Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Rock Chick!

If you are a frequent reader of our blog it will not have escaped your notice that I have a fascination (some might say "fixation") with stone/rocks/pebbles...

Whether it's polishing them, as seen here, here and here

Carving them...

or simply collecting them,

So it will probably not come as a surprise to know that fossils float my boat, too! Sorry Colin but you do! ONLY JOKING!!!!!

As Braye-sous-Faye was once submerged by an inland sea, we find many fossils in our garden but this one in particular caught my eye....

Every face of it is full of fossils. Such a good specimen, in my eyes. 

Yes, I'm easily pleased - give me a pile of rock and I'm a happy rock chick! (I wish!)

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Freezer Blitz...

We are trying (with limited success) to reacquaint ourselves with the bottom of the chest freezer, last seen in 2011 when it was purchased.

This has led to some interesting and mysterious meals but also to a sense of shock at the amount of fruit two people can pick and freeze...

Having already given away many, many pounds of strawberries for jam and ice-cream making and thrusting other soft fruits upon any neighbours too polite to refuse, we still have kilo after kilo (note the mixed units of weight - or is it volume?) of blackcurrants, redcurrants, whitecurrants, blackberries, plums, apples, pears, cherries - sour and sweet, raspberries and strawberries.

So yet more jam and jelly making was called for..

That still leaves us with a good stash to get through as we're way off the bottom yet...

Surprisingly we are still able to pick enough for our meals each day, though I suspect after last night's frost (-3.6) these picked yesterday may well be the last.

We will get to the bottom of that chest freezer one way or another, and then we'll start on the upright!!

Monday, 16 November 2015

Rilly-sur-Vienne: Randonne

We have our friends, Paul and Mary, to thank for a most enjoyable walk yesterday afternoon, setting out from the village of Rilly-sur-Vienne.

Here's a photo diary to give you a taste of the area...
The start of the walk was through undulating countryside, still with plenty of colour despite the date

Then into woodland, where the acorns crunched under our feet as we walked...

Growing in a garden we passed were these Medlar...

The geese sent a welcome (?) committee...

and then changed their mind...

The canopy of oak leaves was spectacular..

but further on, it was these two leaves which caught our attention.. They looked like two balloons put out to indicate a party.

The sunlight also lit up the Old Man's Beard or Traveller's Joy (Clematis Vitalba), known in France as Herbe aux Gueux - the beggars or rascals herb.

You have to wonder when was the last time this door was used and how small must the occupant have been?!

Finally back to the sweeping fields, still under the bright blue November sky..

So "Thank you" Mary and Paul for introducing us to this lovely walk. It's sure to become a favourite with us.

Saturday, 14 November 2015

Magnolia Seeds

We have a couple of magnolias in the garden;a Magnolia stellata and a Grandiflora, the latter having flowered particularly well this year....

Once the flowers die off we don't really pay much attention to it but the other day Colin noticed these strange orange bean-like seeds at various stages of "ripening"....

We have seen the closed up pod before...

and this photo shows how the pod starts to develop as the flower fades...

I've planted one or two of the strange beans, so now we wait (years perhaps??) to see what happens!

Friday, 13 November 2015

My, How They've Grown!

In February this year we did a post about where and from whom we source our wood for the fire. You can see it here

One point we made was the skill and accuracy with which Mr Bourreau, our woodsman, stacks the wood as he cuts it. There isn't a log out of line. He moved all the logs back to his woodstore and then cleared the area of all brushwood. There wasn't a twig or leaf out of place.

Today we walked through the same area of the wood and it was a very different picture. The whole area has grown up with ground cover and saplings, mainly False Acacia.

You would hardly think it was the same place with just under 9 months between the photos! More work for Mr Bourreau??

Thursday, 12 November 2015

Raspberry Surprise...

The surprise being that by 12th November we can still pick enough raspberries, virtually on a daily basis, to have for our pudding...

Today's pickings came to 273g

We'll keep on enjoying them as long as they last!

We've even a few strawberries to throw in with them, too!

Monday, 9 November 2015

Roasting in November!

And it's not chestnuts we're talking about!

The temperature over the last 3 days has hit the 24C mark and it has been glorious. Yesterday we went walking with friends, Mary and Paul, to Ceaux-en-Loudun, about 10km north west of Braye.

The autumn colours should be on the wane by now but there were still enough leaves on the trees to make a real "autumn banquet" of colour.

The walk was about 8km but because of the heat that was long enough. So here are some of our photos of the walk..

Everywhere the leaves were thick on the ground

 Cyclamen grew profusely in the path...

This field crop surprised us. We are not sure what it is. The leaves were beetroot like but could be Merlot lettuce or similar???

The walk took us past Chateau Artigny...

This deep dyke by the path side would have had safety fencing round it in the UK!

We spotted several damsel and dragonflies but this was the only one to oblige by keeping still long enough for a photo - or two!

A good example of the mistletoe which is prolific in the area...

This wide avenue of trees gave a bit of shade...

This lane was better still..

And at the end of the walk we came to the etang..

We'd had a fantastic afternoon of sunshine and beautiful scenery. Let's hope this weather lasts!