APRIL WAS NOT THE CRUELEST MONTH
Sadly I do not feel qualified/competent to say which type of butterfly it was ....I am tempted to say 'Red
Very Silly Oma Story
She had to go out shopping, stupid things like dishwasher tabs, tissues and loo-paper but on to better things like pink or white wine. The beer reserve was fine. But then......
Since she lived on her on in an isolated place – trees her only friends and neighbours within shouting distance – she was careful about locking up when leaving the house.
The Son-in-Law (best one EVER) had kindly put bolts on the inside of the front door because she had learned that, even if locked on the inside, it could be unlocked from the outside.
So she was careful to put the bolts on before going to bed. But, after bolting the front door, for going shopping she had to use another door that gave on to the outside, either the kitchen door in to the conservatory or the sitting room door that led to the terrace.
The kitchen door key was a bit cumbersome but it could be cleverly left in plant pot that had a plant in it. The terrace door key could be hung from the car key which already also boasted a front door key.
Shopping that day was very tiresome. It was hot, there were too many people in the bank, same story at the baker's where there was a queue of six people, four of them outside in the heat. The dry cleaner was the only satisfactory contact, very brief polite exchanges verbal and pecuniary.
Eventually, after an uneventful stop at the hardware store, she decided to go home via the dumpsters at Tamarelle where she could unload the yellow rubbish and the bottles because she would be on the right side of the road.
She also decided to do a 4km detour to the Spar shop at Mensignac for the pink wine and bread, also fresh vegetables. No way would she go into St Astier's only supermarket, which had better remain nameless, for she was somewhat agoraphobic.
The Mensignac trip was a success and she turned to go home, mentally worrying that she had done 18kms A/R to St Astier and another 8 A/R to Mensignac. Audi was flashing lights at her, demanding fuel and a service.
Once safely through the gates of home, she collected a shopping bag and went to the front door, pushed the handle with her elbow. It would not give. Mild panic as she was not sure which door had been her exit. Not the kitchen door it seemed, nor the sitting room door. Panic set in when she found the dining room was also locked.
She emptied her hand-bag onto the terrace table – no visible key. Two sets of car keys but no door keys. Neither of her mobile phones either, not the French one, nor the English. The mind raced with wild plans of breaking glass, wondering what the children would say, how could she explain this to her friends....
As a last hop she went to try her bedroom door which also gave onto the terrace. It had a mosquito screen and was NOT LOCKED!
Some minutes later, after a restorative glass of pink from an open bottle, she went to the front door to go to the car and unload more. It was not bolted. She had let herself panic because it was stiff, had not even thought to TRY the front door key....
A confabulation of cranes passed over La Chaise early this March, string after string of black V shapes, honking at each other. It seemed to me that they circled over our roof. Why I don't know – perhaps they were trying to locate the direction north by looking to see where the moss was on the trunks of the oaks. Or they were just arguing about it.
Apparently moss grows best on the north side of tree trunks, or so I was told during my one and only evening at a Girl Guides meeting some forty years ago. This would be helpful, apparently, if I was ever lost in a wood.But I had already read Little Red Riding Hood..and never went to Girl Guides again.
Although I did not notice it particularly we must have experienced a very long, damp period from the beginning of September until now. There is moss on everything, even on things that are not wooden – such as some of our wrought iron garden gates. Yes, I know – lack of maintenance.
There is moss also on the leafless japonica that exploded into blossom soon after the cranes had started flying north. There is moss almost everywhere that is damp – like the terracotta tiles on roofs and walls.
On the roofs it is simply moss, nothing else, but with luck frost season is over. Only the locals* warn we must wait for the Saints de Glace to come and go before we can be sure. There are three of them, Saints Marmert, Pancrace and Servais whose days are 11, 12, 13 May! Frozen moss will crack the tiles. Hopefully a dry period – let's call it 'summer' – will dry up the moss and no harm done.
But in some places the moss is not alone. On one particular tile on our garden wall it shares space with ferns and some hair like lichens. Some twigs on still naked trees are completely covered in different forms of lichens, which are, I read in some leaflets I sent for years ago, an association between fungus and alga, about 15,000 versions...try not to think about that.
Think how artistic your 'flower' arrangements can be instead.
* I had a long argument, once, with a Dordogne taxi driver as to whether I could call the local French residents les indigenes but he found that rude. Indigenes he said, were only to be found in non European continents. The people of the Dordogne were autotochtones.
By skilful manipulation of the pool skimmer - handle some three metres long - I managed to save a small toad from drowning. That is two lives saved in less than two days. The other, a froglet, was in a skimmer with a dopey lizard which I hope revived.
But a toad in the pool is hardly surprising, the toad and frog pool is nearly dried up despite storm rains and because of the ridiculous weather we having been experiencing in the Dordogne this summer.
Below however is absurd, possibly worrying, possibly related.
This is the first autumn crocus of the year - seen on August 20th and not usually expected before mid September. They are emerging fast everywhere.
I do not know what the weather gods are taking but their behaviour is most erratic. We are all hoping that they will soon settle down to more adult, reasonable behaviour pattern
After all the current crop of weather gods started life at the millenium so are no longer teenagers. They have reached their 20's and should begin to behave.
But that is me, talking like the old lady that I am. I look back at my early twenties and cringe. I fear we shall be living in interesting climate times for a few years yet.
|Off the top of my head I cannot identify this orchid - but it is trying to get through the fence!*|
The ram , Boris, and and his flock of women have been taken to the high Pyrenees there to breed and prosper again. A young ram lamb with four one year old ewes has gone to work as lawn mowers in a local garden. The rest, well they will be with us...
|This could be a scented orchid - but I could not get my head into the juniper to find out|
|An Early Purple perhaps?|
|Thyme creeping across the grass|
|This is what happened to twin millenial oaks after typhoon 'Miguel' passed through in June this year.|
|Youth being nurtured by an ancestor.|