Wednesday, July 28, 2021

The Orange Fly


Well, my Day 8 Covid test came back negative, as I knew it would. I got the results just before setting out to Homebase to pick up a bag of compost, so I could walk among the public with a clear conscience. Back to real life!

While there, I also bought a couple of flats of coleus, which I love but haven't planted in ages. The monkeyflowers and calceolaria I bought back in May had both gone to seed, so I replaced them with the coleus. It's funny that Dave and I used to avoid planting annuals -- they're actually quite liberating to work with. When they start looking shabby, there's no need to go to heroic measures to save them -- they're going to die anyway. Just chuck 'em and plant something new!


I found this weird little orange fly on our wounded teasels -- which, incidentally, have collapsed again. We had some wind yesterday and that was that. Their days are numbered, but I'm leaving them for now, leaning on the bird feeder and some nearby rose bushes, while they continue to bloom and provide some insect habitat.

I have no idea what kind of fly this is. I'm sure I've never seen an orange one before.


I also saw this the other day -- a big hornet hoverfly. It looks a bit scary, which wards off predators, but it's completely harmless.

We've begun a routine with Olga where we give her a can of dog food every evening. We used to do it only occasionally, but she loves canned food so much and gets so excited that we figured, why not daily? Well, last night, as I went to fetch her food, I realized with horror that we were out -- so I had to leave her standing in the kitchen, puzzled, while I zipped down to Waitrose. I bought two cans of dog food and a bottle of red wine, and as the clerk was ringing up my purchase, I said to myself, "I hope she doesn't think this is MY dinner!"

I watched the first two episodes of a TV miniseries from the '70s called "Holocaust," featuring Rosemary Harris, James Woods, Michael Moriarty, Tovah Feldshuh and a young Meryl Streep. I remember watching it when it came out, in 1978 or '79, and finding it riveting -- and watching it again has not been disappointing. What strikes me now is the similarity of the Nazi rhetoric against Jews to the way many modern conservatives contemptuously speak about liberals and Democrats -- and let's face it, among some anti-semitic people on the far right, those are essentially code words for Jews and the old tropes about Jewish conspiracies. It was chilling to make that contemporary connection.

52 comments:

  1. Yes, chilling that history could so easily repeat itself.

    The cupboard was bare? I’ve had that problem with the cats some mornings.

    The fly photos are amazing. And I agree about annuals. I used to think they were extra work and learned they can be less work.

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    1. Yeah, it was Old Mother Hubbard around here. I really need to go to the grocery store today!

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  2. All this hate speak is worrying..in so many parts of the world

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    1. It IS worrying -- all the demonizing of the "other" -- I'm afraid it's going to lead us once again to scary places.

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  3. The checkout girl would have only thought it was your dinner if you had also purchased a bag of baby potatoes, some broccoli and a strawberry yoghurt.

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  4. If flies were ever cute, that one is

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  5. Phaonia Pallida.

    And yes, the rhetoric is the same. We went to the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC and you followed the steps. First there was Hitler, and his rhetoric attracted like minds. and then they took over control of the newspapers and radio. The propaganda drew more people. The schools began to teach the propaganda to children. (Right now there is a move by conservatives to put cameras in every classroom to make sure that children are not taught dangerous ideas by the filthy liberals - Not joking) It is very frightening to me to see how very far down the path we have come, and yet people do not see it.

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    1. That is a VERY good guess re. the fly species. I'm not sure because the abdomen seems rounder than Phaonia, which is more pointed. But I am hardly a fly expert. I wonder if it's actually a young fly whose pigment hasn't entirely matured.

      I visited the Holocaust Museum many years ago (traumatic) and I'd be interested in going again to see the similarities even more.

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  6. I forgot to say there off to one side of the walkway there is a pit of shoes. Nothing but shoes. Thousands of shoes, taken from the feet of the Jews. For some reason, that brought me to tears.

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    1. I remember those shoes. They and the reproduction of the "Arbeit Macht Frei" gate from Auschwitz chilled my blood.

