoon season. I am not a professor of slugs, but got all the information in Internet.  I am not so much endangered by slug invasions as I was in the past.

I decided to examine the diat of the slug and discovered there are plants that they devour to non-existence such as parsley and cucumber, and a few flowers that they cling to with all their slime until they also suffer the grim reaper syndrome. There are also plants that they avoid including most of my herbs, thank goodness. Now and again I toss them an apple, as it is not really my intention to be cruel to slugs with death by starvation and they also deserve something to absorb, or munch, now and again. If two slugs happen to meet, it is quite an event.
Two slugs mating
They really get cosy together, and are quite unashamed to show everything, although as they are transgender or whatever you call it, they do not really have a lot to show. This little get together can continue for hours, so there is plenty of opportunity to get the camera and take a few action photos, although action is perhaps an over estimation.

As said they have not yet arrived, but are on their way. I can hear their slimy little feet in the undergrowth.

My feline Tabby is also not so happy about the rain time. She does not like water falling from above, and prefers it in her dish. She is very sensitive to water and will make a circle around a puddle.

We are now set for the week-end, the fridge is organised and the cupboard is no longer bare.

Yesterday I had another adventure at the local scanning station in the clinic. I often think it would be quite a hit if they recording all the noises the machine produces and issue a record. You could even accompany it with a sort of head banging rap song “I’m laying in the cave, hearing sonic on the way, yes, life is great in the tube of scan”, or something like that. Come to think of it I know twins that rap in my area, perhaps I could interest them. Here they are, introducing Panadox. I have known them since they were at school. How time changes, and now I am a golden oldie. I am sure rap is not your thing early in the morning, not mine either, but they deserve a chance to be heard, even if it is all in Swiss German, my second language. By the way the song in english is “After the rain, the sun”. I won’t say enjoy, just sway with the rhythm.

Daily Prompt: Autumn Leaves – and slugs

Changing colors, dropping temperatures, pumpkin spice lattes: do these mainstays of Fall fill your heart with warmth — or with dread?

3 cool slugs

“No, no, no. Slugs you are ruining my poetic description of Autumn when the leaves turn from green to gold, tinged with red, blowing in the wind to make a carpet of colour on the ground. Now I have a mouldy apple with three fat slimy slugs slithering over the skin and absorbing the remains of the apple.”

“Stay cool Mrs. Human, we slugs have to eat to survive.”

“But not in my garden on my apples.”

“Would you eat an apple that has fallen from the tree. I don’t think so, humans are fussy. Our little brothers, the worms, have already done the preliminary boring of the apple and now we are eating the remainders. This is the real spirit of Autumn Mrs. Human. My brothers/sisters and I are celebrating our Autumn festival. We have been forced to feed on leaves throughout summer and not all leaves are to our taste. Mrs. Human you even killed some of the slug family by dissolving their bodies with salt. Would you like to dissolve?”

“Of course not, but I do not thrive on my plants with their beautiful flowers. You completely devoured my gallardia, there were only a few stalks left.”

“We don’t like stalks Mrs. Human. They are dry and brittle, no juice or soft parts: Nothing better than a nice thick juicy leaf, especially if it is slug friendly. We like parsley most of all and hostas, that is a feast for us. Now autumn has arrived, the leafy season has gone and we are celebrating our Autumn festival aren’t we boys/girls. It is apple harvest time, when the apples are tired from hanging on the trees and bounce to the ground where we are waiting.”

“This is all very well, but we humans also eat apples and even make pies and tarts with them. I did not plant my apple tree for a slug Autumn festival.”

“Oh, come on Mrs. Human, you don’t eat the apples that fall from the tree. They might have a brown soft spot on their skin. Yummy that is our favourite part. We can really squeeze into the apple and savour every part of its flesh. Isn’t it so boys/girls?”

“Yes boss of course. Autumn is the time of year that we all look forward to – munch, munch.”

“So do not gobble the food, eat with dignity, we are slugs and not humans.”

“Excuse me, what was that last remark?”

“Mrs. Human have you ever watched a human eating an apple. He kills it, hatches away with the things called teeth and murders it by biting large lumps out of its flesh.”

“So you want to tell me that slugs don’t have teeth.”

“Of course we have teeth, 14,000 of them in all, but they are fine and dainty. We do not chop our food, we absorb it. So enough talk, I have an apple to deal with. There are four of our kind waiting to take over when we are finished.”

“You are not going to eat the complete apple?”

“We share our food Mrs. Human: besides there is another apple just around the corner that left the tree, so I think I will slime my way over to that apple. Did you plant any strawberries this year Mrs. Human? We slugs love strawberries. They are so nice and juicy.”

