View From The Conservatory


I was both astounded and disappointed to discover that my last “View” was posted just over a year ago. I know that we have been busy and there have been other more recent posts.

Admittedly, the conservatory has been rebuilt and we did take off to Australia for three months followed by a month in France and a fortnight in Antigua. There have been several lesser UK based jaunts. However, we have also spent time at home and I have had my camera to hand. So, feeling suitably ashamed, here is a compilation of pictures taken over the last few weeks. We are now into the UK summer season and the garden plants are growing like crazy.

First up then is a regular subject, squirrels. Once again we are being visited by the albino variety.

Albino
Albino Squirrel

As you can see they do have the requisite pink eyes.

Albino1
Albino Squirrel

Here in the UK squirrels are sometimes referred to as tree rats. The example above is the most rat-like squirrel I have ever seen.

Of course we do have an abundance of the grey variety. Just a few days ago there were four greys in the garden. Of course my camera was out of reach and since these guys were raiding the bird feeders, any movement on my part just scared them away.

I thought that the pure grey squirrels would have attacked the albino, but apparently not. Judging by the shenanigans going on, high up in the trees, I believe the albino may have found a partner. Maybe we’ll see some piebald babes around this year.

As I mentioned earlier, there are many flowers on show already. So, just a few snaps ….

Iris_Flag
Iris

This Iris was discovered in a shady overgrown area of the garden. It was not planted by us and, as we are the only owners of this property since it was built, we have no idea how the Iris arrived. Pretty though.

We have a few rose bushes, which we did plant….

…… and a few other plants that we bought as plugs for potting on ….

And finally, for now ….

Lilac1

We don’t know what this is. The plant is a climber and for the moment it is in a pot on our deck and is entwining itself around the handrail.

Desert Rose, Frangipani and Hibiscus


Son-in-law Steve loves his garden and in particular he specialises in Frangipanis, Hibiscus and Desert Roses. I love them all but my favourites are the Frangipanis which are not only beautiful to look at but all have the most gorgeous and varied scents.

Here is a sample of the blooms from his garden.

 

 

 

 

 

Limousin, France – Day 5 Evening


Finding ourselves back at the gite, a little earlier than we expected, a couple of us decided to go for a walk up into  La Porcherie. The gite is situated in a very quiet corner of a very quiet village so we were able to stroll the lanes with no concerns about traffic. Here are a few shots I took along the way.

This is the lane that gives access to the gite.
This is the lane that gives access to the gite.

Behind the gite there are three lakes from which the water trickles, one to the next before passing through some kind of water treatment works. The water then passes on to the large lake which can be viewed below the gite. Whoever, owns and works at the water works had created a rather stylish rock patio set.

I think Fred & Wilma probably live here. Actually an improvised outdoor dining set for our nearest neighbour.
I think Fred & Wilma probably live here. Actually an improvised outdoor dining set for our nearest “neighbour”.

Just a few yards from the lane leading to the gite, at the side of the road, we came across a totally random collection of flowers. Not in someones garden, just at the side of the road. Beautiful.

Beautiful. A random roadside collection of flowers.
Beautiful. A random roadside collection of flowers.

Across the road from the flowers was a field containing three horses. We were rather puzzled by the fact that all were sporting blindfolds. Perhaps they were playing some kind of equine “Blind Mans Bluff” ? We were later informed, by the owners, that this was to protect their eyes from flies. The horses were visited two or three times a day and the blindfolds were removed at times when the flies were less apparent.

A horse playing "Blind Mans Bluff" or perhaps "pin The Tail On The Donkey"
A horse playing “Blind Mans Bluff” or perhaps “pin The Tail On The Donkey”

As we entered La Porcherie we came across this old shop front. Apparently La Porcherie used to have shops and an active restaurant but all are gone now. It is a shame but does, of course, mean that the village remains very peaceful.

La Porcherie, France - Old Shop Front
La Porcherie, France – Old Shop Front

The church here dates from the 12th century. Unfortunately, I have forgotten if it is dedicated to a particular saint. To the left of the church is the now defunct restaurant. Anyone want to start a new business. The canvass is completely blank.

La Porcherie, France - 12th Century Church
La Porcherie, France – 12th Century Church
La Porcherie, France - Village Well
La Porcherie, France – Village Well

As we strolled around the village we came across the war memorial. As we were to see in many other towns and villages, the names listed  really drive home the devastating impact the first world war must have had. Not just to the families but to whole communities. When you see that single families lost two, three or even four members, it really drives home the futility of war.

La porcherie, France - Monument to the fallen of the 1914-1918 war.
La porcherie, France – Monument to the fallen of the 1914-1918 war.

One thing the Limousin is renowned for is it’s cattle. They really are solid looking beasts, much more robust than there English counterparts. And, as one of our group commented, rather glamorous with their long eyelashes and the lighter markings around the eyes, reminiscent of mascara only white. This fine example studied us intently as we made our way back to the gite.

Limousin Cow
Limousin Cow

On our return to the gite we were able to relax with a nice cold glass of Leffe Ruby which was nicely set off by this wonderful sunset.

La Porcherie, France - Sunset
La Porcherie, France – Sunset

Spring Show


Springtime has to be one of the best times of the year. Nature showing all her best bits. Have just driven past thousands, if not millions, of beautiful Pansy’s, Primula’s, Daffodils and Magnolia Tree blooms. So here is a small contribution from our front garden.

Had to snap the back view because they were just so bright. And here they are from the front, some might say from the proper side.

Obviously we are all waiting for the Cherry blossoms to begin their display. Unfortunately, I have noticed that one of our two trees looks to have finally succumbed to the disease which was causing its leaves to wilt. It had managed to give a magnificent display each year even though the leaves would die back. This morning I can find no sign any buds forming. I guess we’ll have to replace it after giving us great pleasure for thirty years or so.