Greater Grison (Galictis vittata)

The greater grison (Galictis vittata), is a species of mustelid native to South and Central America. They inhabit a wide range of forest and cerrado habitats, and are usually seen near rivers and streams. They are typically found at elevations below 500 metres (1,600 ft), but they may be found as high as 2,000 metres (6,600 ft) in some parts of the Bolivian Andes.

Greater grisons are primarily terrestrial, although they can climb trees and swim well. They are mostly diurnal, and only occasionally active at night.[4] They live alone or in pairs, with home ranges of at least 4.2 square kilometres (1.6 sq mi), and a very low population density, such that they are rarely encountered in the wild. They spend the night sleeping in cavities in hollow logs or beneath tree roots, or else in the abandoned burrows of other animals...

Read more: Wikipedia

photographs by Tony Hisgett | Flickr CC

HR Giger in his dining room in his home outside Zurich, where he sits with a burnt effigy of himself. From a 1986 issue of NewLook magazine, accompanied by the following text:

I find the macabre to be singularly exciting,” says Hans Rudi Giger. The winner of an Oscar for his creepy production design of Alien, Giger, a master of the horrific, has transformed his dining room into a mausoleum. Surrounded by his hideous creations, he likes to receive guests while wearing a mask.

Other designers have a tendency to envision interior architecture as a reflection of their innermost obsessions. It’s certainly evident in the case of Swiss artist Hans Rudi Giger, who won an Oscar for his production design of the sci-fi thriller Alien. Giger lives near Zurich, in a house whose shutters remain tightly closed. He wears only black, which matches the walls of his inner sanctum. The place has all the gaiety of a crypt.

Giving his grand tour, Giger displays a properly sepulchral comportment. He points out various skeletons, which seem to be the dominant decorative motif. “Oh, yes,” he remarks, “the market for morbidity has risen sharply.” Giger’s tastes have not always been shared by his romantic partners. One wife left him long ago.

Giger claims that ever since his childhood, when he was surrounded by skeletons in the family pharmacy, he has been hearing voices. He is used to them now and knows what precautions to take. Each room in his house has at least two emergency exits. The shower stall has three: one to the wine cellar, one to the basement, and one to the bedroom. The Giger bedroom is a sort of hermit’s cave lined with his books, drawings, and paintings against the blackness. Here he spends wakeful nights devouring macabre and grisly literature. Once he feels sufficiently disturbed, he seizes his airbrush and splatters his nightmares onto canvas. Such expulsions of his personal demons have made him wealthy indeed.

Speaking in the soft Grisons dialect, his face hidden behind a mask of perforated sheet metal, Giger calls his guests to the table. The table is made of glass and human skulls and is piled high with meat and bones for the snacking. One dines surrounded by the host’s original paintings: rotting corpses, gaping wounds, bloodied freaks, monsters, and scenes of unbearable agony. “Diabolical, isn’t it?” chuckles Giger. “Have some Chianti?”


FIRST PART ( 4 parts in total )

Hello, yesterday a visit to my family, usually it takes 3 hours but with the traffic going through Zürich, it took 4 hours to go to Swiss Italy. We decided to go through the Gotthard tunnel instead of passing through the Grisons canton but of course through Zürich it’s always busy, morning rush hours and also the airport is there. 

Above, Schwyz and Uri cantons, many lakes, beautiful views and the mountains with a little bit snow. Both sides mountains so I was quick by taking pictures as we were in an out, lol, because many tunnels.


FIRST PART ( 30 pictures in total)


Yesterday we went to the region of Toggenburg and the region See-Gaster, East part of Switzerland, canton of St. Gallen, you may have seen the film Heidi, with the grandfather in the mountain,  it’s Grisons and St. Gallen cantons, (see means lake, in that region there is the lake of Zürich. The panorama is stunning, mountains around and lakes, forests. Also cute typically Swiss wood houses.

Max Ernst, “The Gramineous Bicycle Garnished with Bells the Dappled Fire Damps and the Echinoderms Bending the Spine to Look for Caresses,”  c. 1921.

“La Biciclette graminée garnie de grelots les grisons grivelés et les échinodermes courbants l’échine pour quêter des caresses”. 

Gouache, Ink, and Pencil on printed paper on paperboard. 

29 ¼ x 39 1/4″ (74.3 x 99.7 cm). 

The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Purchase, 1937. © 2017 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris.

Courtesy: Museum of Modern Art, New York. Photo: Robert Gerhardt


Yes @marie2coeur, there are no real seasons anymore but already since years, still int Switzerland it’s not uncommon in April, at least some parts of the country it always snow for a day or 2 in April. Some places it even snow in June (the canton of Grisons), but only flakes for a day. And yes I understand French :-) it’s my mother tongue. :-)

Portrait d'une artiste dessinant d'après une antiquité. Jean-François Sablet (French, 1745-1819). Oil on canvas.

Among Jean-François Sablet’s early portraits are those of Charles de Bourbon, Comte d'Artois, as Colonel General of the Swiss and Grison Guards (1774) and Charles-Henri, Comte d'Estaing. He also painted genre scenes and mythological scenes. In 1791 he left Paris for Rome to join his brother. While there he concentrated on landscapes, also depicting people in local costume.


Did you know there really WAS a chandelier that crashed during a performance inside the Paris Opera House in 1896? This was one of the many strange occurences that inspired Gaston Leroux to write the story of The Phantom of the Opera. Here is a translation of the article depicting the horrid, yet mysteriously occurring scene that convinced the world there really was an opera ghost.


