Posts Tagged judas tree

Buds, Blossom, Badgers and Bats

Well, ‘cats’ actually but the alliteration didn’t work.  No bats to see here although there will be plenty swooping about at night soon.

In between waiting to sew up the side seams of my jumpsuit (see last post) which, I must say, looks very good on the hanger and waiting for my silver rivets to arrive from Japan(!) so that I can show you the finished jeans which I think might actually fit me, I took my phone with me on our dog walk this morning.  I keep meaning to take it with me as our garden is very steep and some can’t be seen from the house so I wonder how long I would be lying up there with a broken ankle or something with the dogs, taking advantage of my supine position, trying to eat me before anybody realised I was missing.

Anyway, here are some pretties.

Leon likes to come with us but cries if we go too far.

White lilac about to burst forth

Likewise one of our many Iris

Pretty apple blossom – though the apples are never up to much.  A bit blurry but I do have two dogs on leads so not too bad really

We’ve only ever had one quince from this but there are lots of blooms this year so perhaps we’ll get more.


Our Judas Tree about to bloom

but even though the grey lichen looks pretty against the purple, sweet pea-like flowers,

I don’t think it bodes well for the tree.

Leon likes to have a little rest half way round.

There have been lots of piles of poo and holes dug around the place and after weeks of thinking the wild boar were coming further down the hill to dig up roots because of the very dry winter we’ve had, Mr. Tialys spotted this on the hillside at the top of our garden.

It’s a badger sett.  Notice the pile of earth they’ve moved out and it looks like the doorway has a lintel across it which is formed by a rock they’ve obviously dug under.

I must take myself up there one mild evening with a book and sit and see if I can spot any .  How exciting if I got to see one or even a family group.

I won’t take the dogs with me and the sett is the other side of the fence we’ve put up to keep the dogs in a smaller area so they shouldn’t be bothered by them.

                                                   Photo taken from the British Ecological Society here

Although, I’m a bit worried about my hedgehogs that usually snuffle around in the evenings a bit later on – I think they can become Badger food.

This is a bit closer to the entrance but I didn’t want to go too close in case I caused any stress.

 

There is an informative blog post on the subject here if you think you might have badgers living close to you.

See – I do go outside sometimes 😎

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Walkies

WARNING: Photo Heavy and mainly of dogs, cats and plantlife – look away now if you are here for knitting/crochet/sewing/baking.

When Alys at ‘Gardening Nirvana‘ recently compiled a video of the lovely plants in her Californian garden, I commented that we didn’t grow cultivated sweet peas (she has lots and lots) but we do have wild ones up on the hillside and she said she’d be interested in seeing some of my garden so I took my camera with me on the morning dog walk and, even though the wild sweet peas aren’t in bloom yet and we are desperate for rain, here it is now in mid-April in S.W. France in the midi-Pyrenees.  Our garden is very large and very steep and terraced.  We only plant up the first couple of terraces – the rest we keep brushcut but only lightly so that it is a haven for insects and birds. ((Note, the use of the word ‘we’.  It should really be ‘he’)

Sometimes one of the cats accompanies us …….

….and sometimes one of the dogs spots it

He should have paid attention to the notice!  I put this here at the top of the garden to prevent people thinking it’s a public footpath although it doesn’t always work.

This Judas Tree has been quite spectacular in previous years but seems to be getting a bit old now and the purple flowers are a bit more sparse.  You can see it from Montségur which is on the green mound just underneath the highest snowy peak opposite.  The Château de Montségur is famous as the last Cathar stronghold, which fell after a 10 month siege in 1244.   A field below the hilltop castle is reputed to be the site where over 200 Cathars were burned alive, having refused to renounce their faith.  It’s quite a climb up to the ruins but the views are amazing and it gives me the opportunity, when my heartbeat has returned to normal and I can speak again, to say                                 ‘you can see our house from here’.

Back on our walk – Flo usually leads the way.

I keep Stan on the lead on the way up, and Flo on the way down, otherwise they tend to run off together and make mischief – which usually involves fox poo and a wash down afterward.

Taz is our old boy who usually brings up the rear.

Somebody has made a little monument.  I don’t know who as we don’t walk on the public footpath and it is rare to see anybody else up here.   The hunters come through in the season but I can’t imagine them faffing about with something like this.   I like to think it’s a secret admirer who has found an ‘L’ shaped rock and placed it as a little message to me.  Actually, I hope not as that would be beyond creepy.

Although the wild sweet peas aren’t out yet, the wild orchids are.

Back down through the garden gate now and the ball game can begin.

Though somebody is only interested in the newly turned out compost bin contents.

I love this viburnum which, soon, will turn white and look like lots of little snowballs.

Phlox does very well here and this is growing over one of our many dry stone walls.

A beautiful tree peony being photobombed by Flo.

The chooks in their lilac bower.  This is just one of many lilacs we have and the scent in the late evenings and early mornings is lovely.

A tiny yellow rose growing up another stone wall on our terrace.  It blooms its little heart out for ages and, if we’re lucky, we get a second flush of flowers a bit later on.

Just in case you were worried about Leon.

He made it down the tree and back down the garden safely.

He’s not a year old yet and not a large framed cat and I couldn’t understand why he has such a saggy tum.

After a bit of research I discovered that some cats are genetically prone to something called a ‘primordial pouch’.  This is meant to protect their internal organs from damage in a cat fight and also provides extra space to stuff with food in times of shortage.  It also gives them more leeway to bend and stretch .  That’s something new I’ve learnt and also saved money by not buying special diet food from the vet.  So, if you have a cat that looks a bit saggy underneath, this may well be the reason.  I wonder if the same principle can be applied to muffin tops.

I’m not fat – it’s my primordial pouch.

 

Last but not least – the first poppies are opening.

How’s your garden doing at the moment – is it too dry like ours or are you having too much rain?  Are there plants you would really like to grow but aren’t suited to your soil or climate?  I would love some foxgloves but they wouldn’t grow well here

 

 

 

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