Thursday, June 17, 2021

Honeysuckle in the hedge

I mentioned the other day that chèvrefeuille (honeysuckle) is taking over a section of our hedge out back. Here's a view of that section from outside the back gate. The hedge is composed of laurier cerise (cherry laurel). Mostly. The large oval leaves you see are the laurel; the white and yellow flowers are on the honeysuckle vines that are intertwined with the laurel trunks and stems.

Honeysuckle thrives in this section of the hedge.

We had a doozy of a thunderstorm last night between 01h00 and 02h00. The lighting was blinding and the thunder shook the roof as the storm passed directly above us. We closed all the loft windows. The storm was so intense that it scared Tasha and she ended up on the bed between us, burying her head under pillows. We both rubbed her head to calm her down and, as the storm faded off to the north, she fell asleep against me. Then Bert, who had not come home before bedtime, came into the house meowing just before 02h00. That got Tasha up again. Me, too. I had to go downstairs and close Bert's window and dry him off. I suspect he hunkered down somewhere (maybe under the carport) until the storm passed and then came back in.

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Tasha Tuesday on Wednesday

Tasha's trip to the groomer's went well. She got a bath and a trim and a good brushing. She still needed to be muzzled because she snaps when her hair is pulled by the brush. That's one of the reasons I don't brush her as often as I should. Here she is on Tuesday morning as we headed out for our walk.

Tasha still has a lot of fur. Sheep dogs!

I'm planning a run to the dump this morning. It looks like we might have thunderstorms and rain over night. I'll keep an eye on the forecast. but I should spray the tomatoes with bouillie bordelaise again before that happens. The grape growers were out spraying the past two days and I take my cue from them.

Tuesday, June 15, 2021


A section of our back hedge has been taken over by chèvrefeuille (honeysuckle). Its name (in French) means "goat leaf." I don't know why. I also don't know if the hedge is in danger from the plant. It's fully integrated in the hedge and would be very difficult to remove. It's been there since we moved in eighteen years ago, but there is considerably more of it now than there was then.

Some of the honeysuckle flowers are white and others are yellow.

We'll be taking advantage of our summery spell to cook burgers on the grill today. It's my morning to walk with Tasha so I think I'll take the camera and try to get a good photo of her while she's still relatively clean and untangled.

Monday, June 14, 2021

I'm looking over

A patch of clover. Nothing special about these. They're common plants in the margins of the vineyards out back. And now they're flowering. These are white and the most common, but there are others with purple flowers. Now that I type that, I realize I should have taken a photo of the purple ones.

Vineyard clover at sunrise.

We're enjoying a really nice spell of summery weather. Sunny dry days with high temperatures in the mid to upper 20sC (around 80ºF). The vegetable garden is enjoying it and I'm enjoying watering by turning on the soaker hose. So easy.

Clay court season came to an end on Sunday with Novak Djokovic's expected victory over Stefano Tsitsipas to win the French Open. The Greek started out really well, taking the first two sets, but the Serb came back and dominated the remaining three. Now it's on to the short grass court season, starting today with the Queen's Club tournament in London and the Halle, Germany, tournament.

Sunday, June 13, 2021

Bird ghost

Every once in a while, a bird will mistake the sight line from our deck through the house to the den window for a clear flight path. The problem is that there is glass in the way. Bam! More than one little bird has met its end crashing into the deck windows. Some are lucky and are only stunned for a few minutes before getting up and flying away. The other day the rising sun lit up this imprint of a bird and its wing on the glass.

I don't remember when this bird hit the glass or whether it survived.

Normally I would have already washed these windows as part of our spring cleaning. This year I thought I'd wait until after the deck renovation. Now I don't know when that will happen, so I may just go ahead and wash the windows anyway.

Saturday, June 12, 2021

Blue geraniums

The variety is called "Rozanne." I found them at a nearby farm that offers "pick your own" blueberries and raspberries along with a very large selection of irises. I brought home a few pots of these geraniums and transplanted them into larger pots for the deck. They didn't do very well. One day, I saw them planted in a border in Blois and thought that I should try that. I went to the farm for a few more pots and put them in a triangular bed next to our garden path. They've thrived there for several years now.

The perennial Rozanne geranium is starting to flower now and will continue into the fall.

Tasha is groomed! Boy, does she look a lot better. I'll try to get a photo of her this weekend. And, I'm now fully vaccinated, except for the two-week waiting period after the shot. It feels good to have both those things behind me. So far, I'm not really feeling any side effects, but I expect some will show up in the next day or two.

Friday, June 11, 2021

Grape buds

It's that time of year. The grape vines are about to flower. These are grape flower buds on one of the vines out back. The flowers look to be abundant this year. When they open, they won't really look like flowers as there are no visible petals, just pollen spikes. Shortly after fertilization, the grape berries themselves will form.

These grape buds will open soon, then as the grape berries form and get heavier, the bunch will bend downward.

Today is a busy day for me. Tasha has a grooming appointment. Yay! It's been more than a year since her last grooming and she really needs a shampoo and trim, not to mention a good brushing out. She doesn't like it when I drop her off and the groomer tells me she's not very cooperative, but it will get done.

While Tasha gets groomed, I have an appointment for my second dose of the covid vaccine. It seems like forever ago that I got the first dose (mid-March). The standard waiting period for the AZ vaccine is nine to twelve weeks. I'm coming up on twelve weeks now. Ken gets his second dose next week.

I'm also going to swing by the bakery for some bread while I'm out.