Posted by: kathandroger | April 18, 2010

Nature Boy

I have loved nature since I first saw a bird that wasn’t coughing when I lived as a child in London. Locally there is lots of the nature stuff, and at the moment it is all changing fast. The flowers are showing their true colours at the moment and I have been busy with  lots of photos and cussing when I sat on a stinging nettle whilst getting a snap of a Herb Robert. Today, as usual on a Sunday, we went to Descartes market, and whilst supping the traditional coffee with some Anglaise mates, I heard the unmistakeable sound of the first screaming swifts. These birds are one of my favorites, and really do signify the arrival of summer-they are about the last of  the visitors to arrive and are the first to leave us. They seem to favour the towns and really do make an awful racket, but as they fly so fast the noise has gone in an instant. Talking about noise, the bleedin frogs in the local pond really are winding it up at the moment, and today I had the privilege of fishing in it with the grandson of Guy, the owner. Suffice to say that Maxime, age 9, caught more fish than me. I am sure that the frogs had a good croak each time he caught one!

Changing the subject from frogs, we went to a wine tasting today, and as usual came away with a dozen bottles of expensive plonk. On entering our cellar for the first time in several months, I sent the dog in first to look for the local inhabitant. This is Crappy, the toad. The French for toad is crapeau, but my lovely granddaughter Daisy, when she visited us last year, was really taken with the animal and insisted on visting her daily and giving her a freshly dug worm. That is what I did today, but Crappy seems to have slowed down a bit and took a while before she realised that it was food in front of her. When she did eat the worm, though, it was lovely to see her clean the soil off it with her front paws before scoffing it-what has life come to, I am now watching a toad eat a worm in a damp cellar and think it is the highlight of the day-poor old bugger!

Nature really is a good bit of kit. The Wisteria is out now and I can’t stop myself from talking to it and telling it what a lovely thing it is. It smells lovely, had curves in all the right places, and fills me full of admiration. There used to be something else that did the same thing but I have forgotten what it was.

We planted loads of freshly bought shrubs yesteday and today put the Desiree spuds in the potager. All we need now is a bit of rain and we will be off. I am a bit worried though about all this volcanic ash that is hanging about above us. I don’t want to come down after an overnight shower to find the tates under a foot of Icelandic debris. Next week is possibly the start of my latest erection-the pergola in the top field, but we have also to tart up the front of the house before the summer visitors arrive. It is good to relax!

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