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, March 19, 2011

A Sunny Day, Pink Blossom, a Pink Insect and Blue Things

It’s been such a beautiful day today – really sunny and warm and, after a roast chicken lunch, I actually fell asleep in a recliner on the terrace and woke up over an hour later with a sun red face.

I took several photographs this morning. The first is of the very pretty flowering currant blossom at the end of my drive in the abandoned neighbouring garden.

I also took photos of some of my blue vases and other blue things. Blue is such a special colour. I think it is also one of the few colours for clothing that suits everyone in all it’s different shades.   This ginger jar belonged to my mother and it's one of a pair.

This is one of a pair of cockerel trivets which I used to use in my Cornish Bed and Breakfast.

This was a little robin blue breast jug that my middle son, Oliver, gave me for Christmas one year.  It's very precious to me.

I really like ceramic balls.  I had some in my garden in Cornwall which were quite large, but have no idea where they've got to.  I just have a couple of small ones now, which live in my dresser shelves, along with dried poppy heads and Japanese lantern seedheads.

I'm not entirely sure what this piece of china was.  I remember buying it at a car boot sale and it still had a brown card label on it then, but I don't remember whether it was supposed to have a function or just be beautiful.

This is the back door of my neighbour's abandoned house.  It's beginning to look like a scene from Sleeping Beauty with all the brambles growing across the entrance.

And this is another neighbour's west facing gite window.  They used to live in this little gite before they finished renovating their large house.

My next door neighbour has these blue railing all around his back garden and I like the intricacy of the wrought iron.

As I was coming back from taking these pictures, I stopped to photograph some moss and right in the middle of the patch was this little pink insect.  I've no idea what it was but it was very small, about a quarter to an eighth of an inch (1-2mm) long.  So having started with pink, I'll end with pink too.   You might have to increase your zoom to 150% to see it!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Surprise Bunny, Garden Tasks, Lunch and Plagues

The last two days have been very grey.  Yesterday it was really foggy and depressing.  Today no fog, but still grey and a cold breeze. 

In the early evening yesterday something weird happened.  I was watching television when Daisy shot past me and up the stairs with something fairly large and white in her mouth.  I went to investigate and found that she had a white fluffy bunny - unfortunately already dead.

This is clearly not a wild rabbit.  Both of my male rabbits were neutered after their first litter of two bunnies in August 2009 so it shouldn't be from my rabbits, but I've a feeling that it is.  We last cleaned out their large house two weeks ago, and as I didn't do it, I have no idea whether there was a nest within the straw that was cleared out.  In their last litter of bunnies there was one just like this, so I think perhaps the vet didn't do the job properly.  Sad.

This morning the fish pond pump which has blocked over the Autumn and Winter is  being cleaned out.  The fish look good and healthy and seem to have survived the times when my pond was iced over without a problem.

I spotted the frog I'd relocated from my kitchen to the pond, swimming around happily.

Weeding has also been underway, getting the long bed ready for some more perennials.  Here is the clean result and another photograph showing what's still to be done.

I sat down to have a rest from tying in plants and drank a mug of coffee in the sunshine which is now out and very warm.

 I had my camera and took a couple of photos of things I was looking at.

The electric post at the end of the driveway and honeysuckle buds on the stems I've woven through the wires on the top of the pergola.

I went in for my lunch - prawns in a garlic, lemon, parsley and pili pili sauce with thick slices of freshly cut bread.

As I got up from my lunch, unbelievably, another frog by my laptop table - I nearly trod on him when I got out of my chair.  This one was much smaller.  I popped him on the slate where the water runs down to the fish pond.

Could this be a plague of frogs visiting me, I wonder? What next?  Locusts?

We put up the fly nets on the doors to the garden this afternoon, as I am already getting flies coming in.  Hopefully they'll stop the locusts as well!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Chicks, Hedges and an Amphibian

The chicks born last week are getting bigger very quickly and have the beginning of proper feathers on their wings.

Only one of the four brown eggs hatched – yesterday during our Writers’ Group meeting – so I have popped it in with the original five as it was looking very lonely alone in the incubator.

They are now housed in a wooden box with a heat lamp over it. This box is part of the outside system they will live in for the first few weeks of their lives outside. It gives the older hens to get used to them before they are introduced feather to feather.

As I went over to look into the box to check on them, I passed the cats’ food dishes. Hiding between the milk and biscuit containers was a frog, or perhaps a toad, I’m not sure.
He seemed fine, so I walked over to the pond and gently slid him into the water. He breaststroked off, away from the goldfish, and disappeared immediately under the plants.

The flowerbed by the pond is ready to be weeded now that the very tall hedge behind it has been cut. 

In this photograph you can see that this side of the hedge has been cut, but the other side still has high growth, which has disappeared in the next photograph.

I think the chap who came and shortened it must have taken 4-5ft (120-150cm) away in many places.  It makes such a difference to the light coming into my garden and I can also enjoy my neighbour's forsythia!

I went off to the hospital on Friday last to have the tests regarding my parathyroid glands.  The scintigraph confirmed that there is a tumour - benign - on one of the right side parathyroid glands.  I am having another blood test on Friday morning to see how my calcium levels are.  If they are not raised further, I can wait to see the endocrinologist on 21 April, but the appointment may be brought forward if they are very much higher.  When I've seen her, I will go in for an operation to remove the the tumour,  after which my energy levels should be much better, which will be very welcome with all the gardening to do.

I came in from taking these photographs of a hellbore and a primula denticulata

to find myself unable to use my laptop because of these two.