Welcome to the visual diary for August, the height of summer here…
From The Forest
A renard (fox) has been caught eating Mina’s cat biscuits during
the night. Migratory birds, identified with the help of a book
and CD with call sounds as Guêpier d’Europe, have been circling
overhead – like stealth aircraft they are incredibly swift.
Due to recent rain the river that supplies water for the garden
is running well and is filled with tadpoles and tiny frogs. The
field that marks the entry to the forest path that leads to the dam
is now very overgrown and prickly as the wandering Spanish cows are
just below us this year, instead of mowing the surrounding ‘lawns’.
The bedroom is host to the largest spider so far, the Eresus niger,
and she is a powerful huntress as she dashes after her prey…
In The Garden
Intense heat, high winds and the odd storm…
August 14th. Currently harvesting: Potatoes (Samba, Charlotte, Agatha,
Mona Lisa), onions, courgettes, cucumbers, cornichons, tomatoes, beans,
coco rose, coriander seeds, basil, fennel seeds, carrots, one red
capsicum, nigella seeds…
Sunday August 18th. The Cavaillon melons are looking very healthy
and growing rapidly, as the strawberries attempt another small spurt
and the courgettes slow. The climbing beans are ready as dwarf beans
finish and the menu changes to accomodate them, along with the
tomatoes that are ripening each day – green zebra, noire de Crimmée
and two sizes of cherry tomatoes, as well as pear shaped varieties.
Sitting in the garden writing, there are snippets of Catalan floating
through the air as cyclists pass – a regular Sunday feature, they
gradually climb the mountain and then descend at high speed. The day
could not be more perfect, starting fresh and calmm. Mina is sprawled
on the table next to me, under the shade of the pergola, which is now
hung with courges de Siam in flower. The air is filled with flying
creatures glistening in the light…
Exploring The Region
Sunday 4th July, l’Albère annual village fête and communal
lunch on the lawn of the mas, followed by a classical recital
by Louis and Suzanne Durieux.
August 14th. Vivaldi’s Quatre Saisons was performed for the
opening night of the Lyric Festival in a nearby village. Scheduled
to be held in the cloisters, the concert was moved into the
magnificent 12th Century church due to rain. The festival concluded
with traditional chants from Corsica.
We concluded the month with a Baroque concert in the chapel of
the impressive Vauban fort, Bellegarde.
The days leading up to Célestine’s birth were spent in Spain,
bathing in the warm waters of the Mediterranean (and pool) and
enjoying the view of the national park, lit by the full moon,
in this period a rare ‘blue moon’.
On The Menu
Examining a caterpillar that escaped its jar – that of the Machaon butterfly. Plants on the bergerie terrace thrive…