Thursday, 26 February 2015

Re pollarding the willow...

The willow tree nearest the house was first pollarded in March 2012 by M. Bourreau, our wood supplier. We are  this year burning the logs it produced,

It is incredible how much growth it has put on in three years... This was taken in September 2014

Last week it was time for the chainsaw on a stick and the big chainsaw!!!

A few logs, if it ever dries up enough to cut them up!!

So now it's back to as it was in March 2012,,,

I look forward to doing it again in three years time,,,

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

It HAS got legs, Gaynor!!

Leaving Richelieu through La Porte de Chinon this morning we encountered a familiar face...

and a few other familiar faces, too..

The Cirque Ideal has decamped to Richelieu for this weekend...

I don't think we'll be going; we've seen enough already!

On a different note following on from Susan s blog this morning  we went to see how our local cowslips are progressing...

A long way to go yet.

Last year we had them in the garden on the 27th February. Today the buds are just showing at the base of the rosettes.

Poor old Buzzard, he was back today with no success,,,

I know just how he feels!!

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

The Mole (Taupe) Hunter...

We observed some interesting Buzzard activity this afternoon!! It was hunting my least favourite animal, the mole.

We had noticed it in the field behind us yesterday and just assumed it had made a kill... No, it was there again this afternoon and so was Colin with his camera... You could clearly see it listening in amongst the mole hills... 
 a short flight...
 listening again and then running... yes running...
  listening and running
  listening again

Unfortunately, for both of us, it started to hailstone and we both made for shelter...

On this occasion it had been as successful at catching moles as I have been... It will be back and so will I if I spot it...

Monday, 23 February 2015

We Won!!

Each year a couple of the older local children call to sell us "squares" on a card (eg football teams and such like) to raise funds to pay for their educational visit - usually to England for a few days, which makes us smile.

Today we had a visit from Justine and her friend to tell us the good news... We had won the coveted prize; a tin of Foie Gras!!

The girls kindly made sure we English actually knew what it was, before they went on their way, as pleased to have delivered the prize as we were to receive it.

Perhaps we should have another go at the French lottery!

Diary Note...

Well worth a visit,,,
We will be there Friday... as last year...

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Sunday Stroll...

Today's walk is one we've done before with friends but they were unable to join us today as they had planned a romantic lunch out - and  (not surprisingly) we weren't invited!

Setting out from Braslou, just four or five kilometres east of Braye, the walk follows a track up-hill, giving views of the surrounding countryside.

We noticed the tell-tale rosettes of wild orchids although we couldn't be sure which varieties..

Another thing we couldn't miss was the abundance of mole-hills..... (more on these at a later date)

In the hedgerow this early blossom had attracted the first Xylocopa Violacea we've seen this year. It had obviously found an abundance of pollen as its body is covered in the yellow powder..

Then it was through woodland and along tracks past ploughed fields as we made our way back to Braslou..

And after all that fresh air and exercise we could eat a horse! (figuratively speaking of course). Which reminds me, I wonder how the romantic lunch went?!

Saturday, 21 February 2015

Bird table antics

Here are a few pictures of our daily entertainment...

A Siskin weighing up the table
 Ohhhh it's windy..

Outnumbered... It may be small but it can see off those Goldfinches.

The usual male agro!!!

Save some for Meeee.... 'Roadrunner' impersonation???

Those of you who are observant you will have noticed some small modifications to our bird table in the form of twigs and canes. The object was to keep these two out...

It has worked to a limited degree but one of them, probably the female, has discovered they can squeeze through them and actually get onto the table, The other feeds from the pole as above... Interestingly they only ever used to feed on the floor and I have always and still do put food there for them and the other ground feeders...

It's great entertainment for the price of a bag of bird food...

Friday, 20 February 2015

Odd One Out

We've got used to the flocks of goldfinch which eat us out of house and home each day but spot the odd one out on this shot..

The Brambling is back and up to now it is a lone bird. From what we can recall, we only had one last year.

Unfortunately we can't quite tell from the photos to date, if this one is ringed.
This last photo shows something on the right leg but it could just be the colour of its plumage.

Anyway, it's a good excuse to spend even more time looking out of the kitchen window, camera at the ready!