On a walk along the shore of the Arrow Lake in June I came across a most curious sight. On the ground I spotted a gathering of butterflies which displayed a rather odd behaviour. They were attracted to a grey mass of an object. Tightly bunched together they appeared to be in a drinking frenzy with their proboscises sucking up some undefinable liquid. First I shot a few pictures from several metres away fearing that they might fly away before I had a chance to capture their bizarre behaviour. As I came closer and closer I noticed that they completely ignored my presence. Rather they behaved like people in a bar being in various stages of intoxication. One butterfly was lying on its side sticking its proboscis deep into a crack of the unknown substance. Others sitting on top of one another. I was deeply puzzled. Now I was so close that my camera lens was able to take close-ups at times even touching their wings. Then I finally realized that the source of their attraction was a fish head, which had been left at the beach by a fisherman. I hope you can still enjoy the photos. Apparently butterflies do not always go after the colourful flowers. At times they rather prefer the valuable nutrients of a rotten fish head.
Cold and rainy weather has plagued our region for the past four weeks. Last week, still recovering from major surgery, I ventured out to look at the low water level of Arrow Lake. BC Hydro expects massive water pouring in from the spring run-offs. So it drained the reservoir down to the lowest allowable level. Many of the tree roots of the flooded orchards are visible. They serve as skeletal monuments against the devastating flooding of the valley more than half a century ago. Using the dark clouds, I attempted with some post-editing to create a sombre atmosphere that underscores the dark mood that the roots spread over the eerie landscape. Enjoy.
Hello, my blogging friends around the globe! I am home again, my colon a few inches shorter, and feeling quite well. I will start reading all your new posts today and hand out likes the easy way. After a few more days, I consider writing comments as well. While I was in the hospital, our son Michael took Biene on several excursions into the nearby lakeside parks in the North Okanagan. It was an excellent way of dispelling her worries about me. Next Wednesday, I will publish the photos she took during her hikes with our son. For all of you, who need some cheering up, myself included, here is a bouquet of wild arnica flowers. Enjoy!
Although I missed my best friend in Gotha, I made many new friends. After school, we would play on the large meadows surrounding the buildings. Contrary to our parents, the restricted living area in that small room was not an issue. We had lots of space and freedom to roam on the meadows and green spaces surrounding the barracks. One day we ventured as a group out of the camp confines to a nearby treed area to play hide-and-seek. It was almost getting dark when one of the kids shouted, “Let’s go back. A dangerous man is trying to catch us!” We raced back to the camp gate with pounding hearts and breathlessly told the attending guard that a dangerous man had pursued us. Although I found out later that none of us had seen this man, we were sure we were telling the truth. In our minds, he existed. I guess this is a small example of mass hysteria. We never ventured into that forest area again.
Later I will tell you about our move to the Old House of Rocky Docky in the Rhineland region of Germany. But now, I want to talk a bit more about our experiences in the refugee camp in Aurich, East Frisia. Most children live in the present. I have always liked to live in the present moment to this day. However, writing my blog now forces me to relive the past.
Recently we added a solar-powered fountain to the birdbath in our yard. The soothing sound and the clean water are great attractions for our feathered friends. In this video, I captured five having a jolly good time frolicking around the and around miniature pool. My wife and I like to watch them while we are having coffee and cake in the mild afternoon air. Enjoy!
This coming Friday, I will have surgery at the Vernon Hospital. My posts are programmed to upload automatically. But I will not be able to give likes and comments for the next couple of days. Sorry!
Although we did not like to eat in the crowded and noisy dining hall, my brother and I adjusted quickly to our new life in the camp. I, in particular, was a very picky eater and often felt nauseous just from the food odours permeating the building. My father had experienced extreme hunger as a POW. Therefore, he had no sympathy for me and would get very upset and angry when I refused to eat certain foods or left something on my plate. Eventually, my mother would feed us separately at different times so my dad could enjoy his meals without stress.
After a long break in Dortmund, my brother and I could go to school again right at our camp. Makeshift classrooms were set up in one large lecture and meeting hall. We sat at round tables, which was a nice break from individual desks. I always loved school and even enjoyed homework. Since one teacher instructed us in a multigrade setting, we often had to work independently. Math problems were my favourites because we could read or draw when they were completed. I would always draw beautiful princesses in elegant dresses.
I remember the day I received my first report card. My brother and our friends walked across the big courtyard back to the living quarters. All of a sudden, we were stopped by a stranger. “Well,” he asked, “who of you children received the best report card today?” Immediately some of our friends pointed at my brother, some at me and some at another boy. “Let me see your report cards,” the man demanded. Timidly we handed them to him. After studying them for a while, he handed them back except mine. “You have the best,” he said, “congratulations, you deserve a reward.” He reached into his wallet and gave me some money, about $5.00. I was so stunned that I could barely say thank you. I had never had so much money before. My dad was so proud to hear the story that he matched the stranger’s reward.