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.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Writers' Group, New Chicks and my Flowering Delphinium

New blood at the Writers' Group this week and another man to join our sole male. Always good to have someone else doing constructive criticism and even better when they write well themselves. I love having the meetings here as it means I don't have to leave the comfort of my own home. I always prefer to have guests rather than be one. We usually sit around the kitchen table, but today everyone gravitated towards the woodburner - we had to open the doors to the garden as it was pretty hot - it is a lovely fire.

Andy had stacked enough wood for several days around the hearth - it looks like almost a whole tree! The writers took away some books I had cleared off my shelves and also left me bereft of duck and hen eggs except for the one I put down too hard in the ceramic egg holder yesterday evening making a dint in the shell. Not sure why but the blogger photo upload has turned this photograph around.

There were just two eggs from the hens this evening when I put them to bed. Apart from the Lavender Pekin Mummy Hen I only have four laying hens. They all laid yesterday but only two eggs in the nesting boxes tonight. I have arranged to go and collect six, hopefully female, 12 week baby hens tomorrow afternoon. They should start to lay at the beginning of February. Usually I get youngsters in March or April but then, of course, they don't lay until June or July, so hopefully these will turn out to be hens and not cockerels and will be good layers next year. I still can't seem to eat eggs. When I go to bowls on Tuesday people always buy the eggs I have, but I know my son and his friend will eat them at Christmas and they'll be taking them back to England too, as buying free range eggs is really expensive.

I wrote the above on Monday and the next bit on Wednesday this week.

Yesterday morning when I came back from feeding the rabbits I noticed that my delphinium shoot had opened its flowers.   It was 23 November!  This is certainly a record in my garden.  What a colour!  The sun was shining brightly when I woke up which made a pleasant change from the last two dark, grey and misty days.

I collected a larger than usual large sack of stale bread, for the birds and goats, from the baker at SuperU this morning.  It was so heavy that when I got to the car I couldn't lift it even a centimetre off the bottom of the shopping trolley.  The car park was unusally empty and I had to wait about five minutes before a car drove in and a strong looking man got out.  I walked towards him saying "Bonjour" and after explaining my predicament he turned into a knight in shining armour and with one hand scooped the bag from the trolley and into my front seat - brilliant!   When I got back to the field I managed to drag it out of the car - it didn't involve lifting just pulling - and I left it outside the barn for Andy to put inside when he puts the old birds and six new chicks away tonight.

The new chicks are very tame and easy to pick up.  They're a cross between a male Light Sussex and a female ISA Brown hybrid.  The Light Sussex lay up to 260 eggs a year and the ISA Browns 300 eggs a year, so if they survive to point of lay we should have some good production in 2012.  I took some photos of the chicks, but one was always pecking away somewhere else.

They're really sweet at the moment and didn't go outside, but stayed in the barn all day.  The other birds were all outside enjoying the sunshine.

Here's my bantam cockerel perching on the wooden stand in the hen area sunning himself.

Now it's Thursday.  Happy Thanksgiving Day for my American readers! 

We had our first frost here in my village this morning.  The water on the animal drinkers was frozen and I had to use deicer to clear my windscreen before I could drive up the lane to the field.   I knew it was going to be cold out there as it was chilly walking between the bathroom and bedroom this morning.  The sun is out now though and the temperature is rising a bit. 

Time to post this before another day slips away.

Three things I like:

1.   Coming back inside to the warmth of the woodburner.
2.   My newest cat, Purrdy climbing onto my lap and snuggling down to sleep.
3.   Hearing from friends I haven't heard from for a while.