Saturday: Around Dobrzyn

Yesterday we had a welcome respite from the chill and drizzle, and, as it was warm and sunny, we went for an excursion to see Leon the Dark Tabby, his staff, and the site of their future house (not far from Dobrzyn). But first we had to retrieve Hili, who had spent the night outside and was ensconced, as she often is, on the wicker shelf on the porch, where a towel has been placed for her comfort:

A greeting meow:

Closeup with eyes and one tooth:

Before we took off, we had lunch and I fed Cyrus one of the sausages I bought for him at the local butcher’s. Let it not be said that I discriminate against dogs. The woman next to Malgorzata is Jola, who comes to clean once a week.

In the afternoon we drove about ten minutes to the site of Leon and his staff’s (Elzbieta and Andrzej II’s) future home. As I’ve mentioned, they’ve bought an old wooden house in southern Poland that will be moved up here, but first a foundation must be poured. Due to a construction boom in Poland, the staff has been unable to find a contractor to create the foundation, and so are extremely frustrated. But in the meantime they visit the property every weekend, and have planted an awesome garden of flowers and vegetables. Here’s part of it:

The property and foundations of the previous house—with Leon overlooking the scene:

After a tour we had a convivial snack of coffee, tea, rogalik (small filled pastries, same as Jewish rugelach), dates, blueberry cake, and caramel cake. Clockwise from left: Andrzej II, Elzbieta, Andrzej, Malgorzata.  At the near corner of the table you can see Leon’s purple cat-head-shaped food bowl:

A closeup of the treats, with Leon to the left:

The garden is very productive. Here’s Andrzej II with a huge carrot he’d just pulled from the ground.

And what I think is a kohlrabi:

Some kind of squash or gourd:

Leon, looking suspicious:

I fed Leon some of Hiroko’s Japanese “cat’s snack”. Elzbieta took pictures (this picture is by Andrzej):

And a picture Elzbieta took, which was in this morning’s Leon Monologue on Elzbieta’s Facebook page (and my Hili dialogue post). Look at Leon scarfing that snack!

The garden was full of butterflies; and this species was especially pretty. I don’t know it, but I swear a reader has recently sent us one of these. What, pray tell, is it?

The butterflies (two species here, I think) loved these pink flowers. I don’t know the flower.

I found this individual on the house when we came home. Again, what is the species?

And now it’s Sunday, and whenI got up at 6:30 I again found the unholy conjunction of a cat sleeping with a dog. Does this presage the Apocalypse?

Hili on her canister before going out:

And. . . blueberry pie for dinner tonight!



  1. Barry Lyons
    Posted September 10, 2017 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    That blueberry pie looks delicious.

    And those butterflies are gorgeous!

  2. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted September 10, 2017 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    Can we get the carrot variety?

    • ThyroidPlanet
      Posted September 10, 2017 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

      … meaning the name, like “Imperator”

      … and : nice post, looks delightful!

      • Malgorzata
        Posted September 10, 2017 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

        I got the answer from Leon’s staff: it’s Berlikumer 2 (type Berljo)

        • ThyroidPlanet
          Posted September 10, 2017 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

          Interesting, thank you!

          According to Botanical Interests (TM) seeds there’s only four varieties across the pond : Danvers 126, Imperator (the one in the typical grocery store), Scarlet Nantes, and Chantenay.

          As it happens, carrots can be made into a hot dog but I get the feeling that won’t go over well on this website.

  3. Simon Hayward
    Posted September 10, 2017 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    The butterfly is what I grew up calling a peacock in England, per wikipedia it’s more formally European Peacock – Aglais io. Sure the common name is completely different in Poland.

    • Jacques Hausser
      Posted September 10, 2017 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

      Yes, it’s still an European peacok as far as I know. In French it’s the same, le paon de jour. And in polish it is Rusałka pawik (thank, £Wikipedia). And the second one is the Comma, Polygonia c-album (the diagnostic white C is on the underside of the wings). In French it is Robert-le-diable and in polish
      Rusałka ceik.

      • Mike Kelly
        Posted September 10, 2017 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

        The others are small tortoiseshell and comma.

      • RPGNo1
        Posted September 10, 2017 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

        And in German it is called a “Tagpfauenauge”. It is fairly common in Middle Europe.

      • Posted September 10, 2017 at 11:51 pm | Permalink

        In Swedish, påfågelöga: “Peacock’s eye” (or “peafowl’s eye”, since the Swedish word is not gender specific).

