Panier of Plenty

May 2015

Welcome to the visual diary for May…

Ist May. St Ferréol. A jour férié, calm and warm for a local picnic with sangria, accordion music, flamenco demonstrations and then a castell…

Castell, L'ermitage de St Ferréol

Castell, L’ermitage de St Ferréol

The youngest on stage

The youngest on stage

A misty start to the day

A misty start to the day

Tuesday 5th May. I have decided that May is the prettiest month again. The air is scented with orange blossoms, jasmine and honeysuckle. Wild thyme, lavender, cistes, broom and clusters of pink flowers cling to the rocks. Wisteria, wild roses and little lanterns dangle from my favourite villa’s fence as I explore the side-streets. The grass is so thick and green (before it turns golden) and there are more wildflowers at this time of the year than any other. Mornings are misty and days so pleasant – not too hot. Evenings are almost balmy, and as I surveyed the surrounds from the terrace this evening, neighbours were playing pétanque in their garden. Birds have started picking ripe cherries on the tree I look out on – it is laden. All the trees in town and the forest are now refreshed and covered in leaves, or flowering and fruiting: the giant acacias along the road; elderflowers or sureau are in bloom; the giant horse chestnut trees (or marroniers) are magnificent and the wild chestnuts have finally burst into life. Wild poppies are abundant. Vegetable gardens are taking shape as tomato stakes go up and rows of new plants appear. In my little potager, the potatoes I planted a few weeks ago have just broken though. I added lettuces today and will start to put seedlings in, without worrying to much about aesthetics. I was so determined to clear every stone and I can see it is not necessary…

Wildflowers

Wildflowers

Clinging to rocks

Clinging to rocks

7th May. The chambre d’affinage is filling quickly with tommes. The goat’s milk is at its peak as recent rains ensure ‘fresh spring pastures’…

Tommes aging

Tommes aging

9th and 10th May. In Cerdagne for the weekend…

Latour de Carol

Latour de Carol

The Carol river

The Carol river

Snow melting quickly, 28 degrees

Snow melting quickly, 28 degrees

Blossoms and lilac

Blossoms and lilac

Horse chestnuts in flower

Horse chestnuts in flower

Friday 15th May. Storms are causing havoc and I have just surveyed the damage on my terrace – an icy gale force wind has nipped at all the new growth and snapped many delicate stems… the eerie light this morning foretold its arrival. I erected makeshift splints for the seedlings I have just planted in my potager ‘up the mountain’, hoping they will withstand the tempest.

Breakfast view

Breakfast view

Canigou

Canigou

Light changing

Light changing

Fresh snow!

Fresh snow!

A cool snap, Canigou, 19th May.

Célestine's birth rose in flower

Célestine’s birth rose in flower

On the menu:

Radish, orange and fennel salad

Radish, orange and fennel salad

Gâteau de courgette

Gâteau de courgettes

10th May. Market Puigcerdà: cherries, apricots and watermelon. Fresh rainbow trout – fished from the river Carol that runs down from the mountains of Andorra.

12th May. Pork chops, fresh from the goat farm… the whey from cheese making goes directly to pigs… “I know where dinner comes from”.

Cherries in abundance

Cherries in abundance

19th May. Stopped at an orchard on the way home. Céret is famous for its cherries and the variety burlat, the first to arrive.

'Bigalise' cerises

‘Bigalise’ cerises

26th May. Another variety, as Céret prepares for the annual cherry festival this weekend…

Markets stalls...

Markets stalls…

Producer's display

Producer’s display

Ikebana demonstrations

Ikebana demonstrations

Fridge magnets

Fridge magnets

Colours of Céret

Colours of Céret

Sunset from terrace, 30th

Sunset from terrace, 30th

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: