Nature report from France


Tuesday, 18th June. The morning began grey and overcast, so we took Tim up the hill towards Fouleix before breakfast. Afterwards Bill chose to cut more grass. We now have fields that look, from a distance, as smooth as a playing field. It’s only when you get up close that the hillocks and dips are apparent, but by then it doesn’t matter because the air around you is full of the scent of mint, which grows wild here. Several varieties, and possibly other herbs that I’m not sure I can identify, though I do recognise oregano when I see it. The heat went up to 33 degrees, according to the forecast, and it was too hot for Tim, who lolled around all day. Taken out for a stroll, he lay down in the middle of the field and watched the world go by. That’s what we did, once the sky had cleared. I swam three lengths and didn’t find the water as cold as yesterday.
Wednesday 19th June. Not sure what was going to happen today – grey clouds again, but it did get out by midday. I swam 5 lengths. Improving every day. Writing another 1,000 words all of them in a storm (ie trap) situation. Bit of a contrast to what we have here, but there is a storm forecast in a day or two. There was lightning last night, but far away, and nothing woke me. I hope when it comes, if it comes, it is nothing like the last one which brought down several trees and at times it sounded as though the mill itself was coming down.
Finished reading Highland Fling by Katie Fforde and enjoyed it so much that I wished I could dip into another volume and read more about the characters.
Thursday, 20th June Today we have run out of milk because Bill forgot to get any in his grocery run on Monday. Will we do without it, or does it mean a quick trip to the St George mini market? Entirely his decision as I hate milk. Can’t stand the smell or the taste.
No storm so far, and I hardly dare say this as it is tempting fate, but not many biting insects either. Maybe it is all the garlic we are eating! I read somewhere that garlic keeps them away, but how true it is I have no idea. I was worried the woods would be silent this year after I read that France had banned all pesticides because birds were dying out. Not here, they’re not. They are singing beautifully all around us. I also feared poachers/hunters had taken the fish but have seen five fine specimens gliding lazily about like mini submarines, surrounded by what must be their offspring in various sizes from an inch to ten inches. They adults are not as curious as they were last year, when they used to swim toward us; now they disappear into the depths at our approach.
Bill put out poison on the ants’ trail and this morning the bolly was littered with dead ones. The little green lizards are about; I hope they don’t eat the dead ants….

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