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  7. When that series was shown on German TV in 1978 it had a massive impact. Every night long discussions on TV and in all the papers. I was a trainee teacher at the time and told to cobble together a week long project for the 12-15 year olds, mostly with learning difficulties and migrant (Turkish) background. Who had no idea and were confused and shocked and I woke up every morning wondering what next but in the end it was quite an education for all.

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    1. It must have been a challenge to explain it all to kids from other backgrounds. I don't envy you that assignment! The series made a huge impact in the USA, too -- as I understand it, it aired twice there, in 1978 and again in 1979. I don't know which broadcast I watched. Maybe both.

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  8. I've never seen an orange fly before. I looked it up on Google. Not much information, except that it can give a nasty bite. It is quite pretty though. I hope you and Olga enjoyed your supper. Hugs, Edna B.

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    1. I don't think this one bites. Maybe you're thinking of a deerfly or yellow fly, which we have in Florida -- they bite like crazy.

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  9. How did Olga like the wine?

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  10. Congratulations on your freedom from quarantine! Good thing you could go out and get dog food.
    I feel like humans just repeat the same sad horrors over and over again, no matter how much "better" we think we have become.

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    1. I think we ARE getting better, but humanity has its darker impulses that we all must continually resist. Nationalism (aka tribalism) is a frightening force. I've never understood it.

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  11. Sometimes I wish dinner WAS a can of dog food. Wouldn't that just be easier all around? If a little too salty.

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    1. Ha! I think it would probably be pretty awful. Gritty, fatty -- bleah.

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  12. I'm sure you're happy to be out and about again. Did you try the dog food on crackers? I remember a book "Prince of Tides" I think, in which the husband complained about his wife's gourmet cooking, so she cooked up a can of dog food for him with garlic and onions and he loved it. Of course he didn't know it was dog food but his kids did.

    I'm so thankful the trump is no longer in the white house but his hate and rhetoric continues. The sadness/scariest part, is that people agree with him. WTF.

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    1. Ha! I forgot that episode from "The Prince of Tides," though I did read that book way back when. I honestly think the problem isn't all Trump -- he is who he is. It's all the Republicans who enable him, and the deluded voters who see him as some kind of savior. How does ANYONE look at that man and see a suitable leader, much less one with divine backing?

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  13. I bet it felt good to be out and about again. That orange fly is very strange. I've never seen anything like it.

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    1. It DID feel good. Even though I still spend most of my time at home, at least now I feel like I'm part of the world again.

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  14. I plant a few annuals every spring/early summer but they never last much beyond now. I read The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich when I was about 15 I think. My dad had the book. I see it was published in 1960 so maybe I was a little younger. it was my first exposure to Nazi Germany and the Holocaust. I don't remember learning about it in school. it was horrifying, I was horrified. the pictures alone made you weep.

    I have no certainty that the US as it has existed will continue to exist. there has been an extreme christian faction that has been working for decades to turn this country into a theocracy with all the repression that goes hand in hand with such. they will turn us into the christian version of Saudi Arabia.

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    1. And it's not JUST the Christian element. There's a rabid right-wing contingent that sees Communism around every corner -- and they've twisted political thought so that they're spouting fascist rhetoric while calling the Democrats "Nazis"!

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  15. I remember that mini series, It came out in the summer of 1979 which was my end of freshman year and when I first learned more about stepdad's family and my parents visits to Holocaust sights. Chilling is an apt description.

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    1. It was a big deal when it aired at the time. I miss those days when we had fewer channels and TV was a more unifying cultural force. We could all go to school the next day and talk about the shows we watched, because we all watched the same things.

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  16. You made me laugh out loud about the dog food and wine. Thank you for that. Always like a good laugh in the morning.
    I've never heard of that Holocaust TV series from the 70s. Yes, we are living in a time that has some horrific similarities to that era of human history. It blows my mind and scares me down to my rickety old bones.

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    1. It's a chilling series, as I said, but it's VERY good. It's remarkable to me how similar things are now.

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  17. Wine and dog food. Everyone is happy! I figure clerks have seen it all. Besides... wouldn't cat food make a better dinner choice?

    As far as flies go, that's a pretty one. I've never seen an orange one.

