Friday, 27 July 2012

I lost my camera for a few days! 2 little wrens have made a sweet home  in George's work shed!
I think they found his wall plugs.
Painting, so far of a farm near Fragny. The farm is traditional of the area with a square tower. It remains largely a farming community here. Centred around the raising of the large white Charolais Cows. We do have a large Dutch community many of their homes are their holiday retreats. The harsh winters has prevents the area becoming too busy. It's still bizarre driving to the shops along magnificent ,yet deserted roads. It's rare to meet an English person although if I hung out in Autun caf├ęs more I guess I'd find allsorts. The summers are long and generally hot. I actually live in one of the highest parts of the park so can be a little cooler.
Ths gosling, Wee Wee is getting bigger. Wee Wee is after the constant  high pitched  cheeping.

Embden geese can be white or brown, the white neck feathers are just showing. Wee Wee could be going either way! I still have eggs incubating in a homemade polystyrene box with a light bulb and a glass of water and thermometer. It has eggs with dates written on and marks so I know which way up the eggs are. I am turning the eggs 3 X a day.

Poppies are still going strong and this is a walnut tree.  

Saturday, 14 July 2012

I have been doing more than one painting at the same time because  I have a feeling this might be  an interesting way to go. As I put these side by side I think working in threes might work well. Not only visually but as a way of trying out a variety of ideas.

Friday, 13 July 2012



I have never grown these before, I think this is a Zinnia. I began doing this post yesterday afternoon as the rain began again. As I am writing we are having more rain. I have slowly come to see the farm not just with areas for growing vegetables but as a place I can indulge my love of flowers, plants and encouraging nature to thrive. I am slowly creating small gardens everywhere. Obviously there are limits to where I can go with the sheep and geese that will eat plants very quickly but with a few fenced off areas I am gradually making my way through brambles, bracken and just generally areas that became dumping grounds. 


I bought a little bar-be-que from a Brocante last weekend. I think it was one  for the workers in the field. It's a bit like the ones you get in those big garden centres and home stores, but it has a lid and a drawer for the ashes.


A moth I found in an upturned flower pot. 

One of the many new flowers I have this year. I bought a tub of seeds for bees and butterflies from Lidl.  Apart from not really broadcasting the seeds very far reaching there seems to be a good variety of plants including a lovely deep red clover and lots of Fleur de Cou Cou. I think these might be Corn
Cockles.




Mullein Caterpillar.

More seeds from Lidl

Our pond has been stripped of weed and all the creatures we once had  are invisible, the 3 ducks have  eaten and scared away whatever there was there. However there are tiny frogs everywhere. It 's a bit disconcerting because I'd hate to be treading on them. I hope they carry on living in my garden although I get the impression they are off on a mission to the lake.



Cerinthe from seed to place in old metal oil drums because are they great hanging out of large pots and provide pollen for bees.I've also got them along the base of the shed around paths. 

Monday, 2 July 2012




My cat with his new collar, courtesy of the brocante. My older cat who is a lot more homely hated  having a collar.This cat found on the roadside with a defunct leg that later had to be amputated is very happy to have a collar. He often stays out all night so I have had to tell people he is mine and a collar helps to let people know he does indeed have a home despite his wild ways.

A small packet of Larkspur and now nearly 4 years later I could have a field of them. I love Delphiniums the electric blue flowers. I have 1 growing out of a packet of seeds and this year I took a cutting after watching Monty Don. Until I establish a colony of Delphiniums I am more than happy with the Larkspur.




A little out of focus but love the design of this butterfly.


I have 3 Indian Running Ducks. They are a little timid at first but gradually  become  more brazen. They eat slugs and require a pen for the night. I have made a small incubator for the eggs as they don't seem to want to sit on their eggs. Here they are in the house. I have a small lean to that houses a vine and various things for gardening and cracked maize. The ducks are in looking for some maize. I talk to them a lot throughout the day and at various times they appear for a bit of a chat. This year while the slugs are a bit busy they are invaluable, they become quite excited by rain as they know there will be lots of free food. It's a bit disgusting seeing their beaks dripping with goo but it saves me dealing with the slugs eating my vegetables. My Dutch neighbour was complaining about how many there were this year and while my French neighbour cut me a lettuce there were 3 hiding under it. So Indian Running Ducks are excellent natural pest control and lovely to have around.