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.

Friday, July 15, 2011

The Fourteenth of July - Bastllle Day, Veggies and a Surprise Visitor

It was Bastille Day here yesterday and very quiet outside with no-one going to work on this public holiday, so no traffic.  Not that the village is usually busy, but it was really quiet.  It was also a beautifully sunny day and I spent the beginning of the morning in the veggie plot where I have onions, broad beans, courgettes, spinach, beetroot, celery, parsnip plants, butternut squash, woad and strawberries.    The strawberry plants are just flowering again, so a second crop is on the way.  I can't remember the variety and the label has blown away.  There are also some soft fruit bushes, but they are not productive.  I brought back home spinach which I had for lunch with the veal liver I bought yesterday.  I also picked broad beans and courgettes.  I had the broad beans as a starter for supper and they were lovely.  I may grow more of them next year, they're no trouble and give such a good crop.

I wiled away the beginning of the afternoon outside in the garden reading the last chapters of The Family Way.   There were swallows swooping in and out of the garden and it was really pleasant out there with Purrdy lying asleep between my feet.  The hollyhocks seem to have flowered overnight - I'm sure they weren't out yesterday.

It look as if I need to sweep up round the terrace plants.  I tend to pop out for a moment, deadhead and drop them on the floor before going back inside again.  I ought to have a bucket with me, but it's always a spur of the moment thing.  You can see all my empty egg cartons piled up on the kitchen windowsill, waiting to be filled with duck and hen eggs.  Unfortunately, I only have three laying hens  at the moment, as I'm waiting for two lots of chicks to come up to point of lay which will at different times during August.

This is a photo of the Escholzia - Californian Poppy, spilling out onto the shingle by the staddlestone.

I've cheated here, because this was the day before yesterday, with Purrdy have a little clean up on the rain sprinkled table I was reading at.

My two sunflowers from the terrace.  From inside the sitting room I can see the sunlight through the leaves and petals which is really lovely and I'll think I'll grow some under the window again next year as they don't seem to take the light away at all.

Have you ever picked up something thinking it was something else?  Well the night before last, when I went up to bed, I thought I was picking up a small toad or frog from the landing.  I assumed the cats must have brought it in, and I thought I'll just pop it outside by the pond.  As I gently wrapped my hand around it, it tried to fly away!  It was a little bat - a pipistrelle I think.  I placed it on the outer pane of the Velux window and closed the window.  This morning it had gone, hopefully to somewhere safe and without cats.

My oldest son had a study day yesterday, for an exam today, but having given it a good go yesterday, he realised that he wasn't ready for the exam after all, and is arranging to take it the next time they offer it.  I know he wanted to get it under his belt, and I'm so proud that he was mature enough to assess the situation and act appropriately.  It's not easy to admit you're not ready for something.  So good luck next time round, Matthew.

I took the last of the Buff Sussex chicks up to the field run yesterday and when I went to put the ducks and hens away last night, she had managed to get  partly through the stones which make a safe area at the bottom of the run.  Her head was through but not her body and she seemed unable to get back.  I knew she would be bullied, being smaller than the other chicks, but not that she would made a suicidal bid for freedom.  Lucky I spotted her.  I popped her into the chick house and when I went back this morning she was still in the house, so at least had not been kicked out overnight.  Hens can be horrid to weaker/smaller members of the flock.  When you have chickens you certainly understand the derivation of the phrase "pecking order"!