Posted by: kathandroger | September 1, 2019

Is our dog Chicken?

Well it is raining at last. Not real proper rain, but faint drops falling from the sky and enough to make Polly the dog drip all over the kitchen floor. I have not seen the countryside so dry in the ten years we have lived here. The reservoirs are very low and the rivers have little flow. In fact the rivers have affected the fish to the extent that I can no longer catch them, and a little expedition of fly fishing this week only saw shoals of grinning chub and barbel avoiding my inexpertly placed lures. Never mind, this rain may remind them that their duty is to be impaled on a concealed hook!

The last week has been hot again, in the low 30’s, and the trees are beginning to show the first signs of autumn. The chicks are growing fast and Flappy Wings, the mother, has nothing to do with them now, in fact she shoos them off any food we throw to them. Flappy is a very stout character, who raised her brood with great efficiency and then disowned them completely when they were big enough to fend for themselves. Maybe there are a few lessons there. Anyway, one thing she can do is compete with great success with the dog for any morsels of food. Polly is quite greedy herself, but a peck on the nose from Flappy is enough to send her into an instant retreat.IMG_0997

The poor dog has to wait until the chicken has finished! We often say that nervous people are “chicken”, so I guess poor old Polly fits the bill!

And talking of birds, our swallows have been flocking more and more recently. From our little farm buildings, where nearly every outhouse has a nest or two, I have counted over 60 birds on the wires. It is a lovely sight given that they are apparently less common now in the UK. But for some reason, they love to spend a few seconds on the barn roof opposite our house, and there they are joined by flocks of House Martins.IMG_0992 The latter for some reason do not nest here, although I have seen a pair trying to build a nest on one of our barns. Why they should all flock together I have no idea. Maybe the enhanced warmth of the roof is pleasurable, or maybe they just like a cross breed chat.

I was visiting a friend this week in a village a few miles away, and was surprised to find the normally deserted roads full of people and cars, with lots of chaps waving batons about. It was a local professional bike race, the “Tour de Poitou Charentes”, which was taking place over several days in the region. Like a mini Tour de France, with less attention, but still enough to get the French out of their houses and to stand on the roadside to see the fleeting passage of the riders. Lots of local roads were closed, and plenty of tempers raised when workers had to wait until the riders have passed.

There are still lots of old houses which are falling down and neglected in this part of France. Perhaps the most extreme example is this one just across the fields from us.IMG_0987

Yes it really was a nice house some time ago, and has wonderful views over the valley below. I am not sure whether it had a water supply, and there is no sign of electricity, and I think renovation is a bit ambitious. What a pity.

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