Saturday, March 23, 2019

23/03/2019 Trying to catch up!

Maximum temperature today 20C, minimum 3C.  Dry. 11 km/h South-easterly winds with gusts up to 21 km/h.
The temperatures drop again on Monday but it looks good for the weekend

Just out for a drive.


Having fun.

The roadsides are yellow with cowslips.

Full moon on the 19th. Handheld photo.

Horses just down the road.

An interesting line up.

Quite fancy the Aston Martin...

Citroën Ami 6 looks like fun...

and this Cortina was apparently on its first run since 1998.

You can just see a tinge of yellow as some of the rape flowers are starting to open, The fields will soon be gold.

A buttercup in the garden.

A wallflower just down the road.

Wednesday night's sunset.

See also my Bird blog 

Saturday, March 16, 2019

16/03/2019 The sun came out this afternoon and look what happened

Maximum temperature today 16C, minimum 8C.  5mm rain measured this morning; as I type this the sun has just come out.  15 km/h South-westerly winds with gusts up to 33 km/h.
The rain will be back tomorrow so the forecast says!!

Bee possibly Halictus scabiosae

Celandine weeds flowers with a tiny bug of maybe the bee family.

More Celandine, with a similar looking insect as in photo 1 but very much smaller.

Bee on the broccoli flowers.

As above.

Red admiral - (Vanessa atalanta). This was a big surprise I did not expect to see a butterfly...

It was on the viburnum tinus...

As above...

It posed so beautifully for me.

Fly on the Bellis perennis...

Also a fly I think but of a different species

Wasp - possibly one of the social wasps which I do not socialise with!

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Impossible to get good photos in this weather so here is a recipe that I invented instead!

Maximum temperature today 12C, minimum 6C.  2mm rain measured this morning; as I type this it is grey, an icy wind blows, and it is very damp.  31km/h North-westerly winds with gusts up to 67 km/h.

I wanted to make a casserole using sweet potatoes, but everything I looked at had masses of sugar in it and I wanted my dish as a vegetable to go with some very nice fish that I had bought  So there was only one answer left, invent my own with no sugar.  Generally, I can never repeat a recipe I make but this was so good that I wrote it down before I forgot!!

Sweet Potato Casserole
4 servings
Prep 15 mins
Cook 1 hour
Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F).

4 cups cubed peeled sweet potatoes
1 tablespoons butter
1 large onion sliced thinly
1 red pepper sliced thinly
About 8 chestnut mushrooms quartered
Optional - 1 small chilli; I used 1 prairie fire chopped.
2 to 3 cloves garlic grated
3 to 4 cms (1 to 1 ½ inches) finely chopped fresh ginger
1 tin tomato pieces
¼ cup chopped dried fruit, such as cherries, dates, raisins or plums.  I soak my fruit first, but mine are home dried so may be drier than bought.
½ cup chopped pecans (optional)
Ground pepper to taste
Pinch salt

Peel the sweet potatoes, chop into about 1.5 cms (½ inch) cubes and put into the bottom of a casserole, which I spray with Colman’s Spray and Cook beforehand to stop sticking.

Put butter into a non-stick frying pan, add onions and pepper, fry gently over a low heat until soft and do not allow to burn.  Add garlic, ginger and chilli if using, toss around for a couple of minutes then add the mushrooms for a few more minutes.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Pour over the top of the sweet potato with the drained dried fruit. 

Pour the opened tin of tomatoes over everything and spread it evenly over the top.  Sprinkle with chopped nuts if using.

Bake with casserole covered for about 30 mins, then remove the lid and cook for a further 25 to 30 mins until the nuts are lightly toasted.

I forgot to take a photo before we eat most of it, but this is what a salvaged before we finished it off!!

Bon appétit.

  • Calories: 262.6   Per Serving

I will be back when I can get out with the camera!!!

See also my Bird blog 

Saturday, March 9, 2019

09/03/2019 Only flowers today - it seems too cold for the insects again

Maximum temperature today 14C, minimum 7C.  4mm rain measured this morning; as I type this we are having a mixture of more rain on and off.  20km/h North-westerly winds with gusts up to 45 km/h.

So far this year we have had 85 mm,  compared to 320 mm last year, and 158 mm in 2017.  We may though have messed up January as we were not here, and we took the reading of what was in the rain gauge on our return which was only 16mm.

The only surviving plant from our trip to Amsterdam in 2015.  I have just repotted it so I hope I have not killed it off now!  Our roofing guy says it looks like 'un lapin' 😉 (a rabbit).

Bergenia cordifolia.






Japanese quince.


Bellis perennis

See also my Bird blog 

Monday, March 4, 2019

04/03/2019 A few odd photos that I missed at the end of last month.

Maximum temperature today 16C, minimum 6C.  4mm rain measured this morning; as I type this we are having a mixture of more rain plus some hail.  31km/h North-westerly winds with gusts up to 77 km/h.   It is very windy outside!

The tiny church down the road from us at Fleurignac has just had a new/restored bell put in after months of being without it.  Apparently, it had a crack.

Around the corner from the church is this old Lavoir.

Our local village of Vitrac, the local well...

as above, the Mairie and the local war memorial...

The Mairie from another angle.

Our last game of French scrabble at Vitrac where this word gave me a winning streak.  Yes, it is in the French scrabble dictionary!!

Out for a drive near Xambes - grape vines...

The town of Xambes - too many wind turbines...

You can see here just how close they are to the town!!  Thank goodness we did not buy a house near here!

A bee in the garden...

as above...

and a bumble bee.

Even a few lizards came out of hibernation for several days before the weather turned cooler again.

Last week we took a trip to the recycling centre here in the Charente.  It was extremely interesting, but because there was lots of info to go with it, which I do not put on the diary, I have put the post on my other blog HERE.

I have updated my bird blog HERE.