I love this place with its layers of song
and the traces of criss-crossing hoof and paw
bird voices calling taking it in turns
to send echoes racing.
I love it as I love Redon colours
the tragic beauty of a Marc
brushed with fingertips never seized
always the onlooker.
We think we own because we have measured
signed papers handed over cash.
Sunlight stretches leaves unfurl
blossom scatters in the wind.
A shower patters, ringing wild garlic bells.
The blackbird looks at me with bright eye,
tugs at a worm.
I watch the world whisk by
in the flash of a white scut.
Walking without leaving chez nous, a few spring flowers.
brimming with gold
silverwater at the roots
such delicate beauty
I took a lot of photos yesterday but the light was too strong and the colours came out lurid. Internet is beginning to get flaky here, erratic and extremely slow so I can’t upload the pictures anyway. This one will have to do for now, colours toned down to near natural.
all this light and growing
in the quiet of birdsong and a distant tractor
chicken-fussing and woodpeckers
we hold our breath
keeping things to ourselves
The deluge ended at the end of the afternoon and the sun came out briefly. I took some photos of the wet. Unfortunately they don’t do justice to the scale. They only show the fast-running water and the deep lakes of it. They don’t show the sound of boots sinking into water and mud at every step, nor that the ditches are too wide to jump across and too deep to wade across. Fierce weather! It’s raining again…
This is the water running down the ditch outside the barn,
spilling over into the path that leads down to the bottoms
into another very fast-flowing ditch
along the willows.
The stream stayed within its banks at this point though it has carried away the dam made when the woodpecker’s tree was blown down. Just a part of the trunk is left.
There is now no culvert. The tufts of sedge mark where the path should cross the stream, which now flows straight over and cascades down the other side.
Between the ditch and the stream a lake is forming. Too deep to wade across in places.
It’s a lovely natural milieu, but it won’t stay like this. The farmers upstream will have dammed up the source of the stream and it will dry up completely if the summer is as dry as last year. There won’t be a drop of drinking water for the wildlife, nothing for the trees. The frogs will do whatever frogs do when their water source dries up, and the ducklings, well, I don’t know what will happen to them.
There are natural events and environments. Sometimes they get a bit out of hand, like at the moment, but everything goes back into its bed eventually. The willows were planted along the bottoms almost a hundred years ago because there is always water there. Except that often nowadays, when the maize or the sugar beet takes priority, there isn’t. It’s when we tamper with things that lasting damage occurs. I’m hoping for at least a bit of rain over the summer.
This is a new one on me. Buddha’s Hand lemons. The man on the local market has been growing and selling these weird looking things for fourteen years. No juice but very perfumed. I can vouch for that. I must say they make my flesh creep a bit. Like dried sea anemones.
I needed some thyme for the salad this lunchtime and thought I’d snip some from the bush in the ground rather than from the pots. I found an entire black and green whipsnake skin wound around the thyme, behind the pots and disappearing into a crack in the wall. I pulled it all out—exactly four feet of sloughed snake skin.
I suspected a whipsnake lives under the house, having seen one zipping under the walls several times, and while I was measuring the skin, one of its children popped out to have a look, so I guess I was right.
The old editor posts tiny pics…
My garden is essentially herbs. There are always geraniums and roses, but until we find a way of breaking up the soil, the ‘garden’ will remain essentially herbs, mainly in pots, a few tentative attempts in the soil.
We had a similar problem with soil in Bordeaux in that the house had belonged to a painter (and decorator) and the soil was saturated with chemicals and broken glass as well as a pets’ graveyard. Very little (and no herbs) would grow in it. At least here, once we manage to get stuff into the ground, it thrives.
In front of the sorrel is a pot of something I can’t name, like chives but with flat leaves.
Rhubarb, basil, bay and a feeble specimen of parsley (and Trixie doing her claws on something).
Hyssop and sage.
Parsley, thyme and origano.
Rosemary and honeysuckle and more sage.
Different types of sarriette and rosemary.
Sarriette and a sage cutting planted in the ground.
More thyme and honeysuckle.
One of the two intensive care units.
We eat nasturtium leaves in salads.
and the chives that are everywhere and I forgot to photograph….