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, April 27, 2012

Rain and oil seed rape fields

The wet and windy weather continues.  There are so many puddles on the driveway next door that I have to wear my wellies to get to my car even if I’m not going up to the field.  This is after the rain had stopped for a while, so not at its worst.

The electricity has been flashing on and off so there must be thunder or lightning around.  Everyone is now fed up with the wet outside and longing for a break.  On Thursday, here in St André we had no rain at all in daylight hours, but I was out in the car and still caught downpours. 

Because of the rain I had my lights on and when I parked to go shopping I didn't turn them off.  My other car has a warning sound when I fail to turn the lights off but this one doesn't.  I came out to see the lights on and my heart fell.  With that sinking feeling I turned the ignition key without any luck.  I asked around the drivers in the car park to see if anyone had a set of jump leads.  My third approach was successful and the German driver took the leads from his boot while his two large dogs tried to attack me through the open tailgate.  He had a smallish car and it wasn't successful as my big old Discovery takes some powering up.  An English couple had walked by during the attempt and laughed good-humouredly at the situation.  They were still in the car park and I approached them and asked if with their bigger, modern car and the German jump leads could they have a go.  They tried too, again unsuccessfully, but kindly took me and my frozen goods shopping home before meltdown took place.  It was well out of their way and I am very grateful to them.  At the end of the day I managed to contact my worker friend and he came to the rescue and with his heavy duty jump leads managed at first attempt to get me going and safely home.  Thank you, Andy!

I have been trying to manage the water situation on the field and now that I have two more IBCs to add to the five already there, I needed to transfer the water from two which were already full to the two new ones which are not connected to the barn guttering.   Here you can see the levels in the IBCs as I transfer rainwater between some of them, and the skies waiting to empty their water content on me as I walked back home. 

I managed to do one myself but the closure on the top of the other completely defeated my attempts to unscrew it.  In one of the few dry patches today, I called in on my lovely Breton neighbour and he came up to the field this afternoon and removed it with ease.  The problem then arose that there was an airlock in the hose which I wanted to use to transfer the water from the full to the empty IBC.  Christian removed the hose from the tap fixture and sucked – very bravely I thought – and lo and behold the water flowed.  He replaced the hose on the tap and we pushed it into the new container.  Having asked him to do something simple he ended up covered in water and black stuff from the connections – not good. 

I’d hardly got through the door when it started pouring with rain again. I set the cooker alarm so I remembered to go back up and turn the taps off, because if I'd forgotten it would have all ended up overflowing onto the ground. I find the alarm more and more useful nowadays as my memory is dreadful so I use it for all sorts of things I have to remember.

I have had one of my Lavender Pekins in a separate run and house with the eggs she was sitting on - eight and three of them were blue.  They should have been hatching last Sunday, so finally I have given up on her as she seemed to be wandering around more than sitting.  Christian helped me catch her and put her back with the other hens in the barn.  All very disappointing, I was really hoping for chicks by this week.  She was obviously just pretending to be a broody hen like her companion who abandoned her eggs about five days ago.  Below are my trio of Cream Legbars, the blue egg laying chickens, taken this morning inbetween showers. 

I got trapped up in the barn for about 25 minutes with a torrential rainstorm drumming down on the corrugated metal roof and I don't think I shall be sitting at this table while it's like this.

All along the front of this house in St Nicolas du Pélem are azaleas and the colours have been fantastic.  They have trimmed the azaleas as a flat topped hedge this year and it's really lovely to see on my way to the shops.

I've took another photo of me this week - I've now lost just over nine stone in forty weeks. 

I'm still wearing my old fairly large men's trousers in this, but don't want to wear my new smaller ones in this awful weather, as every time I go up to the field or to the car I get covered in mud.  My new t-shirt is complemented with a Next silk scarf which I found in a charity shop in the UK at Easter for just £2 - bargain eh?  I've got the Obesité Bretagne Nord (North of Brittany Obesity Group) meeting, previous mini gastric by pass patients and prospective patients and their partners talking with the surgeon and dietician and others this evening in St Brieuc, so am hoping that it won't be chucking it down for my 45 minute drive back in the dark - I hate driving with spray coming up at the windscreen all the time.

Just a few more photos and these are of the rape seed oil crops whose yellow fields I can't resist.

Three things I like:

1.   Bright yellow field of oil seed rape flowers.
2.   The dazzling sunshine in between the torrential rain showers.
3.   Meeting a potential new friend at the supermarket.


  1. I love all the photos (as usual) and your sky ones on the other posting. What's this new 2nd hand camera then? Also is that a hellebore up the top as that's just stunning. Also, FIVE IBCs, Sandra!!! I think you just like collecting them lol :-) You look wonderful by the way. xx

  2. It was one I bought off AI a couple of days ago from someone who I buy chicks from sometimes. It's a Canon G10 Powershot. Much heavier than my (three) little SX210IS Powershots, but I sort of like the feel of it and it has a viewfinder and screen which is good when the sun's too bright to see the screen. It feels solid in my hands and I don't know the spec but it is favourite of the moment, and quicker to use than my Canon450D DSLR.

    Seven IBCs now I collected the last two a few weeks ago!

    It is a hellebore from my big flower bed. I keep hoping it will seed but it never does. x

  3. Sounds like you are collecting cameras as well as IBCs! I want a DSLR now - K has one (a Canon) but it is old (ish) and only 6 megapixels and no macro lens so it's not good for that, whereas my compact is pretty good for macros. But I'm crazy about macros so now I want a 'proper' camera as I want to learn more and I've managed some good insect photos but would like to be able to zoom in on them even more. Also I really want to be able to take some decent photos of birds with his telephoto lens. Oh well we'll see....

    By the way my hellebores self seed and a lot of them came from my SinLaw's self seeded ones. I wonder why yours doesn't? I read the other comment too about purple. I was into that colour back in the early 70s and whilst I may not want a purple bedroom anymore I too find it more appealing as I get older!

  4. I love my DSLR when I have time and I'm just wandering around taking photos as the quality is really good, but otherwise it all just takes too long and it's too cumbersome to have in a pocket obviously.

    I had a purple mini back in the 70s with red seats called "The Purple People Eater"! Them was the days!(sic)