“No I did not plant strawberries. I decided to stop planting strawberries as the last time the slugs ate them all.”

“Oh, I see. Never mind apples are OK. What are you doing with all those apples you are collecting in that basket Mrs. Human?”

“They are for human consumption, not for slugs. Don’t worry, I will leave the bruised apples for you.”

“Thankyou Mrs. Human, you are so kind. Did you hear fellow slugs. The remaining apples are for us. ”

And I left the Autumn in my garden, accompanied by the munching sounds of millions of slug teeth as they devoured the apples that no-one really wants. They seem to be the garbage people of my garden.

“And Mrs. Human, see you again next year some time in spring. We will be keeping our feelers crossed for a nice wet Spring. Don’t forget to plant the parsley and look after the hostas.”

You have to love them I suppose, I hope we have a nice dry warm Spring and I will not plant parsley. I will buy it at the supermarket.

Daily Prompt: Autumn Leaves – and slugs

Daily Prompt: Head Turners – Sex in the garden

We often hear strange snippets of conversation as we walk through public spaces. When was the last time you overheard something so interesting, ridiculous, or disturbing you really wanted to know what it was all about?

“Yeah baby, do it again, that’s great.” “I’ll do it to you as well, stay as you are.”

I had just had breakfast in the morning, was still in my night attire – no sexy nightdress, just plain cotton in yellow and decided on a quick inspection of the garden before I began my daily chores, like playing with the vacuum cleaner and running down the computer. It was then that I heard the above conversation. This was interesting. Is someone doing something usually done discretely: no, it could not be but the aahs and ooohs were definitely coming from a corner of the garden.

I decided to investigate. I changed into my super pink plastic garden clogs to avoid spreading muck in the apartment as it had rained quite heavily during the night. It was then that I saw them. I felt so guilty watching two of a kind doing what two of a kind usually do, but stop! Slugs are not two of a kind, they are hermaphrodite, they have both the female and male equipment. At first I thought the female part was laying eggs. I decided to see what Internet had to say so I did a quick surfing exercise and saw a photo almost the same as mine.

Two slugs mating

I thought “how sweet, mother slug has just given birth and daddy slug is hugging her proud of the achievement”. This was completely wrong. In the meanwhile I heard again “You are great, and what a sexy snail you are.” The answer was “oh, this is wonderful, I could stay like this all day.”

Yes, people (and don’t tell your kids if they are under age), slugs do it just the same as we all do, but there is a small difference. What you see in this photo are two snails entwined making babies. The white jelly-similar protruberences are the snail’s dangly bits. It seems the male part of the operation is for all to see and they do it both at the same time. The fertilisation of the eggs is all done behind the scenes. Basically these two slugs are enlarging the slug population. In two weeks there will be probably about 20×2 eggs deposited in my garden to prolong the eating spree of my plants.

In the meanwhile my slug friendly plants have disappeared in the slug digestive system. There is nothing left for the snails in my garden so now they just go for a walkabout and if they meet, you can see the result. After this orgy they separated and went their own way. One slug remained and the other decided to take it easy after the exertions.

I feel a bit guilty. I was eavesdropping on a private conversation between two snails and they were having fun in the middle of a patch of snail pellets, so probably there will be no screaming, munching slug babies as a result. Not only was I a peeping tom, but also a murderer

Actually there was quite a noise in the garden yesterday evening. Due to the rainy season there were many slugs, but mostly discussing where they could get a good meal. One got quite high, he found room on the top of an ant bait container and he was hugging with all his slimy energy. I do not know whether the ant poison has a negative effect on slugs, but the opening in the plastic was not big enough for a slug to squeeze into. Perhaps he/she was just getting high. Many went for a slug flight to a patch of weeds outside my garden. My aim is becoming quite good when I throw them.

They did not let me out today so I do not have any other interesting conversations to tell, and if I did they would be in Swiss German.

Daily Prompt: Head Turners – Sex in the Garden

Daily Prompt: Not Lemonade – no stress, just a little Angloswiss logistic.

When life gives you lemons… make something else. Tell us about a time you used an object or resolved a tricky situation in an unorthodox way.

Green Shield-Stink Bug

This is a so-called shield bug or stink bug and it took a walk across the cushion on a chair on the porch. Did I scream “Yuck”, no, I dealt with it my way. I fetched my super DSLR Nikon camera and took a close up photo. He did not stink, I did not have to move very near. There are always solutions to every problem.

