Monday: Dobrzyn

July 28, 2014 • 12:18 pm

These pictures are mostly from today; our visitors have gone and we’ve settled into the routine of working, sleeping, and nomming. The apple trees are heavily laden, but nobody wants them, for we are too glutted with cherries.


The cherry harvest also finished this afternoon, and I wandered through the orchard, desperate to see if there were enough cherries left to produce a pie.  I think there are, but it will take a while to find them all. Only a few cherries cling to the trees, and most trees have no cherries at all:


Cyrus the d*g has a habit of, as reader Diana MacPherson calls it, “looming” over Hili, staring fixedly at her from only a foot or two away. I’ve seen him do it for nearly half an hour at a time, and though Hili doesn’t seem to mind it, it sure freaks me out.  Malgorzata and Andrzej interpret it as an expression of Cyrus’s adoration of the cat, but of course who knows what goes through the d*g’s mind. Perhaps it’s, “I’d sure like to nom this, but I know I’m not allowed to.”

Here’s a video clip of Cyrus looming:

It is hot here (well, at least by European standards), and Hili snoozes the day away on top of these wicker shelves on the veranda. Her perch is over six feet high, but she gets up there by jumping first on the small cupboard to the left.

Find Hili

When she’s outside, she keeps herself well out of the sun. A quiz: can you spot the cat?

Find Hili

Hint: look for the white fur.

Here she is!

Find Hili2

Our crib in Dobrzyn:


Two of the three people who live upstairs: Gosia (an English teacher in the local school) and her daughter Hania. One of Hania’s fish died this morning, and she came downstairs disconsolate, holding the dead fish in a bowl (it was very sad, and I didn’t get a picture). They buried it in the garden.


Dinner: a delicious spinach and cheese quiche, served with fresh tomatoes and washed down, of course, by a cold Zubr:


Finally, a scary cat face!

Spaz face

28 thoughts on “Monday: Dobrzyn

    1. Yeah I was going to suggest that too. Does he ever back up? He could be asking Hili to chase him.

  1. Dog and cat: If that were my dog (I have dogs, not cats but I do admire cats) staring like that, it would probably be because the dog was intensely hoping that the cat would move, run, so he would have an excuse to chase the cat – a sort of war between super ego and id. His conscience says “it’s wrong” (well, dogs don’t think that way, in my opinion) and his instincts which say “It’s a small animal that I was born to chase.” And maybe damage. When Cyrus gets very intense like that, I would growl, as a warning, distract the dog and when he was paying attention to me, give him a high value treat. Teach him to look away from the cat, maybe lie down, and that when he does stop thinking CAT, he gets rewarded. Meanwhile, keep an eye on him when in that mode.
    When dogs want to play, they usually play-bow.
    Of course I could be totally wrong- reading a dog is hard, long distance. Sorry, Cyrus, you seem like a very nice dog – not meaning to malign you unfairly.
    PS. You should see my Whippet dog when he is fixated on a chipmunk, with evil intentions (too often successful), his tail wags like crazy.

    1. I agree. I have dogs too, and had a cat with dogs who would “loom” over the cat (thanks Diana for the word). Like Hili, our cat didn’t seem to mind. The dog’s intent is to play/chase/c’mon let’s do something. Though like your Whippet, a frantically wagging tail can also mean “I’m on the scent and gonna getcha if I can.”

      1. Yep, I agree too – it’s an attempt to get some play going. I had a standard poodle and a cat together. The d*g would often loom over the cat like that. If the cat didn’t react the d*g would either poke her with its nose or put its paw on her back.

        A funny mis-interpretation of signals would happen if the dog saw the cat yawning and stretching her front legs out.
        The dog would jump in front of her to play, reading the stretch as a doggie play bow. Unfortunately she’d succeed only in scaring the cat, which was about one-tenth the size of the dog.

    2. I am trying to read Cyrus’ behavior, and I find it is pretty ambiguous. There is a fixed look, which resembles a desire to chase or herd, but he is easily distracted. His tail is down but his ears are slightly cocked forward (but not as forward as they could be, I think). He is not using his nose, but instead is using his eyes. So my best take is that it is a herd or chase behavior, like what is common in herding breeds, but it is not very intent. It is perhaps more a reflexive thing with no escalation intended.

  2. Had to zoom to see Hili…then the next photo proved I was right. The tell-tale white feet were the giveaway.

    Nice crib, I love the roof. I enlarged the photo but couldn’t tell; are those barrel tiles? You don’t see those much where I live.

  3. A friend of mine had a pair of Australian sheep dogs who would freeze and stare at cats, but not approach or chase them. It had something to do with the herding instincts, I always thought.

  4. Unable to see the cat, I looked for a nightjar instead and got exactly the same success rate I have experienced with the nightjar photos.

  5. Beautiful photo of the cherries.

    And, yes, Cyrus’s looming is odd. Is it defensive posture (because we know how wimpy dogs can be around cats) or is it getting ready to play? Who knows? Very strange.

    Spinach quiche and beer! I want some!

  6. It is far too early to harvest apples in Poland. They are harvested in the Autumn, in late September and mostly in October. Plenty of time left for you to plan to go back to help with the harvest!


      1. That’s highly unusual as apples are fruit which are normally harvested in autumn in most of Europe and considerably further south than Poland. Global warming?

        1. We have a very old, early variety of apples (I do not know their name). The apples are ready to eat already at the end of June and we can pick them until about August 10. We have also varieties which are ripe much later – end of August or September. All this is normal and not connected to global warming.

          1. That is good to hear. Old varieties are vanishing at a great speed, it is important to keep them going. When I had a house in the country with a large garden, I had several old apple trees of old varieties, as well as a quince tree which unfortunately was hit by lightning and destroyed. There also was a huge walnut tree, and when it was time to pick up the walnuts, our fingers stayed black for many days. There were also a couple of chestnut trees, we gathered the chestnuts to give to a local farmer for his pigs. As we never bought a cut fir tree for Christmases, we bought them with roots and soil, and they were planted in the garden after the festivities. We would decorate them with candles, and when they were covered with snow, the candles lit, the sight was magical at night.

        2. That’s what I was thinking. I suggest cider making! Seriously strange that there are ripe apples in July! I would pick them in September/October…

          Perhaps it is the variety, perhaps the early spring – it was a very mild winter in the UK -was it the same in Poland?

          It is often a good idea to thin them out anyway then you get bigger/better ones I understand.

  7. I am justly critical of your not getting a picture of the dead fish. I have published lots of pictures of dead fish.

  8. When the video started I thought I could hear popcorn but then you panned round and it was some speedy work on one of the loudest keyboards I’ve ever heard!

    1. I think that’s a mechanical keyboard. I had a IBM Model M keyboard a long time ago, and it sounded like that. They’re much nicer to type on than “normal” keyboards because of better tactile feedback.

  9. We worry every day about this relationship, based on family experience with adopted dog and long-time cat. Years went by without any problem, and then one day…. I’ll spare the description. And it only takes one time.

Leave a Reply