  4. mirandaga
    Posted September 10, 2017 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    The close-up of Leon “with eyes and one tooth” prompts me to ask a question I’ve long wondered about. I have a tabby named Fiddle who looks much look Leon. My question is about the two dark markings just above Leon’s and Fiddle’s eyes. When Fiddle is sleeping and I sort of squint (the way you might do when considering an optical illusion), those markings look very much like eyes, giving the impression that Fiddle is awake and watching me. Am I crazy, or is that a built-in defense mechanism to ward off possible predators when the tabbies are asleep. Any thoughts?

    • Posted September 10, 2017 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

      I see what you mean but if it was selection, see if Felis silvestris has them too.

      And why is there a dark spot at the base f every whisker?

      • mirandaga
        Posted September 10, 2017 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

        Yes, Felis silvestris definitely has them. Among domestic cats the markings seem to be exclusive to tabby types. I have another cat, Bow, who is a “tuxedo” cat and has no trace of them.

  5. Glenda
    Posted September 10, 2017 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    Very nice to see the photos of the Dobrzyn area, the people, pets and activities. Thanks for sharing.

    • Randy schenck
      Posted September 10, 2017 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

      Exactly. Looks like a great time out for everyone. Hope that Leon’s staff can find a contractor soon.

    • Anna
      Posted September 10, 2017 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

      What Glenda said. I also enjoy these posts tremendously. Thank you for taking us along on your visit, and all the best to Hili’s and Leon’s staff.

    • Mark R.
      Posted September 10, 2017 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

      Indeed! 🙂

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted September 10, 2017 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

      Me too. This is a most enjoyable post.

  6. Debbie Coplan
    Posted September 10, 2017 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    It all looks so so wonderful! The area,the cats, dog, people and food.
    Thank you for the photos –

  7. Posted September 10, 2017 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    The pink flower is sedum.

    • JohnnieCanuck
      Posted September 10, 2017 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

      We have quite a few of these plants in our garden here on the Wet Coast of BC. Ours is the variety Autumn Joy, also known as Herbstfreude, a straight translation. Being drought tolerant, it does well here where July and August are often rain-free.

      Formerly known as Sedum spectabile, it has been moved into Hylotelephium spectabile.

      And now I see Mark R. is also ahead of me. Common names are showy stonecrop and appropriately, butterfly stonecrop.

  8. Mark R.
    Posted September 10, 2017 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    I’ve had problems getting contractors where I live too. It is frustrating. We have something called “Angie’s List” that compiles companies like contractors. That’s what I’ve been using lately and it’s been easier getting the help I need. I don’t know if there is a Polish equivalent.

    The flower I think is Sedum spectabile. A hardy succulent whose common name is ‘stonecrop’. Looks like Karen above has me beat. Insects love these flowers…I always have a couple around to attract them.

    • Posted September 11, 2017 at 3:28 am | Permalink

      The problem is surely not helped by the large number of Polish builders now in the UK.

  9. rickflick
    Posted September 10, 2017 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    Well, you seem to be living the life of Riley. Those macro shots look very good.

  10. Steve Pollard
    Posted September 10, 2017 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

    Enjoyed everything you’ve posted over the past few days. Many thanks!

  11. Posted September 10, 2017 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

    There must be something missing from the first photo because I can’t help but wonder how Hili gets on that top shelf??

    • Posted September 11, 2017 at 2:30 am | Permalink

      There’s a small cupboard to the left that isn’t visible in the photo. She jumps on top of that and then leaps onto the wicker shelf. She is very agile.

  12. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted September 11, 2017 at 12:01 am | Permalink

    Re: “whenI got up at 6:30 I again found the unholy conjunction of a cat sleeping with a dog. Does this presage the Apocalypse?”

    eerily echoes this dialogue from the original “Ghostbusters” comedy.

    Raymond Stantz:
    Fire and brimstone coming down from the skies! Rivers and seas boiling!

    Egon Spengler:
    Forty years of darkness! Earthquakes, volcanoes…

    Winston Zeddmore:
    The dead rising from the grave!

    Peter Venkman:
    Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together… mass hysteria!

  13. Posted September 11, 2017 at 5:38 am | Permalink

    Surely you do not believe in gourd?!

  14. prinzler
    Posted September 11, 2017 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    “Let it not be said that I discriminate against dogs.” Why would anyone ever think that?

    By the way, you spelled out “dog” completely. What happened to “d*g?”

  15. Posted September 11, 2017 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    mm, local vegetables – got some onions, tomatoes and cucumber (from a local market) myself that are nice.

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