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, January 19, 2013

Snow has arrived in St André

Snow finally reached St André overnight and I woke up on Friday to a white world here and took this photo by the light of the security lamp just before 06.00hrs.  It was not a surprise as the weather forecast had warned us and, for once, they were right. Remember you can double click all photos to enlarge them.

These are photos of my garden.   I love the way the snow makes everything look tidy!

My car which wasn't going anywhere.  I had tried the day before to go out in the Peugeot and couldn't open the driver's door as it was frozen shut.  I had to get in through the passenger door and really push hard to open the offside door.  

My neighbour's house with icicles hanging from the gutter and the calvaire in the snow.

The horses haven't got a shelter and only one has a coat - I bet they were really cold.  

On the left immediately round the bend is my field.  It looks so different up there in the snow.

Here are some of the ducks and some of the hens in the old hay shed.  They really didn't want to come out and I had to feed them in their house.  

The veggie beds are covered - I hope the snow doesn't set back the rhubarb which is coming through at the back of this bed.

Back at home Claude is sleeping while Grace is watching for birds coming down to feed at the table.

And here are some of those birds.

Today we had to drive to get animal feed as all the bins were getting very low and there were no reserves.  Luckily the roads west of here were much clearer than the lanes here in St André.  We are quite high here though at 235 metres above sea level.  

This was some lovely Cornus - dogwood - on a roundabout near the feed supplier.  The photo doesn't do it justice - the colours were brilliant - just like a fire on the roundabout. 

This is what 400 kilos of the feed looks like in the trailer.  It was a relief that we were able to get there and back with no problem.

Three things I like:

1.   The jays coming to the bird table - yesterday two of them were fighting in the air above the table.
2.   The snow, which has been crunchy and not dangerously slippy to walk on up until now.
3.   Hot buttered toast with golden syrup.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Garden birds and mobile use

One of the two jays who frequent my garden spent a lot of time on the birdtable today.  He often lands first on the gates and then having checked that it's safe, he flies over to the food.  Today it was a mixture of stale bread, proper bird seed and the crust of the large galette des rois which I was given in the supermarket this morning for spending over €50.

There were lots of other bird visitors today and yesterday - here are some of them.  A blue tit on the left and a dunnock on the right.

The robin was on the ground under the bird table pecking up fallen crumbs and the great tit was on the garden wall, where I sprinkle seeds and small crumbs.

This is a stone trough on the mound on which the calvaire stands.  I like the way lichen covers everything that doesn't move.

Here are some of the Light Sussex hens which give me such lovely eggs every day.  

The rhubarb is coming through well now and I hope the snow forecast for tomorrow doesn't spoil it.

I always find it bizarre when I see mobile 'phones being used in strange circumstances, and to use one while on a horse does seem odd to me.  

It reminded me of another occasion when using a mobile seemed strange.  In 2006, I was on holiday in Tobago when the local church women came down onto the beach and all walked into the sea in their dresses.  It was some sort of thanksgiving service.  

As they came out of the water, one of the women, in a pink dress and turban, separated from the group to take a 'phone call on her mobile.  She stood there in her soaking wet dress and took a 'phone call on the beach  - it just seemed bizarre.

Last night on the way up to the field I took a some photos, though it was really cold to put my gloves in my pocket so I could operate the camera.

I meant to show this photo before, but forgot.  It is the beautiful azalea that my Breton neighbours gave me for the New Year - just lovely.

The last photo is of the baby cats this afternoon sitting on my laptop table - they are so adorable!

Three things I like:

1.   Seeing the big pile of logs I've brought in and stacked beside the woodburner.
2.   Keeping in touch with friends on Skype.
3.   Getting the sewing machine out and doing some crafty stuff this afternoon.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Lunch, Mur de Bretagne and the village

Today the Writers’ Group had their Christmas lunch – a little late but none the worse for that.  We went to La Lanterne Rouge, a Chinese restaurant at Pontivy.  We had a round table for eight and it worked well.  I was concerned that an all you can eat lunch was probably not going to work for me with my reduced stomach, but I was able to leave a gap between platefuls and it was fine.  I particularly like the duck which had the most wonderful crispy skin. 

Before I went off to Pontivy I wandered around Mur de Bretagne and took a few photos of a church and a florists outside display.  I also bought some bacon and leek quiches from the lovely boulangerie there which I freeze and take with me for lunch on Bowls days. Do remember you can double click on photos to enlarge them.

I drove out to see the barrage on the Lac de Guerledan and on the way found a tree loaded down with mistletoe really low to the ground.

The sun was bright, something I haven't been used to over the last months.

The village is changing.  A neighbour from the far end of the lane seems to have been gradually taking over all the fields bordering the long lane and fencing them off into sections for his horses.  They have finally reached the field next to the calvaire and there are now four horses in there.  I think I am the only non-horse field in the lane now and I'm not sure I like the changes.  

It's not that I dislike horses, I just dislike change I suppose.

Just slotting this one in which I took this morning of the horses nearest to my house in the tiny bit of snow we had last night.

I've also been noticing the buds emerging in the mild weather we are experiencing at the moment.

I'm not sure what the top one is, but the one on the right is horse chestnut.

Here we have gorse and a celandine in the lane. Why is it that spring flowers are usually yellow?

One of the streams I passed while driving.  Usually a peaceful, slowish stretch of water, but now turned into a white water torrent with the incredible amount of rain that has fallen.

The sky this morning when I went up to do the animals.  It looked so pretty and was a welcome sight after all the black clouds and grey skies.

Lastly, Claude on the rock by the rabbit run.  He likes to follow me when I let them out in the morning and watches intently in case he has a chance of catching one.

Three things I like:

1.   Meeting up with friends for lunch.
2.   Using my slow cooker to make a lovely chicken dish.
3.   The evenings getting lighter - I don't put the hens to bed until 18.10hrs now.