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Switzerland 2011: Flora and fauna

posted by Martin Rubli at 14:53

In Switzerland you never have to go very far to see nice flowers and interesting animals. Wild orchids in walking distance from our home and surprisingly tame squirrels just a few car minutes away make for a peaceful day if you want to take a rest in your vacation.


A beautiful specimen of a "Frauenschuh".

A beautiful specimen of a "Frauenschuh".

The Cypripedium calceolus is an endangered orchid but there are still a number of places where it occurs year after year.

The Cypripedium calceolus is an endangered orchid but there are still a number of places where it occurs year after year.

Reminds you of Cinderella, doesn't it? :-)

Reminds you of Cinderella, doesn't it? :-)

Close-up of a Lady's-slipper, as it is known in English. The German word "Frauenschuh" has exactly the same meaning.

Close-up of a Lady's-slipper, as it is known in English. The German word "Frauenschuh" has exactly the same meaning.

Trollblumen (Globe-flower, Trollius europaeus) are quite common in the Swiss Alps in late spring and early summer. It does have a number of interesting names such as Popperolle ("puppet/baby roll"), named after the golden hair of blond baby girls, or Ankeballe ("butter ball") because of its shiny surface.

Trollblumen (Globe-flower, Trollius europaeus) are quite common in the Swiss Alps in late spring and early summer. It does have a number of interesting names such as Popperolle ("puppet/baby roll"), named after the golden hair of blond baby girls, or Ankeballe ("butter ball") because of its shiny surface.

It's not exactly good manners but still quite a feat to be able to pick your nose with your tongue. Think about this next time you have cow tongue on your plate.

It's not exactly good manners but still quite a feat to be able to pick your nose with your tongue. Think about this next time you have cow tongue on your plate.

The flags of Arosa and Graubünden. In the background the Mederger Flue.

The flags of Arosa and Graubünden. In the background the Mederger Flue.

A squirrel looking for food.

A squirrel looking for food.

Squirrels in Arosa are hardly shy.

Squirrels in Arosa are hardly shy.

As a matter of fact, there's an Eichhörnliweg (Squirrel trail), where you're (almost, as we found out two years ago) guaranteed to see squirrels.

As a matter of fact, there's an Eichhörnliweg (Squirrel trail), where you're (almost, as we found out two years ago) guaranteed to see squirrels.

They are so used to humans ...

They are so used to humans ...

... that they will climb up your leg if they get a nut in return.

... that they will climb up your leg if they get a nut in return.

Of course the birds have learned from the squirrels, and are now also relying on the convenience of tourists feeding them bite-sized portions.

Of course the birds have learned from the squirrels, and are now also relying on the convenience of tourists feeding them bite-sized portions.

They're not picky but hazelnuts definitely seem to be one of their favorites.

They're not picky but hazelnuts definitely seem to be one of their favorites.

Chüpfenflue and Mederger Flue, this time seen from the other side of the valley.

Chüpfenflue and Mederger Flue, this time seen from the other side of the valley.

The Tiejer Flue in beautiful evening light.

The Tiejer Flue in beautiful evening light.


  1. Rublis says:

    This mountain is named Medergenfluh! There's a bit of Tiejerfluh seen on the right.

  2. Jennifer Dixon says:

    Super photos and many thanks. Have just seen one of these tufted eared squirrels in the Montreux area and your photos were the best I found on a google search. Wonderful creatures, mine obviously enjoying what's left of our hazel nuts that the pinemartens haven't found. :-))

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