Article from Le Figaro, dated Thursday 21st May 1896

“A terrible accident occurred yesterday evening, at the Opera, during the performance of Helle. It was exactly three minutes to nine in the evening. The first act was ending. Mme Caron had just sung an encore, when a tremendous noise was heard. At the same time, a bright light appeared, like a flash of lightning and a cloud of dust rose from the top of the room to the flies. 

First, the explosion was believed to be some anarchist attack. Spectators rushed to the exit doors. But with admirable coolness, Delmas, Mme. Caron and chorus members who were on the stage remained in place, hoping by their calm to reassure the public. They succeeded to calm the spectators in the pit (orchestra) and on the first two tiers. But, above, at the fourth level amphitheatere which was nearest to the supposed explosion, the panic was considerable. The spectators were jostling each other even trying to climb over the balustrade to jump into the pit. Police officer Guida, no 158 of the ninth arrondissement, Brigadier Grimaldi of the municipal guards, the two guards Levesque and Durand, and the caretaker of the auditorium, M. Vallerand, prevented them and guided them to the exit door. Thanks to them no new accident occurred.

Meanwhile, M. Lapissida, stage manager of the Opera had very calmly withdrawn the personnel from the stage. After that he said to the public that they had nothing to fear, and then brought down the curtain. 

The evacuation of the amphitheatre (Jennie’s comment: the fourth level of balconies facing the stage) took no more than two or three minutes, and once this was completed, the wounded were taken care of, for there people who had been injured. First it was found that five or six people complained only of bruises and severe concussion. They could leave the room to receive medical treatment. Hopes were rising that the consequences of the accident had not been too severe, when cries attracted the attention of one of municipal guards. He retraced his steps and found a woman under a beam/girder. It was Mme. Senot, grocer, who lived at Rue de l’Arcade no 12. She had been injured in the leg and the right eye from the breaking of the beam/girder, under which she was trapped. 

At the same time, a young girl, her face all covered with blood, began crying for her mother, who she said was under the rubble. The search revealed the horribly mutilated corpse of an elderly woman lying in a hole in the floor of the gallery, covered by blocks of cast iron.
It was the woman that the young girl was crying out for, Mme. Chomette, aged fifty-six, a concierge at 12 Impasse Briare, 7 Rue Rochechouart. 

While officers were searching to see if there were any other bodies, a fire was seen to have started in the roof. The firemen on duty, promptly assisted by the firemen from Rue Blanche soon overcome the fire. 

Until now, no one knew what had happened and the cause of the accident. By removing the body of Mme Chomette *TEXT MISSING* (probably “on s’en”) this was discovered. It had been caused *TEXT MISSING* (prob: “par la chute”) by the fall of one of the counterweights of *TEXT MISSING* (probably ‘chandelier’). 

*TEXT MISSING* in the central hall is supported by eight iron wires, each one the thickness of a wrist, and each attached to a counterweight weighing about 700 kilos. Each counterweight weighs this much so that if one or several of the wires break, the chandelier will stay suspended.

Now apparently, along one of these wires, running in a flue or shaft, was a cable for the electric light. Probably through wear and tear, a contact between the wire and the electric cable started a fire, and this fierce spark melted the wire holding the counterweight. 

The huge mass, tumbled through the shaft, first smashing through the ceiling, then the floor of the fifth gallery, fortunately in a place where no one was sitting, and finally crushed seats 11 and 13 of fourth gallery occupied by Mme. Chomette and her daughter. It even demolished the parquet floor underneath them before it stopped. 

It was also the fall of the counterweight that pulled the circuit breaker, and caused the outbreak of fire. 

Mme. Chomette’s skull was completely crushed, her right hand and leg torn apart. Her body was carried on a stretcher by municipal guards preceded by the doorkeeper with his lantern to the Opera stop/station (for carriages), where a town ambulance waited, to drive her home.

Her daughter, who works in a restaurant (“bouillon” in the article also means broth, but in this context it’s a simple restaurant catering for the masses) was injured in the face, but her condition is not serious. 

Sitting beside these two ladies, in seats number 7 and 9, were M. Guillaume Murvoy and one of his friends. M. Murvoy received a severe electric shock and fainted. He complained of severe pain in his right leg. When he regained consciousness, his friend had disappeared. 

The other injured people, as we have said, had only contusions.

The news of this accident and the arrival of the undertakers (“pompes”) , called upon from all sides, had caused great emotion. The public were exaggerating the seriousness of what was already being called a catastrophe. A large crowd besieged the outskirts of the Opera and M. Nadeaud, peace officer of the district, had to organize a special group to deal with it. The crowd did not disperse until an hour later, when was learned that the accident was less severe and certainly less comprehensive/general than previously thought. 

M. Lepine, Head of the Police, accompanied by M. Gaillot, director of the municipal police, arrived at half past nine. M. Lepine learned the facts from Mr. Martin, Commissioner of the “police de service” (Jennie’s comment: am not perfectly sure about the meaning of this term, it may mean “police on duty” or possibly “police particularly attached to the Opera”. All input welcome). He himself examined the place where the accident occurred to verify the causes.

By order, M. Martin went at eleven o’clock in the evening to M. Atthalin, the public prosecutor, to inform him of the event that had occurred.

While awaiting the legal orders that must come, M. Girard, the head of the municipal Laboratories carried out a technical examination. The investigation was not yet finished at midnight, when we left the Opera. 

New details tomorrow, if there are any.

Georges Grison”