Muscovy Duck

Muscovy Duck
Roosting on the gate

2011 - My second year of blogging in Brittany

I felt I would like to share some of the photographs I have taken so far this year and some from other years. I live in a beautiful part of Brittany and just love being here. It's a lovely place to photograph and enjoy being in through all the seasons and hopefully this blog will show you where I live my life.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Saturday, 6 February 2010 - Getting veggies and fruit ready

I went to the local garden shop, Point Vert, yesterday afternoon.  I had wanted to buy some seed potatoes and I bought Charlotte which is what I tend to buy in the supermarket in the summer months.  They gave me a free net of another seed potato called Delice which they said was an all-rounder.  I had been going to cut down my potato crop this year because I'm finding it more and more difficult to dig, but maybe I'll plant some in plastic dustbins so I don't have to use a spade - I can't refuse a freebie. 

I have actually planned to plant raspberry canes in the potato bed this year, but through weed suppressing membrane so that no digging is necessary, just pruning, picking and eating!  I have collected between 60-70 canes of what the seller thought were Autumn Bliss raspberries which were advertised on our local expat website, which is often a source of goodies for me.

I also succumbed to the display of shallots and onions sets which they had in the main shop and bought both shallots which I like best for salads and moules marinieres, and red onions which I use in my spiced cabbage recipe amongst other things.


My rhubarb is just poking it's head out of the ground and I can see the textured leaves and the beginning of bright pink rhubarb.  I don't force my rhubarb as I believe it weakens the plants and anyway, I am a believer of eating crops when they mature naturally.  I adore rhubarb in crumble and as a fool, and I love a glass of the juice left in the roasting dish when I cook it for crumble.

My Maran hen has just started laying again and her eggs are such a beautiful deep brown.  The egg on the left was laid by I'm not sure whom, just before Christmas and I have blown it for decorating at Easter.  It weighed three and a half ounces, which is very heavy for a hen's egg.  The second egg is a normal brown hen's  egg, the third one is the Maran's egg and the little one on the right is from one of the eight week old bantams I brought home in October, who have just come into lay.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Friday, 5 February 2010 - The loveliest cats in Brittany!

I haven't yet posted photographs of my cats, so thought I'd show them off now.

Alfie, who came with me from Cornwall is about thirteen years old and has a lovely temperament.  Daisy, came to me with her sister Maisie last year as kittens.  They were born in May, but sadly Maisie disappeared and so Daisy has attached herself to Alfie.

And here is Mimi, my long-haired tabby cat.  She came to me as a wild kitten in May 2006 and we had fun and games with her disappearing into the broken down walls of the longere.  Several times, my oldest son, Matthew, who was helping with the renovations, had to dismantle bits of wall to get her out.  She had lived in the hayloft of her previous owners until I adopted her and wasn't keen on being with people at all.  In the summer, she spends days away in my polytunnel enjoying the heat in there, and I don't see her much at the house, unless she wants a change from her mouse diet.

This a photo of her ending a yawn - she looks fierce - but it's just the moment before the yawn finishes.  She's a pussycat really - lol.  Then there's a photo of her relaxing in the sun on her sofa.

This was Mimi as a kitten sitting in the cab of the JCB brought in to excavate our sewage system.

I felt I had to include one more cat - George.  George was a rescue cat from the RSPCA in Cornwall.  He had recently had a leg broken in three places and he had no fur on his back and head when we adopted him.  His previous life had been bad for him with lots of mistreatment and he was a nervous and aggressive cat.  He settled down with us eventually and was a beautiful, beautiful large ginger cat. 

George stayed in England with my oldest son, Matthew, when I moved to Brittany, and was probably happier living there where he was the only cat.  George  died the week before last and will be missed.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Thursday, 4 February 2010 - Grace the goose and others

I collected three geese earlier in the week from someone who left them outside permanently and never shut them away.  She assured me this would work for me too.  It didn't - and I now just have Grace, and I'm not sure how long that will be for as it's very difficult to get her in at night.

I also photographed a great tit on the birdtable and a robin on the terrace slabs.  There have been lots of flocks of smallish birds flying over late afternoon here, the sky was almost black with them.  Last week there were lots of starlings, but these were different.  Slightly too far away for me to recognise them.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Monday, 1 February 2010 - Snow has come to the village again

It started snowing yesterday late afternoon/early evening and although we only had about 1-2 centimetres, it froze overnight and looks more somehow.  

The bluetits were after golden sultanas, bread, bacon fat and cat food which I'd sprinkled on top of the snow on the birdtable.

                                                                From my west window

Great tit has landed                 

Oaktree in the early morning sunlight

Blackbird in the late afternoon sun                         

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Sunday, 31 January 2010 - Collecting the geese

Yesterday afternoon we went to collect three geese from a friend who was gradually getting rid of her animals as she is moving to a smaller house.

The oldest female had, for some unbelievable reason, a Jubiliee clip around one leg. We unscrewed it as soon as we got her home, and while we did so she bit my lip - not a very grateful gesture. I have named her Gloria. The two youngsters have not yet been sexed, so naming is difficult, but I have gone for Grace for the greyish one and Gerry - a useful unisex name - for the white one.

I put them into their new house, leaving the door open. It is in the small section of field which is next to the barn, and the chickens often wander around in here, so I hope they soon learn to tolerate one another!

When I went up to put the hens to bed, the geese were in the hen end of the barn, so I put some extra water and food in there and, ignoring all the hissing, closed them up for the night in the barn.

This morning, once the poultry door to the barn was opened, the three geese went out to their field and by the time the goats and hens had been fed, they were sitting together on the freezing ground, making themselves quite at home.

During the day they must have flown over to my next field, and had to be herded back to the barn for bedtime.