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Thursday, 5 May 2016

Going back a bit and catching up with the garden

I seem incapable of keeping up with my blog - in a way maybe it's a good thing that I have too many photos from too many outings to get around to sharing. Makes a nice change! Truth be told I haven't been in the mood for sitting at the big computer processing photos, and I've been out working in the garden recently and whilst I'm in the mood for that, that comes first.

A few photos of work in progress in the garden:


This has been a nightmare - weeding around my currant bushes, which hasn't been done for about two years and so the creeping buttercups had got everywhere, and there are other plants just inside the fence too which I wanted to keep, so it's taken me hours on my hands and knees hand weeding. But it's now done!


Corner shady bed having a partial revamp.


I've some older photos here I wasn't going to post but I liked the photo of the wren and didn't know how to fit that into another post. So here are a few taken way back in March when we made our annual visit to the Marais de Sougeal, which is a water meadow which is purposefully flooded in late winter and is an important stopping off point for migrating water fowl. As usual all the birds are a long way away, although this time we caught the Marais just as the water was draining and there was a nice selection of birds, and some not as far away as usual. We could also get to the newest hide which is actually inaccessible when the water level is really high - duh to the planning of that one!


There are always a lot of Pintails here.


What was that I said about never seeing Canada Geese here? This is a first I think for us in France. There are abundant in the UK as they have been introduced, but as we are not that far away I guess sometimes they fly over the channel!


I tried to get a bit closer as this is shot from the footpath, but they weren't having any of it and wandered off to safety further away.



Do you spy the distant Great White Egret? We saw a fair few of them this spring; even on the way to the supermarket twice we saw one standing in a field near a lake! And another time we saw a flock of them in a field near a lake, including some flying towards them which was great to see.


Yet this is supposed to be their distribution in Europe! It's the map at the bottom and blue is their overwintering distribution. Now my book is 20 years out of date, but I checked a recent book and it hasn't changed. I'd say they need to update both Little and Great White Egret distributions as they are becoming more and more common here in Brittany.


On the way back to the car we were rewarded with this Wren quite close up, however I only had time for two snaps before it was gone.


Some phone photos here from the day we went out shopping to get me some new 'fat' jeans and trousers - having an impromptu lunch afterwards. I enjoy applying different filters to people and flower photos to get fun effects. :-)






We don't see Herons by the pond as often as we used to - they would hang around often when there were baby Moorhens around as they make great Heron food. This was taken through the kitchen window and is at the far end of the lake.


A baby Blackbird having a preen and demanding food.


A Thrush (Mistle Thrush?) - yup I still can't tell the difference!


In the garden all is pretty now it's blossom time. This ornamental cherry by the pond has looked fabulous but its time is so, so brief.


Another photo given a bit of treatment.


Forget Me Nots - it's their season now and I love how they self seed and appear in amongst other plants with a lovely touch of bright blue.


It's been bluebell time here for a while too and although they are thugs which take over somewhat they are so pretty - here with Euphorbia characias.


Aquilegias are starting to bloom - here with bluebells in the background.


And eating cherries are now in full bloom; with the lovely weather we are having at the moment their blossom looks fantastic.


Here's a little video I took with my phone yesterday. I only discovered there was a video on it recently, when I was looking at a photo I took of my hens and I could swear I saw the hen's bum wriggle. Thought it was my eyesight then I realised I had taken a 1 second video by mistake! Duh, the words Smart, Phone, and Mandy do not go together. :-)


video

I don't know what happened to the quality of that video - I tried to show it larger but the quality is rubbish - yet it views larger on the computer much more clearly. I didn't bother with YouTube but just uploaded directly from my Mac. Oh well. :-( 

I still have moths to share, not to mention a four day MoHo trip....... will try to get it together but as we're off to England next week (and gazillions more photos will be taken) don't hold your breath! :-)

18 comments:

  1. What amazing beauty you have shared with us. My heart and soul sings with the joy I have with you back with the beauty that surrounds you

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  2. Great pictures. How strange that a canada goose would be regarded as a rarity.

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    1. Just the same as a bee eater would be in the UK I guess! :-) They just don't exist in Europe except for where they have been introduced, being a North American species.

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  3. A lovely selection of photos. I haven't any aquilegias out here yet, but like you, have too many weeds to tackle. The Marais de Sougeal looks a great place to watch birds. There are little egrets in the fields here, so it is good to see they're increasing in different areas. I love the baby blackbird - I haven't seen any babies here yet although there's lots of frantic nesting activity!

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    1. Thanks Wendy. I've been working my way around the garden but unfortunately the compost I am adding as mulch is full of weed seeds so a bit of rain and more weeds appear! I can only do so much so not worrying about it too much. :-)

      It's the first time I've seen a baby blackbird for several years - sometimes there are lots of them and other times less so (or the parents keep them hidden).

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  4. The garden is looking great. It's good to see you out and about again.

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    1. Thank you Unknown - I'm enjoying myself more out in the garden now. :-)

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  5. Lovely post and photos, nice to see you out in the garden, surprised to hear you don't get Canada Geese often. We have a Little Egret on the river, at one of the places I visit. Have not managed to see it yet but have got quite excited over white plastic bags and one white duck on the river bank..
    Amanda xx

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    1. Hi Amanda - I'm laughing thinking of you getting excited over plastic bags but I do know the feeling! I hope you get to see one soon. Thank you xx

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  6. Wonderful post and photos Mandy. So good to see you out and about. Your garden is looking very colourful - love the blossom pictures.

    The wetland reserve looks good for birdwatching and interesting to read that you don't see Canada Geese very often. Loved the GWE :)

    Have a great trip to England :)

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    1. Thanks Caroline - I'm really enjoying the blossom and more importantly, my enjoyment level has risen so I can really appreciate this, my favourite time of year, more now. I see C. Geese in England and remember them as common in London parks and they would get quite aggressive when feeding the ducks and would come and nip you to get at the bread!

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  7. Great photos Mandy. I love the little Jenny Wren and your garden looks so pretty. I do love your pond too. I had to chuckle at your 'fat' jeans, i've had to do the same only mine's not through eating more (i wish it was), it's an age thing, or so i'm told. :) You certainly don't look as though you need them though. Have a great time in the Uk.xx

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    1. Hi Deb and thanks! Well age does make us spread, even when I was skinny I was still wider in the hips than I used to be. I have a biker leather jacket from donkey's years ago which I have kept because I love it, but even when at my skinniest I was horrified to see that it would not do up at the bottom as there was a two inch gap where the jacket zip didn't meet up..... :-) I probably needed to put some weight on so I am not beating myself up about it, just embracing the new curvier me. xx

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  8. The garden is looking great Mandy.
    Ah! to see one Pintail would good.

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    1. Thanks Roy - and oh goody. Something I've seen that you haven't :-p lol :-) xx

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  9. I've been reading back the last three posts and enjoying every minute of it! You're having a great time with the camper van. It's a pleasure to see all the varieties of wildlife that you come across. I'm unfamiliar with most of these birds (except, of course, the Canada geese!), and they are just beautiful! I wish I was travelling along with you ;) What a blessing this van has been for you and your husband. Enjoy your further travels!
    Wendy

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    1. Wendy - thanks so much for leaving such a lovely comment. We are in England now with the car, but seeing campervans everywhere and I'm missing ours! Hope to get away for a quick overnighter when we get back, to revisit some fave birding spots - hopefully more butterflies around now too. And yes, it's been the best thing we have done/bought for many a long year! :-)

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