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, January 31, 2014

Extreme gardening and new birds

My Breton neighbours have been working hard all week clearing up the back garden, visible from the lane, of a neighbour who hasn’t been to the property for more than four years.  It looked like Sleeping Beauty’s garden out there - completely impossible to reach the door of the house.
The only good thing about it were the blackberries that the huge quantity of brambles produced around September each year.  Cooked down gently with sugar they make a wonderful sauce for vanilla icecream.  Some of them must have been domesticated plants because the huge, sweet, juicy lobes were nothing like the smaller, harder wild ones.    That same area now looks like this:
 because of the hard work of my two neighbours
I helped them yesterday afternoon and we removed the old, leaning fence between the driveways of our two properties.  
This then meant I could reach the ivy roots which have been eluding me for so many years, and pull as many as possible of them out of the soil with Paulette and her husband, Christian raking and mattocking too.  He then arranged the stones we’d disturbed into a neat surround to the area and the plan is to put wild flower seed in the newly cleared and dug soil in March/April.  I am so pleased with it all.
Underneath one of the old tarpaulins half buried in the ground were two bright and  shiny salamanders.
We covered them up again with a pieces of old wood and soil leaving an exit for them.  This afternoon we attached the trailer to the Land Rover and took all the non-burnable rubbish to the déchetterie, including rubbish from another neighbour's property over the lane.  The aim is to have a much prettier village and they've certainly made it look so much cleaner and tidier.
This is my neighbour's tower, in a rare moment of good weather last Friday.  I like the way the shape of the trees echo the tower roofline.
I like the cloud formations too in this photograph and here is one of a red morning sky here this week.
On Sunday morning I went to collect a trio of Araucana chickens from a French friend who breeds birds.  As always when I visit her, I came away with more than I went for.  I bought another pair of Orpingtons, Splash Orpingtons and they have settled in well with the Black and Blue Orpingtons and other mixed hens that I have in one area.  The Splash Orpington hen is in the centre here with a Grey Orpington to the left and a Black Orpington to the right.
Here's the Splash Orpington cockerel in all his glory.

The photos I took of the Araucanas are poor - they're very nervous and it's hard to get them all standing still at the same time so I won't post them.  Maybe I'll have some decent ones for the next posting.
I also bought one Araucana and five Cream Legbar eggs to incubate.  They are now tucked up in the spare room in the incubator with ten mixed eggs from my other hens, so come 20-21 February, hopefully chicks will be emerging from their shells.
Three things I like:
1.   The ginger and golden sultana cake I made this afternoon and can't stop eating.
2.   Catching up with the Writers' Group on Monday - first meeting of the New Year.
3.   Winning the Pub Quiz at St Mayeux on Wednesday.  We each went back home with a bottle of cider or red wine - result!


  1. How lovely to have nice neighbours and fresh eggs!

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