Monday, 23 May 2011

Busy week!

Rob with school children
Children at Mediatheque

Yet another busy week behind us. Tuesday we popped in to the Médiatheque to check on things there and found a small group of children in the exhibition space. These four children where sitting on the floor drawing. Three were making  copies of the drawings and another little girl was drawing one of the 'ouvertures' an image of a door frame. They were really very good.

These children were really excited to be photographed with the 'artist' himself. Rob had declined the opportunity to give a talk to the school children but was happy to chat to them when he saw how enthusiastic they were and there were only four the rest of the class were in other parts of the building.

Busy copying a 'master piece'

Covered Spring at the Chapelle de St Antoine

Wednesday we went walking in the Foret de la Motte, just to the east of Bagnoles de l'Orne. We started to follow a circular route and part way around we stopped at the Chapelle de Saint Antoine.

Chapelle de St Antoine

We had been to this little chapel with its well some years ago, parking the car at the top of the hillside path and walking the short distance to the chapel. This time we included it in a longer walk. Again it was a beautiful day and the walk through the forest was ideal as we were in the shade of the trees for the majority of the time.


As we walked along the banks of the river we watched the dragonflies flitting to and fro in the sun, and mating on the branches overhanging the water. 


The grassy sides to the roads are covered with wild flowers including this small orchid.

We also came across a Bay Bolete Mushroom, we normally find these at the end of the summer or early autumn. The books do say they can be found from early summer onwards but we have never found them this early. Bay Boletes are one of the mushrooms we enjoy eating and have found them both in France and in England, often very plentiful.

Resting after our picnic lunch

Cross dates 1624

On our way back we took a side road and came across this  roadside cross. We had seen a similar one just a few kilometers away, but this one is of particular interest as the date carved into the stone is the same date that is carved on a stone we have at the entrance to our house, 1624.

Next to this cross was a notice explaining that it had been erected by Alexis Bignon in thanksgiving for being saved from the plague. So far we haven't  found any more information about this other than what is carved into the stone itself.  The neighbouring farm is called Bigonntierre and it could be on one of the old roads leading to the Mont Saint Michel.  Further research is needed.

Studying the quary

Thursday we drove over to Melle  30miles (48 km) away to the west, to visit family friends, from Yorkshire. After lunch we walked in the nearby woods and visited an old quarry, now disused. However, there is still a stonemason working near by, who had worked in the quarry until it closed. He now works to order for local people. He had just finished a door frame in stone, and was waiting for his client to collect. There is still plenty of granite lying around which he can use and he had produced some really nice work despite working in the open with only a corrugated iron shed for shelter.
Stone masons shelter

Young Swallows

Here at home the birds are busy with their nests and feeding their young. We had a nest of great tits in a hole in one of the walls. The parents were very busy flying in and out with food, and the young were really noisy and then suddenly one day all was quiet - we assume they had fledged while we were out. The sparrows are still busy feeding their young - we have several nesting in the walls. We also have a pair of swallows who are determined to nest, preferably indoors. Whenever we leave a door open in they come, flying around presumably checking out the location and local amenities. In the garage they were found perched on the frame of the hammock, they also like the inside of the cow shed and in this photo were resting on this rake in the 'tool shed/ water pump room'. They have even taken a liking to our kitchen/living room. Could be interesting to have them nest inside, but I fear for the mess and we can't leave the door open all day for them. George I am sure would be happy to share his home with them!

The other morning I spotted a hare walking down the road, yes, walking at a gentle pace down the middle of the road as though he owned the place. We haven't seen him since, but one evening last week George suddenly started hissing at something as he was sitting on the door step, Rob could only catch a glimpse of the animal, and thought it could have been the hare which George was sending on its way.

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