Today we have Facebook and Facebook is teaming with problems, but not so many solutions. Girlfriends have problems with boyfriends, wives with husbands and often mothers with sons. Reading Facebook is similar to the doomesday book which was a survey made by King William I of England in 1086 of the English country. Facebook is a survey of problems, some political, some family and for a change some boasts showing how good a cake was baked, what a delicious dish someone cooked or a sample of handwork, all showing how good we are with photos of course. Many try to convince us that their way is the best and that we should ask a power above us all for salvation. You can leave it or join in. There are also discussions over political problems, but as we all have different ideas on how to solve them, it is better to leave the finger from them, it could be a cause for an argument and even unfriending. I never unfriend because I have so many “friends” in facebook I would not know where to begin and it is also a cause of despair. Why is she/he no longer my friend? No idea, you have not done any harm, but it is one of the unanswered questions, so forget it, do not do it. I really do not want to be the reason for sleepless nights.

There are other places on Internet for such discussions. My advice with the solution of Facebook comments is finger away. Just read them, shake your head and share it with someone real, living, with a body and not just a virtual form. It is much more rewarding.

I always solve problems in an unorthodox way, it makes life so much more interesting and things can only get better. This morning I had a stress problem. I arose and my first action was to measure my sugar balance, take a few tablets to ensure that I survive and then attack the computer whilst simultaneously eating breatkfast. This is the first solution to save time. Why eat breakfast and afterwards visit the computer? It is time wasting when it can be done simultaneously. There is simply a small problem with milk splashed from the cereal on the keyboard, but with a damp cloth this is also solved.

Now we are refreshed and read to tackle the daily problems. I was alone with two cats. Mr. Swiss having departed on a safari in the local supermarket. Unfortunately two cats are not helpful with housework, although they have been known to lick floors clean if something appetising might be lying around. Usually their daily contribution is to curl up and sleep for a few hours.

After breakfast it was a normal cleansing operation using the vacuum cleaner and mop in the apartment. This is routine, no unforeseen difficulties and then the bathroom was visited. I used a nail brush, soap and water which is not very unorthodox. Now I was ready for action. It was 10 a.m, clean dressed and ready to go and I had to programme everything very carefully. Dinner would be served at 12 a.m. if everything went well.

First of a complete window front with frames on the Western side of the apartment was to be cleaned. This happens every two weeks, the Eastern side being completed the next week. I programmed 30 minutes. As it is done regularly this should not be a problem. I have my own devious system. Unfortunately it took 35 minutes this morning due to unforeseen circumstances (a slug had taken a walk on the glass pane). The next job was giving my orchid collection its weekly dose of water. Due to a special offer in the local orchid department of the Migros (Swiss supermarket chain) I had one orchid more, but I have a system. I now have sixteen orchids, six of which are in a waiting period until they produce flowers again. Unfortunately this waiting game is now almost a year, but what not is can always happen. Never give up with your problems, you never know. One of these orchids has now produced little shoots on the stem with leaves. As soon as they show roots they will be severed from the main stalk and planted. Another way to solve a disappointment – never forget, life goes on.

Ok, it was now 11 a.m., I had an hour until lunch was served. I began to prepare the meat. Pork chops which needed about an hour in the oven, special Angloswiss slow cooking method, coated in mustard and a special secret Angloswiss spice (also from the local supermarket). The accompaniment was saffran rice, also slow cooked. By 11.20 a.m. this was all underway. The vegetable would be fennel, but as this was cooked in the microwave I could organise the cooking at 11.50. Now I had everything under control and the finale was in view. I washed the linen from the beds yesterday and now it was to be ironed. No problem: I worked out twenty minutes. With no further explanations we were sitting outside on the porch (it was pleasant weather) eating lunch at midday, Mr. Swiss, No. 1 son and I and we were all happy.

Last week I demolished a complete 1,000,000 member ant colony with three liters of mineral water and two litres of boiling water: since I have not seen a single ant in the garden. Even the slug population has been diminished, due to a salty treatment coupled with pick them up, throw them out of the garden to land in the meadow, and a new lawn: everything under control. Yesterday evening I only saw two of the kind struggling on a slippery tile. They were quickly transferred to another place and this morning only one appeared. I think the battle is almost won, although now the colder autumn weather is around the corner, the slugs will probably commit mass suicide, but their eggs will remain to ensure their re-incarnation next year.

I really only use the peel of lemon grated in a cake for the flavour; it is too sour to use otherwise, although it can be handy for removing slug slime from the hand if soap does not do the trick.

So I have babbled along enough today. Had no great inspiration on this theme. My life is “do it my way” with a little bit of help from the others.

