Friday, 24 June 2016

Observations on a pond...

We have been privileged to watch three dragonfly emerge from our pond over the last few days. 

The following photos show one emerging from the pond and developing its adult form..

And finally...
Such a wonderful sight and so lucky to be able to have it on our doorstep - literally!

Sunday, 19 June 2016

A woman's work is never done...

We observed a pair of bullfinches in the garden today. The male looked on...

while the female did the work, collecting a mouthful of small sticks...

Maybe that's just because it's Fathers Day!!

Friday, 10 June 2016

Butterfly Fest...

Flower of the week for butterflies has to be the scabious, which we have successfully divided into several clumps from one little pot bought two or three years ago..

Here it is playing host to a Painted Lady, albeit this one is a little battered...

Glanville Fritillaries are frequent visitors..

It's lovely to see the two together..

At this moment they were joined by a Meadow Brown..

And then the (Southern?) White Admiral...

The Speckled Wood, however, appeared to prefer the daisies..

Such a feast of butterflies all in one place!

Thursday, 9 June 2016

Les jardins du Presbytère à Braye-sous-Faye

Last weekend in France, as well as in England, it was national garden open day and les  jardins du Presbytère in Braye-sous-Faye took part.

Ever since we came here we've wanted to see this garden. It is well hidden with only the tops of the tall cypress showing from the road and giving a tantalising glimpse of what lies beyond..

On Saturday we were gardening when a couple walked past slowly and admired our garden. We invited them in for a cup of tea and learned that they had come from a neighbouring commune to the visit the Presbytère; and they were English.. By the end of the afternoon we'd exchanged email and phone numbers and had an invitation to visit them.

On Sunday morning we went to the Open Garden, and whilst it wasn't bright and sunny, it was perfect for taking time and looking round.

What a hidden gem it turned out to be! So much so that I went back in the afternoon with friends, Paul and Mary.

We got a good view of Braye's twelfth century church from here..

I think this door below ground level, will lead through to the church.



The garden was architectural in design but it worked beautifully.. 
 

 The potager was a real show piece... 


Before we left we spoke to the owner and he said he'd always wanted to have a look at our garden so a reciprocal visit was arranged for Tuesday.

As a gift he brought one of his lettuces and we learnt the secret of such a perfect potager...

We were the first to have something from the potager - he has been buying everything so that he didn't need to spoil the perfect rows of vegetables and salads, until after the open day!

Our thanks go out to him not only for sharing his garden and produce but also for his hospitality and for inviting us back when there are more flowers to see.

One Open Weekend; three new friends... Gardens are a great way to meet people!

Thursday, 2 June 2016

Jenny Wren

We've been watching the wren with its brood for a couple of days. They have been sheltering in the honeysuckle and it has been difficult to get any photos..

Today, during a brief dry spell, I managed to take a couple of shots....

They are such tiny birds but they can certainly makes a noise when they feel they may be at risk...

We won't disturb them. It's just good to know that so far their brood has survived.

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Fox Moth Macrothylacia rubi (Lasiocampidae)

Such a big name for a moth! But there it is...

Our cocoon, then pupa, now moth is a female Fox Moth, Macrothylacia rubi (Lasiocampidae) and she is now free to roam in the garden or wherever the fancy takes her.

Here are the final photos, the first one being the three stages together...

She's quite a beauty! Thank you, Susan, for all your help!

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Metamorphosis

Today was the day!

Our resident pupa is no more in pupal state. It is now a moth but until he/she turns round in its nest box we won't know for sure what sort of moth.

(for "we won't know for sure", read "until I can sent Susan a better photo.....")

At the time of writing this is all we have...

The empty casing
Underside through mesh of box

Best shots inside box

Taken a few minutes before writing
We hope to name it soon!

In fact. thank you Susan, we can now confirm it is a female Fox moth Macrothylacia rubi (Lasiocampidae). And here is a link to Susan's blog about the Fox moth.