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    1. Is cat food very different from dog food? I wonder! (But not enough to try them!)

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  18. Laughed out loud about your concern that the cashier at Waitrose might think you were buying your own dinner. Our pup gets several teaspoons of canned dog food on his evening crunchies. When my young grandson was over during feeding time, he asked if he could feed the dog. I showed him how to put the spoonfuls of canned food in the bowl before pouring in the crunchies. He loves being helpful. The hilarious part is that the next time he was here, he asked if he could put on the dog's "butter" said in a southern accent. So now we call doggy dinner time "buttering the biscuits."

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    1. Ha! That's funny -- dog "butter." We've found that Olga still wants her dry food too. I think it's more calorie-dense and the canned food alone isn't quite enough for her.

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  19. You are right about the Nazi rhetoric being used again.
    Did you see the policemen that were serving while the Capitol was attacked on January 6th speak to the committee yesterday? They were weeping and angry and I found their testimony so moving. They worked to save the members of Congress some of whom are now dismissing the attack and covering up those involved. It is disgusting that so many Republicans can't be honest about what happened.

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    1. The Republicans who obfuscate the truth about that insurrection are unforgivable. Trump's enablers are in many ways worse than Trump himself.

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  20. So disturbing to hear that rhetoric and know that it's working on SO many people. I'm terrified. I've never seen an orange fly before either!

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    1. It is scary. Ultimately I still think most people see through it -- hence Biden's win. But we're perched on a knife edge, for sure.

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  21. Hi Steve and Olga....Tell Dave hi for me. Your dog food made me laugh because it remind me of this old lady on the sitcom...goodtimes. They thought she was eating catfood and when she brought some meatloaf over for dinner to eat with them they kept passing the plate around to each other and was afraid to eat any. (lol)

    It was so sad to see grown men cry when I was watching the commission panel have them to testify at the capital yesterday. Trump need to go to jail because he started all this and someone got permission from someone not to shoot those people. You have cops getting beat up while carrying a gun. Go figure. If I was one of those cops I would have shot a lot of them. This is why I say they were programmed not to shoot. Dirty ass Trump told someone something. He is teaming up with our Texas no good Governor Gregg Abbott trying to help build the wall between mexico and the USA. Abbott is on tv daily now lying with that spitty wet mouth just like Trump did and they have toured the border together. When we finally get one sad ass lying sucker out of office there's another one waiting to take their place.

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    1. I loved "Good Times"! We watched it every week. I don't remember that episode, though. I bet it's on YouTube. I should look it up!

      I didn't see the capitol hearings but it sounds like they were very powerful. I laughed at your "spitty wet mouth" comment -- LOL! As I said above, Trump's enablers are in many ways worse than Trump himself.

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  22. Dog food and a bottle of red, two basic food groups!! :)

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  23. I am finding that I need to give Murphy "wet" food more and more as his appetite is diminishing. He really is starting to show a lot of signs of old age, and it makes me sad. On another note, when I took a group of students to Washington DC we toured the Holocaust Museum. We saw a speech by Hitler, and even though it was in German, it was eerily like Trump. My co-teacher friend and I just looked at each other and we both said at the same time: "Oh my God". That was December of 2019, before Covid hit.

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    1. It's amazing, isn't it? To hear that Nazi rhetoric now and see the similarities? I haven't been to the Holocaust Museum in ages but I'd be interested in going again to pay more attention to that.

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  24. We always have a potted annual on the balcony. Once finished, down the rubbish chute it goes and we go out to find a seasonal replacement. Speaking of modern conservatives, it was tear inducing to see some of the speakers in court tell of their experiences while trying to protect the nation's capitol.

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    1. I'm getting better about throwing away plants. For a long time I just couldn't do it, but now I see that it's better not to keep some of them on life support.

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  25. I like annuals. They grow, they bloom,they leave. I'm shallow like that.

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    1. Ha! Not every relationship needs to be a lifelong commitment!

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  26. While I don't buy dog food, I have had that same experience of a strange grocery purchase and wondering what the clerk is thinking of me.

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    1. As Kelly said above, I'm sure grocery clerks see a lot of weird purchases!

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