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Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Summer (and a snake!)

*Warning: Grass snake photos further down*

Summer mark IV has arrived. I know that because it's the fourth time it's actually got hot enough to get into shorts this year! It doesn't look like it's going to last so we need to make the most of it. My brother arrived yesterday so the BBQ is out and we're off to the coast tomorrow - back to Port Mer which I featured on this blog recently, just hopefully this time with sun! I'd like to try the other coastal footpath which leads back towards Cancale as we've done the path towards Pointe du Grouin several times now. Plus moules frites of course!!

In the garden the pond level has now dropped below the overflow so no more sounds of running water, and already I see the lawn is stressed in places and I've had to start watering some of the plants and veggies which need more water than others (notably lettuce which I don't want to bolt just yet and my hydrangeas, which droop at the drop of a hat), but for the moment it is worth it and there are so many butterflies about now and it's just a joy to see blue cloudless skies after so much gloomy weather.

Here's a photo of a Peacock butterfly that I took yesterday on a Coneflower, with my Perovskia forming a lovely blurry bluey-purple background. It just shouts 'summer' to me.

Sunday was a beautiful day and we went to a 'Summer Garden Party' thrown by some friends who live not far from here. They'd really gone to town with fun games for everyone to play, a garden treasure hunt and even a proper fairground stall with games. I'm sure my friend won't mind me putting her Youtube link of the photo compilation here so you can see what we Brits/Anglais/Limeys/Poms (whatever you like to call us) who live in France get up to. I took some of the photos (notably the landscape, floral and butterfly ones that appear dotted about between the people shots) but I do appear in one of them here - about halfway through I think. I'm in a yellow teeshirt eating cheesecake, which I'd made. I'm good at both the eating and the making of that.

My OH is the one in the checked shirt who was supervising the air rifle target shooting competition. I'm sorry the video is appearing quite small - I've no idea how to make it bigger and I'm not given an option here in Blogger. (Edit: Duh! You just click on the bottom right squares and it comes up full screen. My photo is at 1 min 49 secs)

So now the pretty summer things have been dispensed with, onto the other reason for this blog post. Please don't scroll down further if you have a problem with seeing pictures of snakes. It's 'only' a grass snake and totally harmless, but I'm well aware that many people can't bear to see them so I think it only fair to give a warning.

My OH went to put the chooks and ducks to bed a few nights ago and discovered a grass snake curled up in the grass next to the duck shed! I rushed outside and took a number of photos. Had to try with flash as well as the light level was rather low by 9pm - but the real colour of the snake is more like the photos without flash.

These snakes are quite common although we haven't seen one for a number of years here. They like water and have been seen swimming in our pond!

Finally, after the poor thing had decided that being a top photo model was really rather boring, it suddenly slunk off through a gap in our cobbled together duck 'n' chook sheds. First into the chicken shed where Snowy started clucking at it (the others were already up on the perch ready to go to sleep), then found another gap and slid through into the duck side. I haven't seen it since so hopefully it found another gap to exit or came out during the following day.

Funnily enough I find this photo more disturbing than any of the others showing its face! And no, I'm not scared of snakes!


  1. How come there's no photo of you in your shorts? I miss that coot arse Mme Moorhen.

  2. Hi Ian, long time no see! I wouldn't put me in shorts on my blog, that's for sure!
    Carl - is the :-( because you really want to have snakes in the garden and you are sad that you don't? They are fun, so long as they are grass snakes and not adders - I certainly wouldn't have got so close to take photos of one of them!

  3. Let your grass grow Carl - I get loads of snakes here. Jack the dog has, thankfully, stopped bringing them in the house. And pigs hate them so you won't get any near Dennis.

  4. You must live in paradise. For real. That is one awesome snake, too!

    1. Well not exactly paradise Andree but it's lovely. Thanks!