Daily Prompt: Not Lemonade – no stress, just a little Angloswiss logistic

Weekly Writing Challenge: The Ray Bradbury Noun List Twist – There are fairies (and slugs) at the bottom of my garden

For today’s challenge, try a twist on a technique Ray Bradbury used to beat writer’s block.

Your mission is to write a new piece that includes at least five nouns: Garden, grass, slugs, cat, salt

New Back Garden

Today was the day. I am having my back garden revamped. Everything is planned for an early morning start, Mr. Swiss confirming that he would be up and ready to go at the crack of dawn. I was glad. If I told you that my prize winning collection of photos have many showing the golden sun sinking slowly in the West, but none showing the rising sun in the East, you will understand what I mean. No sunrises in the collection but plenty of sunsets.

We had decided to have the grass removed from the garden as it was no longer grass but a superb botanic mixture of all plants generally qualified as weeds, although I always found daisies and clover to have a mystical meaning. The reason why fairies would definitely be at the bottom of my garden, but unfortunately due to the damp summer the slugs ate the fairies. Every evening when I entered the garden to take breathes of the scent of the flowers; I heard a fairy scream somewhere. She was being attacked again by the brute of a slug. She had no defence and his slimy body held the fairy in a tight embrace. I decided to take action.

Armed with a kilo box of salt, iodine and fluor free, I began my search for a long brown, or perhaps black, shiny body. I carefully approached the fairy killer on tip toe, not wanting to alert the slug into a quick getaway. I am no longer the youngest and was not sure that I would be fast enough to surround this killer. It had double strength being both male and female. Probably this was the reason for slugs to be so unsatisfied with their life. They did not feel that Spring was in the air, they had no reason. Their sexual needs were combined in one body. They could not even get a divorce if they were unhappy with their partner, their partner being themselves. How boring the life of a slug must be.

Suddenly another high pitched scream filled the air at the bottom of the garden. I now knew no mercy and I lifted the leaf from where it came. There it was. A long slimy slug that was about to entwine a poor defenceless fairy and cover it in slime. This could not be, fairies also have a right to live. I shook some salt in my hand and sprinkled it on the slug. The slug twitched and was then still. A pattern of white spots formed on its skin where it had been hit by the salt grains. The fairy escaped to be met by my cat Tabby who decided they tasted even better than butterflies. Yes, so is the life of a fairy, out of the slug into the cat as the old saying goes. Actually it would be out of the frying pan into the fire, but I adapted the sense of the words.

I have now used all my words, so now to tell the rest of this story full of suspense, murder and shock.

The fairies now hid from the stealthy steps of my pet cat and the slugs were slowly disintegrating in a sea of slime caused by a salt attack when the gardener arrived. As a new lawn was planned, he scooped away the old grass surface and the pools of dying slug slime disappeared as well. I again heard a few fairies scream, I think he scooped some of them up as well, but as he did not believe in fairies, he never noticed it.

To make the job worthwhile and to ensure that I paid enough, the gardener also fitted a nice stone border around the vanquished lawn and made some stone paths. I organised the stone paths for the fairies to make it easier for them to escape from the slugs and my cat, but I did not tell the gardener. He may not have believed me.

To put the icing on the garden cake, the hedge was also trimmed. Then the head chief gardener, capo di tutti gardeners arrived to tell me the bad news. It seemed due to unexpected amounts of rain our new lawn could not be delivered tomorrow. It was too wet to be transported. I must explain. We were not having seeds of grass planted for a new lawn. That would have taken two months and the fairies did not have so much time. The complete tribe would have died for lack of grass. We organised a lawn that was already grown and would be delivered in meters. Unfortunately this prefabricated lawn was now delayed and we would have to wait one to two days. I asked the fairies and they said it would be OK. I did not ask the slugs, as most of them were now liquid slime and the remainders were all standing at the edge of a barren garden where there was nothing specific to eat for slugs in any case. I had placed a line of salt around the fairy settlement to protect them from a slug invasion.

Now we have a nice border with bushes and flowers, edged with tiles and an empty barren space where the lawn will be planted. One of the disappointments in life: the gardener told me to spread anti slug pellets around the edge to keep them out. I checked the packet of pellets and it said fairy and cat friendly, meaning that the two species would have to live with the problem until the new lawn arrived.

Now I am sure Ray Bradbury never had the success I had with the fairies and I do not remember reading a book where he told us how he wiped out the slug population of a planet with one kilo of salt. He always did it so complicated with firemen and books and thermometers. I am sure a packet of salt would have done the trick. He forgot to put salt on his list.

Weekly Writing Challenge: The Ray Bradbury Noun Twist List – There are Fairies (and Slugs) at the bottom of my Garden