When Colin went out to close the shutters the other evening he called me to come and look at the sky. Just as the sun was setting it was possible to see Venus to the left of the crescent moon. I managed to capture the images below:
I went out to take a photo a few minutes later when the sky had darkened a little but of course because the light had faded my camera couldn't cope.... I know that feeling!
Since the beginning of December our large patch of garden has not had a new mole hill...
Great; I thought I was winning the battle! After extensive trapping and gassing, the moles had finally got the message and moved on... Especially when Elizabeth took these two photos of another house in the village.
They obviously had a plentiful supply of worms and what does that bring!!! A mole attack. They have my sympathy and I hoped my moles.
Think again Colin! Yesterday morning I was greeted with three new mole hills and by evening another had erupted despite my efforts with the gas. So last night it was out with a trap and this morning it had been sprung but alas no mole.
One battle may have been won however the war continues and the moles are back. I am ready for you moles... Bring it on...
Earlier this week spotted a lone Cirl Bunting (Emberiza Cirlus) scavenging around under our bird feeders. This charming relative of the Yellowhammer is rare in the UK and has a RED status with the RSPB. In France it is known as Bruant ziza, is more common and from the limited information I have read has a Local Status... We have never seen one before and enjoyed watching it.
Interestingly we had many Bramblings last year scavaging where the Cirl Bunting was spotted. This year we have only every seen one. Was this because of the mild start to the winter and they didn't bother migrating this far south?
Our local birds should be the fattest around. Since January 8th they have eaten between them 5 kg peanuts, 5kgs Niger seeds, 5kg Sunflower seeds, 30 Fat balls, 3kg local bird seed, 2 kg millet and several of Elizabeth's failed Gluten Free breads. Thank goodness the better weather is coming!!!
We went over to see our friends Jim and Pauline at Le Grand Pressigny yesterday and took advantage of the lovely, spring-like weather to go for a walk (more of this tomorrow).
Among the things Jim pointed out to us was the Nympheum, which is set within the walled park of Le Grand Pressigny's chateau.
Sadly the building had been left to deteriorate until it was little more than a ruin. Emergency work began five or six years ago in an attempt to save this important architectural feature.
As the above photo shows, the initial work has not been altogether sympathetic to the building but in fairness it was an emergency measure!
Originally "nympheum" referred to a natural grotto dedicated to a water nymph. In later times they became part of the itinery of walking round the chateau park - a refreshing place to rest in the shade. Due to the bucolic nature of the surroundings they became a favourite place for amorous encounters.....
The Nympheum has yet to be accurately dated but research suggests it is reasonable to assume it was constructed at the beginning of the second half of the sixteenth century. The family arms belonging to the Savoie-Villars are on the keystone of the cupola and the medallions on the facade. The last heir to the family sold the domain in 1627. It is one of the earliest sites of this type to have been partly excavated in the Centre region.
Excavations at the site have revealed a complex water system which is fully explained here and evidence of this can be seen outside the Nympheum
The Nympheum was one of many fascinating points of interest on a really enjoyable walk!