Friday, 31 July 2015

Broad Bordered Bee Hawkmoth (Hemaris fuciformis) 2015

We have seen and photographed these creatures for the last two years and it is still enjoyable watching the speed and accuracy of their movement between flowers.

These were taken yesterday on the Salvia "Hot Lips" with a Canon 50D on 8000/sec shutter speed.

Hope you enjoyed them.

Thursday, 30 July 2015

Loire Valley Clandestine Cake Club

Yesterday we attended the latest meeting of  The Loire Valley Clandestine Cake Club hosted by Jim and Pauline in Barrou. What a novelty it was...

We contributed a bomb and some poisonous fungi!!

Others are shown below and what a magnificent set of cakes they were. Photos don't do justice to the imagination and skill which had gone into the making of them.

One or two had suffered melt down due to the heat (sadly Barbie was one of them!) but despite this the display was wonderful.

Barbie was struggling to maintain her composure so the sooner we got down to business (eating the cakes) the better.

My bomb was filled with shrapnel in the form of smarties but unfortunately it failed to detonate with the desired intensity. More "soft centre" than shrapnel!

Once everyone had eaten their fill (and more) it was out to the courtyard to take a welcome drink and relax...

Another splendid afternoon with good cake and the best of company.

If you want to know more about the cake club follow this link.

NB It is 15 months since Jean started the Loire Valley branch of the Clandestine Cake Club!! Where did that go? and how many calories have we all eaten in cake!!!

I'm sure Sally won't mind if we show Barbie before her hot flush...

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Les Artistes au village - start panicking!!

Having thought Les artistes au village in Faye la Vineuse was in September, it's come as a bit of a shock to learn that it is, in fact, on August 9th. My brain has failed me spectacularly yet again!

Now for the panic...

Here  is some of the "stuff" I'm getting ready for my stall..

This represents about half of the cards and paintings I've got and then of course there's the carvings...

I may need the loan of a pantechnicon!!

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Fête du Bois du Temple 2015 - The Day Dawns

We were invited across to the Bois du Temple to have some breakfast before the start of the Balade, but, having already eaten, we just had a coffee (though we noted wine was an option!)

 It fell to the Maire to gather the troops...

And as there were no maps of the route left we photographed someone elses, though all we needed to do was go with the flow.

After some confusion over who should go first and in what order, we were off

and the first place en route was Richelieu..

Then out into the open; if you look carefully (very carefully) you can just make out the line of cars ahead of us...

This couple were on motorised bikes but they still had a fair bit of pedaling to do and they were no youngsters!

Here we are entering Marcay
where the degustation was awaiting us. We got the impression that they were not expecting quite so many people...

 and once again it was up to the Maire to sort it all out.

A megaphone wasn't enough and someone had the bright idea of providing a ladder..

Half the crowd were enticed on a walk around the village whilst the other half chose their tipple.. (Note the nearly full/unopened bottles of water...!)

Back to the cars again....

and off towards Ligre..

All along the route people were out at the roadside to wave... 
 Not far from home now,,

We were approaching Braslou..

and even the chef of the restaurant was out to wave!

And after 60 kilometers we were back in the Bois du Temple, where we'd started, 

For some, it had all been just too much!!
What a great day! We met lots of our friends from the village and beyond and also two people from the village, but who we'd never met before, each invited us to their homes to share a meal.

Beat that for conviviality!

Friday, 24 July 2015

Hummingbird Hawk-Moth

The Hummingbird Hawk-Moth (Macroglossum stellatarum) is a frequent visitor to the garden, often seen on the Verbena Bonariensis, where it picks its way with amazing dexterity and accuracy between the tiny, individual flowers which make up a complex flower head.

However, we've noticed over the last couple of days that it has been frequenting the Salvia "Hot Lips" by the dining room window..

So of course it was out with the camera and one shot in particular caught our eye..

We have never before managed to get a photo of it with the wings outstretched in a perfect aircraft posture.

Here are one or two more shots of this beautiful creature..

NB. These were taken using Colin's Canon EOS 50D on 8000/sec shutter speed.

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Fête du Bois du Temple 2015 - An Advertisement...

Advertising is quite the hot topic at the moment, so we thought we'd get this one in before there is a complete ban.....

So if anyone fancies a day out in Braye this Sunday, give us a call and we'll put the kettle on!

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

A New Direction..

Had a go at some alternatives to owls this week!

Here's the starting point..

So from that to this..
And finally, to this...

And then some little shapes to hang on a branch for decoration..

The sizes and shapes vary (3-5cm) as they are done by hand. I'm hoping to find a market for them, as they are such fun to make!