Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The snow missed us

But we don't miss the snow. The north of France got hit pretty hard, according to the news. Serious accumulations (for France) have snarled traffic, stopped trains, and grounded airplanes. Here in Le Centre, we only got heavy mist mixed with a few flurries.

A rouge-gorge (European robin) pecks for seeds on our deck. The photo's a bit blurry because I was using the telephoto lens without a tripod.

This morning we woke up to about -3ºC (around 26ºF). The air is cold, but the ground is still warm so the puddles are not frozen. They're predicting mornings below zero for the next few days, but the weekend is supposed to warm up again.

In other news, I went to the supermarket yesterday morning. As I was shopping, I kept hearing a rooster crow, and rather loudly.

It turns out there were two live roosters in a chicken coop at the front of the store. The chicken coops/hen houses are for sale; I assume the roosters are on loan. Fortunately, for the roosters, the store's poultry counter was well stocked.


  1. We went to the local garden centre at the weekend and there were half a dozen chickens running around inside the shop. They were there to advertise the fact that the shop now sells chicken coops and all the other accessories needed to keep chickens, but they had got loose and were running around leaving a mess everywhere. Keeping chickens is becoming fashionable I think.

    Your picture of the robin is lovely.

  2. As a child I remember we had chooks. One of my favorites, Hetty was her name, took the habit of laying her eggs in the outdoor dunny. I'm sure this was to the amusement of our nightman that picked up the "can".
    It reminds me of an Aussie saying, "I feel as flat as a s@#tcan carriers hat" Oops!!! Sorry.
    Leon - not Sue

  3. Lovely robin picture... feels quite summery!
    Tip.. when using a telephoto without tripod...
    shutter speed needs to be more than focal length...
    250mm... 1/300th sec minimum speed.
    Not often a problem in good light like this...
    but means increasing the ISO speed of the film, sometimes drastically, in low light conditions...
    I've gone to 1600 ISO before now... with the iris wide open, too.
    Result grainy but sharp...
    given the size of files now, this can be reduced in grain by reducing the file size...
    something it was difficult to do in the darkroom, or with earlier digital cameras.
    Try it deliberately on a still life.

    1. tim, interesting. I hadn't heard of the focal length/shutter speed trick before. I'll give it a try. On this photo I was even at 200mm and 1/200th sec. The ISO was 400, set by the camera. I have similar light conditions this morning, so I might give it a go.

  4. Loved the robin photo...doesn't look like winter at all.
    Where was Bertie in all this?

  5. I'm surprised the animal rights people haven't marched on the store in protest!

  6. A terrific blog guys. I have just finished a bottle of wine from the vineyard near your house courtesy of Jean from 'A Very Grand Pressigny!!' We met the other day for lunch. We've been reading and commenting on each other's blogs for a few years but only actually met the other day. I look forward to checking out your blogposts. I am a big Franchophile! Phil Lowe (Frenchyphil)

  7. jean, that must have been a sight to see!

    leon, I think I need an Aussie-to-Yankee dictionary!

    judy, :)

    virginiac, Bertie is doing his usual thing. He has two beds in the garage and one in the laundry room (inside the dirty laundry) where he snoozes during the day and he spends his mornings in the living room near the radiator. At night he's usually out prowling around.

    evelyn, merci!

    starman, they were probably out to lunch. ;)

    philip, welcome! I'm glad you enjoyed "our" wine. Jean (and her husband) are wonderful people. I'm looking forward to seeing them again next month when they're down for holiday.

  8. Love, love, love the photo!

    1. cheryl, I made the image of the week for you this week!

    2. You like me! You really, really like me!

  9. Your robin is so much cuter than ours.


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