Thursday, 24 April 2014

STERF Butterfly Atlas April 2014

We've had a recent run of decent weather and last week in particular proved ideal for doing our April butterfly survey.

Last year's cold spring got us off to a slow start but this year we're on track.

Whilst we didn't see anything out of the ordinary, the tally of more common species was pleasing. First up were the orange tip, notoriously difficult to photograph. The following photos were taken a couple of years ago in the garden after a chase lasting the best part of the afternoon and taking as much out of me as running the marathon... ( in fact, I probably covered more mileage!)

The speckled wood came a very close second..
Along with the Map...

There were a couple of elusive Wall Brown, too...

But for us the most delightful display came courtesy of a pair of Brimstone butterflies. Their balletic dance lasted for quite some time and wasn't easy to capture on camera but I think Colin made a very good effort...

So, as always on these survey afternoons, we came back home eager to look at our photographs and not too disappointed with the results overall!

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Aire de Loisirs - Revisited

Out on a bike ride today with Jane, we passed the Aire de Loisirs, which Braye shares with Braslou, our neighbouring commune.

We've done this ride before several times before (see here), but today we were in for a surprise...

First visit: July 2011....

Today's visit: April 2014......

What a difference a spot of rain makes!

Monday, 21 April 2014

En Route from Limoges...

We drove down to Limoges today to collect my daughter, Jane, from the airport and took a break in Chauvigny on the way home. We have written about Chauvigny in the past here, so for now just a few photos of the sights...
The intricate painting in the church... You can read more here.

A rather world weary Jeanne D'Arc...
A Grand View!
or two!!

And lastly a little something for any house hunters out there.

"A substantial character property, commanding views across the town and the Vienne. In need of "aménagement"...

Sound familiar, anyone???

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Hoopoe Spotting 2014

Last year we managed our first photographs of the Hoopoe on the 12th April, this year it was the 17th.

As usual we heard them calling over in the wood with their distinctive hoop hoop hoop a week or so ago but no sightings until last Thursday. You can listen to it here

Not the best of photos as they were taken through a not so clean garage window...


Interestingly it is more or less in the same place as we photographed it last year. Is it the same bird? Do they remember where to find food in a particular location?

I would guess at it being the same one as last year... It does look older!

You can compare the photographs with last years here

A magnificent bird and we always enjoy watching them.

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Happy Birthday

To our France 3...


31 today.

She has given us many pleasurable drives through the French countryside and long may she continue to do so...


Friday, 18 April 2014

Touraine Trekkers..

With thanks to Gaynor and Tim for hosting a lovely walk from Le Petit Pressigny this afternoon...

No doubt there will be plenty posted about it over the next few days but here are a few photos just for starters...
Cloudy to start with and a forecast to match, we were surprised when the sun came out for us..
Decision time. Long or short route? the choice is yours...
Both with lovely views!
And then back for refreshments...

Very much enjoyed by all!

Here's to the next time!

Thursday, 17 April 2014

In Praise of Tulips

Tulips dominate the borders in our garden at this time of year. Some are bright and bold; others are of a more subtle, pastel hue, but they all make an impact.

And choosing a favourite is not at all easy. They are all lovely!