Sunday, 30 September 2012


Last week was spent on holiday in Burgundy, so we missed the vile weather during which twice the local 10-year average rain in my garden for September fell. We also missed the ploughing match.
We did get into Chalon sur Saone on Sunday to the superb market there
This mural on a wall overlooking the market took my fancy - clever stuff, but can you imagine the fuss if someone did this in St Margaret's??

This ragged Speckled Wood caught my eye back at the Gite
Later we cycled along the canal to Grangy, a very pleasant ride indeed with this wonderful display of flowers to enjoy. The lads along on the left-hand side were angling from the towpath, and were pleased to show me the Catfish they had caught, it was about a foot long, and UGLY. When we returned they stopped us and showed me the 2 more they had caught - small ones apparently, they go to several pounds in that stretch of the canal

 Back at the ranch this Jay was busy burying grub for the winter

and this character was skulking in the apple trees, more of it in the next blog

This Nuthatch was also difficult to get any sort of view

Next day we went off into the Jura, whereupon it clouded over and rained, but we shall be back, it's super. I fancied finding a Wryneck or something, but St Margarets was the place for them - see Tony Morris' blog

We stopped in Louhans on the way back, lovely arcaded street

and this superb glass in the church, the fishes were so full of movement, stunning

A view of that church from across the river bridge, with a hint of the coloured mosaic tiling glistening in the after-rain sunlight

Back in Dracy, another church to admire

Next day we walked into the vineyards where the Vendange was about to finish, pickers been at it non-stop for 8 days with 2 to go according to one picker I spoke to. Luckily he was Dutch and, of course, spoke excellent English!

In the grass at the edge of the path were occasional Clouded Yellows, superb insects

Back to the gite for a glass of fizzy wine before dinner, and more in the next post folks, with 2 suprises

Friday, 7 September 2012

uploading pictures a pain

Hooray, at last, after several days I am able to upload pictures again, dunno why there was a prob
Anyway I almost forgot why I got these pics ready
First of all, watch this space, these bits of timber I have rescued for recycling will one day be a rocking horse for Neve, unlikely thought isn't it?

 some progress so far with the head, best part is using my collection of vintage woodworking tools on the project - the brace and tin of bitts was my grandfathers 

precious possesions as you may imagine
This is only the second Painted Lady I seen this year, and the first for our garden, it's recently emerged and in good condition, wonder if it will make it back to Morocco?

Now here's something to ponder - Setacious Hebrew Character (stupid name, why not Bristly Letter?)is a species of moth which is usually around in the late summer, as many as a few tens each night in the trap, most was 141 in Aug 2008

 this year there are unprecdented numbers, crammed into the eggboxes - my theory is that the cool and wet encouraged the larva and there have been too few little birds to eat them up! There were 243 in Wednesday nights catch

 I was around the South Foreland Valley and cliffs Tuesday morning ( I said I hadnt been able to upload pics for ages) and there was this dramatic sunshine pic to make, complete with Swallows

also around was this Spotted Flycatcher
 and the Saga Ruby
 I also found this Whinchat
 hanging out with this Wheatear
Shortly afterwards I found a small bird in the edge of the Linseed, it dashed up and low over the seed heads like a Dunnock and down into the first tramline. I stepped over into the same tramline and there it was, a pipit, no eyestripe, no streaking on the chest and neck, just plain creamy white with a tiny  flush of pinky red, only in view for about 15 toc 20 seconds but by my reckoning a Tawny Pipit, what a star sighting!
More mundane but nevertheless interesting was this first for my trap here, a Bordered Gothic,(which is wrong, it is indeed a Feathered Gothic, and not new!!) not really rare etc but as a first for me, beautifully spectacular. Its still a beautiful moth tho'