Thursday, December 02, 2021

Again with the corn?

When will it end? The short answer: today. The long answer: I don't have any more photos of the corn. I will, however, let you know when the two plots are harvested, or at least cut down.

I think the little corn plants are kind of pretty. The colors are subtle, but they're there.

Looks like a messy weather weekend is forming up. Freezing morning temperatures will give way to warm (ish), rainy days. Great dog-walking weather. Not.

Wednesday, December 01, 2021

The nose knows

Or at least it seeks to find out. Some deer (I think) ripped this ear of corn off its stalk and enjoyed a meal or two of fresh corn kernels. The cob is in the dirt road not far from a stand of corn out among the grape vines. Just as I took the photo, a certain canine stuck her nose into the shot (second photo).

Corn cob as art. Second attempt, sans dog.

This morning's low temperature at the house is about 9ºC (about 48ºF). Compare that to yesterday's low of just below freezing. We should be having some rain this morning as the warmer system moves through. According to the radar, it's just about here as I type this (06h45).

I smell deer breath!

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Ear in the husk

This ear of corn is still attached to its stalk, but it's been opened and the kernels have been nibbled. I'm thinking chevreuil (roe deer). They're tall enough to stand next to the stalk and easily reach the ears.

This ear didn't get very big, but it provided a couple of tasty, I'm sure, mouthfuls to some deer.

Another day starting out at freezing, or a little lower depending on where you stand. Yesterday I sawed some more old grape vine trunks for the wood burner, and I burned a good deal of them. I may be out there again today to do some more.

I'm planning a market run to the nearby town of Montrichard on Friday. I want to check out our poultry vendor's calendar for the holidays so we'll know when to place our order for the Christmas bird and when, and where, to pick it up. This year is tricky because Christmas Day falls on Saturday, the day of the regular market here in Saint-Aignan (our poultry vendor does both markets each week). I'm sure it's fallen on a Saturday before, but I don't remember the details of how that affected the market schedule.

Monday, November 29, 2021

You scratch my back...

These are cynorhodon (rose hips) from the églantier (wild or dog rose), common along the edges of the vineyard road and woods around us. They provide a nice touch of red this time of year. According to Wikipedia, a common name for these is gratte-cul (butt scratcher). Apparently, the fibers inside the hip cause an itchy rash when they come into contact with human skin. Who was the unfortunate one to find that out first, I wonder?

You are advised not to rub these on your backside. Or any other side.

We're down to freezing again this morning. At least the precipitation seems to be over. Until Wednesday, when a warmer system is expected. December will be coming in like a... uh... goat?

Sunday, November 28, 2021


One of the vineyard parcels that was torn up recently has now been plowed. Except for a strip leading to the pile of grape trunks in the middle. Interesting. Will the trunks be taken away? Burned between now and spring? Who can say?

There's an even bigger parcel on the left that hasn't been plowed. But the trunks are gone.

Lunch plans for today's hachis parmentier (shepherd's pie) have been modified. Ken's making a lamb and barley soup instead. He also put away enough lamb to make a curry and a tajine (spicy north African stew) in the coming days. The soup is going to get a lot of stuff out of the freezer, so that's good. And with our chilly, windy, and showery weekend, the soup will be a perfect meal.

Saturday, November 27, 2021

Soggy Saturday

It rained last evening. This morning, the stars and the waning moon shine brightly as gusty winds whirl around us. Everything is wet outdoors.

Things you don't see in the field: those barely visible filaments of spider silk.

The good news is that, so far, our central heating boiler has not blown out. We'll keep and eye on it through the day, but I'm hopeful that the problem has indeed been fixed. Cross my fingers, spit on the ground!

Friday, November 26, 2021


Corn stalked, that is. They still stand, in this parcel and in another larger one. I've seen a few cobs on the ground nearby, stripped of their kernels. I guess it's wildlife. Deer? Boar? Badgers? No idea.

These are pretty spindly corn stalks. They don't get irrigated, except by nature.

Another Thanksgiving has come and gone. Our leg-of-lamb meal was a success and there are plenty of leftovers. I think the plan for today is sliced cold lamb with Ken's home-made mayonnaise. An hachis parmentier (shepherd's pie) is likely over the weekend. And who knows what else? Ken took some photos of the meal and put them up on his blog today.