My Forest Pansy tree has had the best colour ever this year. The leaves have stayed on for much longer than the previous couple of years since I planted it, and they've been a much needed blast of autumn colour in a garden which is largely full of natives which don't change to any spectacular colour - and other shrubs which do have nice colour have barely changed yet. So I have taken loads of photos of it and here are a few.... I have even more photos as it gradually turns caramel but they are still on the camera and await my next post.
|Cercis canadensis 'Forest Pansy' at the beginning of October.|
|The yellow perennial was looking good too - |
it has daisy like flowers but I don't know what it is.
|Mid October and the Dogwood (Cornus sanguinea 'Winter Flame') |
in the background was (and still is) looking a nice yellow colour.
|When the sun shines through it from the other side it is just amazing!|
In the veg patch I was amazed at how the ash wood chippings laid down on the paths last autumn suddenly erupted in 'shrooms!
|First these ones popped up....|
|...which I'm pretty sure matured into these ones.|
|And then great swathes of these suddenly appeared!|
|I had to watch my step!|
|Unfortunately I have no idea what either of these species are |
as fungi ID is beyond me.
|Borage in the morning dew.|
|And again in the early evening light.|
|Zephirine Drouhin the rose produced a few late fresh leaves and flowers.|
I spot a tiny spider here too. :-)
|Still no way to close the gate to the veg patch!|
By the way there's an easy way to ID Ichneumon wasps, if you can get a clear photo of the wings that is. I was taught this a couple of years ago and it's been invaluable info. All wasps have a clear 'horse's head' shape in the wing vein pattern (known as wing venation) as can been seen here on this photo in this link.
|An Ichneumon Wasp on my Dogwood - nice matching colours. |
I have never seen one like this before but I don't have the time to try to ID it right now.
One day as I was pottering about the garden, there was a bit of excitement when something largish rushed past me followed by two cats. I had my Canon dslr and macro lens hanging around my neck at the time which I soon found was not ideal when I realised that what I had for a moment thought might have been a moorhen, was actually a Red Legged Partridge and I needed to save it from the cats! (That sounds like I wasn't going to bother saving a moorhen....it's just my badly constructed sentence!) Anyhow there I was yelling at the cats and trying to kick (nicely not hard) them out of the way whilst trying to also hold this heavy pendulous thing swinging around my neck but needing free hands.... luckily I managed to grab the bird but then I needed help.
So there I was wandering around the house with all this by now irritating camera gear around my neck and a thankfully docile partridge in my hands yelling at all the windows for my OH. Finally found him in the living room and he came out of the French windows saying "Why are you walking around with a partridge in your hands?" to which my reply was something like oh for god's sake get this ruddy camera off from around my neck then take the bird so we can go and release it outside the property safe from the cats.... but I had to then grab my other bridge camera because of course I wanted photos. This is only the second time I've seen one since moving to Brittany 10 years ago; the first time was in the cow field on the other side of my veg patch, and as I know from seeing them in the past that they are reluctant fliers, how it had ended up in my fenced in garden I have no idea! We released it in the orchard which wasn't ideal as it ended up in the long vegetation on the banks of the stream, but I didn't want to scare it for longer by walking all the way up the road to an open field. And I did want to get a few photos as this was a rarity for us!
|Red Legged Partridge (Alectoris rufa) being held by my OH.|
|Once released it rushed into the long vegetation.....|
|....where it spent some time looking around then we were kind and left it be!|
Another new bug spotted by my OH was this guy, or gal. I was really lucky because I belong to a facebook insect group and it just so happened that someone had posted a photo of one that day, so that saved me possibly hours of IDing! It is actually a North American species that has only in fairly recent years been found in Europe and is spreading and is considered an invasive species. More about it on Wikipedia here.
|Western Conifer Seed Bug (Leptoglossus occidentalis) on my garden table.|
I love those hind legs!
|Western Conifer Seed Bug (Leptoglossus occidentalis) on my wrist.|
I was amazed last weekend to see more dragonflies and damselflies out mating - seems late in the year. I will never win any awards for my in-flight photos but I still like to try taking them and these are the best of the bunch! I can only get better and it's still good for my records.
|These two are the Western Willow Spreadwing (Lestes (or Chalcolestes) viridis) |
which I'm still seeing around my pond even now.
And to finish up a few cat piccies. I keep meaning to take more photos of them but outside they rarely stand still, or come towards me as soon as they notice a camera pointing at them; the rest of the time they tend to be racing around like loonies or climbing trees.
|Harry looking grumpy.|
|Hallie looking pensive (the bench to the right had fallen over due to wind).|
|And the usual evening let's take over the sofa and Mummy's blankie - |
this time by Bertie and Hallie.
I didn't really want to mix talking about my health with a nice blog post back to the things I love best, but as who knows I may not blog again for a fortnight, I'll add little updates when I have some news. My surgeon finally was in touch last week after days of frustration and worry waiting, and he'd set up a few new appointments for me - finally things moving at last! So Friday I had an echographie (ultrasound) but an up the bum one (lovely jubbly!!) which incidentally was done by the Gastroenterologist who I'd first seen back in July when I was having gut problems..... anyhow we are cautiously optimistic because he said it looked from what he could see that my cancer is at Stage 2 but has not spread to my lymph nodes, and is a bit higher up from the anal sphincter muscle than they had originally thought which is great news. Before getting too excited though I'll wait for the proper results of that, my PETscan from the week before last and the MRI scan which I'm having done tomorrow. Then Tuesday I am seeing an oncologist or radiologist (or are they the same thing)... I am not sure but I'm feeling a lot happier just because things are happening. Waiting around is the worst thing! I will of course keep you posted.
And now I shall be checking out all your blogs and catching up!