In the Bleak Mid-Winter-Not!

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So I know I’m not the first to say it, but this these last two months have been incredibly mild. The sun has shone and there has been much talk of the dangers of late sun. The clear skies have meant a succession of the most gorgeous sunsets. The day time temperatures reaching, on a fairly regular basis 20 degrees and certainly often 17. Although just as often falling rapidly at night and we have had a good few night time frosts.




Processionary Caterpillars

We have made the most of it with plenty of country walks, because, as the local “paysanne” never tire of saying “we will pay later.” The cows and calves and the sheep are still out in the fields when it’s long past the time when they would have been taken indoors to protect them from the extremes of the weather. The catkins (chatons i French, sweet huh?) are hanging like fat hairy caterpillars on the branches and the fat hairy caterpillars (processionary caterpillars) are still marching when they should be sleeping.



The Ransomes is already well above ground, the daisies are out and the gorse is in flower.




I can remember years when by December it was already so cold that the rain froze as it hit the ground turning the ground into sheets of ice and as evening fell you could see the fingers of thick frost creeping across the road from the frozen gulleys. When the waterfalls stood frozen in mid flow. I have never on the other hand known a year when we have been able to celebrate Guy Fawkes night outside coatless, or in the case of my son, in a T-shirt.( but the habits of 14 year old boys are not of course those of the rest of the population!)

I look forward to continuing to make the most of it, but snow can be seen on the higher mountains in the distance and a wind came up today that hinted at the possibility of an approaching chill. We shall see.












A Walk in the Woods


The wonderful weather continues, even if it is a little late in the day for the local tourist industry.

A walk in the woods is a delight. This time of year is always great for wild food but I have never seen so many medlars.

It appears to have been  bumper year for he wildlife as well and there is a group of 17 wild boar (a sounder apparently) at large, who have already severely injured 3 hunting dogs. (Although I do wonder which hunter had time to count them and still not succeed in shooting any!) Hunters are behind every tree, it can certainly make you jump when strolling thorough the woods to hear someone calling your name and then suddenly appear from behind a tree wielding a gun…

It also makes me smile when you’re driving to the baker’s on Sunday morning and greeted along the way by more gun-wielding men dressed in fluorescent jackets, certainly wouldn’t have happende in St Albans!

Another bonus at the moment are the glorious sunrises and sunsets, I am taking my camera with me everywhere, don’t want to miss another beautiful moment.