Sunday, 26 July 2015

Spot the Difference

Digital cameras are wonderful things for recording wildlife - and allowing identification at leisure. The following picture was snapped at la Roche d’Oëtre, in the Suisse Normande area of Normandy about 10 days ago.

I had every confidence that I would identify it on my return home. But before I had done so another allotment blogger (take a bow, Sue) just happened to post a butterfly post:

Sue's post

Serendipity or what:?

It is well camouflaged  - Can you see it in this pic?

The main thing la Roche d’Oëtre is famous for is the head shaped rock.  Can you see it?

or maybe this is it:

Not so sure.  All the same it was a tranquil spot, with some nice wildlife.

Always remember to observe the local bye laws:

Green and Black - Brassicas are Go

 Its 4 weeks since I planted out the bulk of the Brassicas. (Just before we went on holiday). They are looking pretty good by my reckoning. Not a weed in sight!!!

 From the other end the plot is looking pretty green.   Again there is some black around the garlic and onions in the foreground:

 In the middle the runner beans are at the top of their poles

and the Canadian Wonder beans are looking healthy too.

Broad beans cropping, beetroot, fennel, leaf beat coming on strong

I've had to weed here, but the other area without fabric is potatoes.  They have grown so stronly that they have suppressed the weeds all by themselves.

 First Early Red Duke of  York:

And here's the view from the other end, where a couple of Great Mullein have taken residence:

I would say that my enthusiasm for Weed Suppressant Fabric is getting stronger and stronger.

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Fruit Bonanaza

 After two weeks of neglect we were really pleased to arrive back to a fruit bonanza.  The strawberries had started cropping before we set off on holiday so I was expecting the harvest to be over by the time we got back. In fact they held on and it was one of the raspberries that was threatening to turn. 

First picking
 Of course in my anxiety I have managed to leave my camera behind on each visit to the plot recently! 

Second picking

And we've had a third picking.  Yet to tackle the thorny gooseberries. 

So now it's redcurrant jelly, Strawberry and raspberry jam time

Sunday, 19 July 2015

French Impressions - (Basse Normandie in two weeks)

Just back from two week away in France.  Here's some of our first impressions:

Bayeux: Home of the Tapestry,  and this Cathedral

From the wide range of medieval cathedrals that had been patched up after WW2 this was perhaps the most impressive:

Rouen Cathedral
 It's so big you can't get it all in one shot!

At closer quarters

There is also a range a wide range of chateaux of varying ages:

William The Conquerer's Castle at Falaise

It's hidden behind massive ramparts - this is about a third of it!

Carrouge-This is just the Gate House!
Another fantastic day trip was Mont St Michel:

Mt St Michel

I must admit to not having heard of the City of Caen before.  It was certainly a revelation:

St Etienne in Caen -

One of Caen's functioning cathedrals
Every town, however scarred seemed to be proud of its medieval centre:

Domfront Cathedral with reconstructed spire

And there were spa towns too:

The Casino at Bagnoles-de-l'Orne

There was heritage, and (working bells) in every village

Our local village church!
We even stopped off where they make them:

Bell foundry at Villedieu les Poeles

For all the focal point buildings there was also a lot of countryside:

Hedgerow in 'Bocage' country

We had a great time!