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, February 22, 2014

Most of my time this week has been taken up with the incubator eggs hatching.  Usually they all hatch within about 24 hours of each other but this time, for reasons unknown, the first little yellow chick arrived on Monday evening and the last arrived on Thursday morning.  
There was a lot of uncertainty about the hatch due to the power cuts we had on Friday and Saturday last week.  The temperature had dropped considerably on the Saturday and I was worried there would be no chicks. 
Here the first two chicks have been transferred to the brooder under an infra-red light which, of course, tints the photograph.
Here are some grown up chickens.  Two Buff Orpingtons hens and their cockerel ready for sleep and sharing their house with a friend's four red hens.  Some more Orpingtons and her little black hen are on the other side of the house.
In spite of having a wing clipped the Muscovy ducks continue to fly and are often to be found on the barn roof.  Here my grey girl is on the top of the gate to the area before the pond field.
Here are the seven surviving chicks.  I am so pleased to write that the two dark birds, at the front of this photo, are female Cream Legbars who will eventually lay blue eggs.
I met a friend from England for hot chocolate and a catch up yesterday afternoon and she had a lovely present for me - a Guinness Pie Set.  I am really happy with it and have today made a Guinness beef casserole which I shall turn into a pie tomorrow using the Guinness, special dish and funnel.
Last week, I made a beef and orange casserole in the slow cooker.  It tasted wonderful but I always think it looks particularly beautiful before it's cooked too.
I have done lots of cooking this week and while I had nearly an hour on the telephone with my daughter I made four small quiches from scratch to finished cooked products.
I made four and have to say that none now remain.  They were so moist and gorgeous that I have eaten them all.
Stuffed pancakes with cheese sauce were also on the menu this week with fresh watercress from my pond.
In spite of the wet weather it has not been cold and the primroses have bloomed in the lane and my drive.    The rhubarb in the bed next to the first hen run has really got going now and crumble will definitely be on the menu before the end of February.

Claude has been very bored with the whole business of the chicks and has done a lot of yawning, although he has been seen sitting on the grid above the brooder perhaps thinking they would make a tasty lunch.
Here's Claude with Purrdy, enjoying a comfy cushion in the warmth of the woodburner.
I think that this budding branch in the lane is a hawthorn but I can't remember well enough to be sure.  I love the little red growths which look almost like berries and contrast so beautifully with the lichen.

Some of the sunsets in the lane recently have been beautiful and very colourful - tilt your screen backwards a little for the best colour saturation.

Three things I like: 
1.   Seeing and hearing my new little fluffy chicks.
2.   Reading The Times and The Guardian which my worker brought back from the UK  - I do miss the papers.
3.   Receiving some runner bean seeds in the post from a forum member.


  1. We had an incubator when in France - but the unannounced power cuts gave rise to so many disappointments.
    I've started watercress here and, as long as I can keep the ducks off it it is a delicious addition to our diet.
    Quiches don't go down well here - one mention of eggs and they are screaming about cholesterol, though my husband's doctor says that free range eggs are great for your health.
    I too miss rhe newspapers....


  2. We do get a lot of little power cuts here, sometimes only for a few seconds. I just love watercress and can't believe I now have as much free as I can eat. I had a look on the internet about cholesterol and eggs and The British Heart Foundation on their website state: In the past there have been restrictions on the advised number of eggs people should eat in a week. This was because we thought cholesterol in our bodies was directly caused by cholesterol in our food.

    As research has developed, however, we now know that much of the excess cholesterol in our bodies is actually produced by eating too much saturated fat rather than eating too much cholesterol.

    So while too many fried eggs and cheesy omelettes may risk raising your cholesterol, it’s actually the added fat from the frying or the addition of cheese, which is high in saturated fat, that’s the problem. Poached, boiled or scrambled eggs (without butter) are all absolutely fine and there are no restrictions on how many we should eat as part of a balanced diet.

    While the average Brit only eats about 2 to 3 eggs a week, our intake of saturated fat still exceeds the recommended maximums. The main cholesterol culprits are things like dairy products including full fat cheese or whole milk, fats like butter, lard and ghee, fatty cuts of meat or meat products and the skin on chicken. Products like biscuits, cakes and pastries can also be high in saturated fat too.

    We can still enjoy these, but by choosing reduced fat options such as semi skimmed, skimmed or 1% milk, low fat yoghurts and reduced fat cheese as well as making sure we remove visible fat and skin from meat and poultry and reading food labels on ready-made products we can make healthier choices.

    If you are worried about your cholesterol, cutting back on saturated fat is likely to make more of an impact on your diet than cutting back on the amount of eggs you eat.

    I eat loads of eggs, seems obvious I suppose having hens although I've always eaten lots, and my cholesterol is in the normal range.

    I can't remember where you live now, is it in South America or am I imagining that?

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