Weatherwise, this last week and the one that went before, couldn’t have been more different for the time of year. This week, we have had cloudless skies and temperatures above 25°C during the day but nicely cool at night. The preceding week was cold and wet – so chilly to necessitate the lighting of a fire in the evening.
The responsibility for this state of affairs lies squarely on the shoulders of our visitors from Wales, who were here the first of these two weeks. They brought the bad weather with them, and thankfully took it away again. Thanks Dave and Jo.
Instead on sunbathing in the dappled shade of the walnut trees and sipping a G & T they were obliged to huddle indoors with books or listen to the amusings of Peter Ustinov or Alan Bennet on tape if they could hear above the rain drumming on the roof of the serre. They made brave sorties into Conques, Rodez and Figeac but altogether I think they had a sad time of it.
We did have a pleasant evening out together when we dined at the auberge in Mourjou. Excellent meal and good company – thank you both.
Since then we have been getting on with chores despite the temptation to bask in the sun along with the lizards. I have finished decorating the main bedroom – although not yet finished the quilt. The theme is sunflowers and I have framed several pictures for the walls. Below - I am sewing outside on the terrace.
Jim’s vegetables are growing well and we have been eating potatoes and a first picking of broadbeans. Delicious.
We have made a couple of evening strolls up to Peter’s Place (still no bench) with bottles of beer and found it too hot to stay there long even as late as 8 o’clock. One evening as I sat down a snake slithered off a branch of a bush about a metre away. I was too concerned to prevent Rufus seeing it to notice what it was before it was out of sight. Pity, because I had my camera at the ready for just such an event.
We have been dancing around the garden trying to get decent pictures of butterflies. The air is full of different kinds – not rare, so far as we know, but just varieties we don’t see frequently, or at all, in the U.K. I have had to purchase another butterfly book, unfortunately it is in French – what did I expect!
This is a Purple Emperor – only the males show the purple flash and only from certain angles. I had wondered why so many of these were fluttering together in the same place until I read up on them. I found out they were attracted to rotting or decaying material and saw that Rufus had left something aromatic underneath the Hortensia bush nearby!
And this is a Knapweed Fritillary – there are a lot of butterflies that look like this in colouring but this one is perched on some Knapweed to make it easy for me.
Firstly, our old friend bramble, or blackberry, this one with pink flowers which are rather pretty and I expect we shall be glad of it during blackberry picking time but at the moment it impedes progress on walks and Jim has to keep strimming to clear the paths and poor old Rufus is ripped to shreds on his belly.
Secondly, a pretty little flower related to the snapdragon - Pale Toadflax
Another walk we take is along the river. Rufus likes this too as he can go swimming. Only a good idea if you want a wet dog for the rest of the evening. (See video clip at the beginning) (Still working on how to insert this in the blog) And finally a good view of the river from the walk.