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, November 22, 2013

Autumn activities in St André

It’s the time of year when the garden, veggie patch and polytunnel have to be cleared of dead stuff, weeded and dug through.   Everything is such a mess in there  I feel ashamed when I look at it.  However, I have still been harvesting salad, peppers and squashes.


Luckily, last week a volunteer emailed me to come here for a couple of weeks and he has been labouring on my behalf in exchange for full bed and board.  He’s from Germany, only twenty-seven and has much more flexibility, strength and stamina than I have so he's great for the work that has to be done. 

So far he’s helped clear up the cuttings from the long laurel hedge, cleaned out the chick house, brought in logs, cleared the large flower bed in the garden and some of the raised veggie beds and virtually finished in the polytunnel.  The weather has been dreadful since he arrived on Monday late afternoon so it’s been handy having the possibility of working in the shelter of the polytunnel.   The log trolleys have been filled and covered on the terrace in case of really bad weather so I have a ready supply.  The garden furniture still needs to be collected up and stored inside.
The last of the berries, which were on the honeysuckle, next to my postbox in the wall, have been stripped by various visiting birds.
On Tuesday, 19 November, we had our first fall of snow here in St André, preceded sleet and hail.  It only lasted for fifteen minutes but was proper snowflakes floating down to the ground – the earliest we’ve had it since I’ve been in Brittany I think.
Wednesday saw me in St Brieuc for an appointment with my gastric surgeon.  He was pleased with the healing of my giant abdominal scar.  I still have two tiny leaking holes but he didn’t seem think there was any infection or anything else to worry about so that’s reassuring.
On my way to the field today I realised that a pungent smell reaching my nostrils must be a goat tethered somewhere on the lane.  I found him by the calvaire.
I am always amazed at how strong the smell is from uncastrated goats and from how far away it can reach my nostrils.
The horse chestnut near my house has lost so many leaves now and the ones that are left have changed colour to a lovely light rust.
Underfoot there are so many sweet chestnuts in and out of their prickly cases.  My volunteer, Christian, has gathered a huge container full.  I love their polished shells and the way they fit together neatly in their protective casing.
The hedgerows are topped with bracken, making graphic statements against the sky - I love the images.
The last of the tomatoes have been picked before the vines were given to the chickens to pick over. 
They have also been enjoying chickweed which covered the empty raised veggie beds.
Chilli peppers and capsicums, squashes and courgettes are being stored in the polytunnel until needed.
I have mixed feelings about this time of year.  I thought everything seemed to be dying away but when I look, I see nasturtians and antirrhinums still in bloom on the driveway and several shrubs have little green shoots appearing. 
Three things I like:
1.   Booking a table in a restaurant I haven't tried before for Sunday lunch with a friend.
2.   Getting the garden and field area tidied up.
3.   Seeing a new photo of my lovely granddaughter, Mia, on Facebook.