Sunday, October 31, 2021

Autumn's last blast of color

It seems like our autumn leaves are peaking right now, at least on the trees and grape vines around us. Prepare for a few days of local color.

I can never remember which leaves go with which grape variety.

Most of the grape vines out back turn yellow, orange, and gold in the fall. But here and there are vines that go red. Like this one. Brilliant!

We went to the building supply store yesterday to pick out the tile for the deck renovation. Ken had already found a candidate on line. We wanted to see it in person to be sure. It's pretty much the same as the tile we've had for the last eighteen years. Plus ça change...

Saturday, October 30, 2021

Lend me your ears

The two mysterious cornfields up among the vineyards are still standing. The stalks are turning brown and some of the ears are beginning to show their niblets. I've noticed that, down in the valley, most of the cornfields have been harvested. I wonder when (and if) these two little parcels will get harvested. Is it a local farmer who's growing his own feed corn for a few animals, or is someone just planting for fun? Or appearances? I may never know.

Corn kernels peeking through the husk.

Tonight's the night we go back to Central European Winter Time and change our clocks back one hour. Joy. The EU has not yet got it together to decide to stop the changing of the clocks. I guess dealing with the pandemic put other issues on the back burner. And I read that not all EU countries agree on whether to stay on Summer Time or on Winter Time. France voted to stay on Summer Time, which is fine with me. Maybe next year.

Friday, October 29, 2021

California dreamin'

I'm digging back into old photos again for lack of anything new. This is the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Half Moon Bay, just down the coast from San Francisco. It was brand spankin' new when I took this photo in 2002. Of course, I've never stayed there. I don't golf. And it's way too Ritzy for me (see what I did there?). I slept on the ground in a tent just down the road.

I don't know who the guy in the golf cart is.

So, we haven't seen the deck guy yet. He still could come today, otherwise it will be after the holiday weekend. Tuesday at the earliest. Sigh. The new chainsaw works perfectly well and I got started cutting birch branches on Thursday. It's going to take me a while.

Thursday, October 28, 2021

A little news

For lack of anything else to post today, here's a gratuitous shot of our living/dining room from last week.

A little distortion in the image exaggerates the length of the dining table. We still haven't done anything about replacing the curtains.

The new chainsaw arrived as expected yesterday. This morning I'll put it together and see if I can start it up. I would like to get some branches cut before the forecast rain over the weekend. This is a big holiday weekend in France (Toussaint, All Saints Day) but it looks like it might be a wet one.

The "news" is that we got a call from the deck contractor yesterday. Well, his wife. She does all the phone work for the company. She said her husband would be over in the next couple of days to take the final measurements before starting work. She asked us to go to a local building supply store and pick out the specific tile we want for the deck so he can order it. I'm allowing myself to be a little excited by this development!

I made some progress in getting the deck cleared off. The table and chairs are put away for the winter and I got the grill (mostly) cleaned up for the season as well. There are a few other things that we'll get put away over the weekend and then we'll be ready.

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Crape myrtle

Here's a closer look at our neighbors' crape myrtle and its fall colors. The shrub was part of the panorama in Sunday's "Over the road" post. I see on Wikipedia that an alternate spelling for the plant's name is crêpe myrtle. That sounds tasty!

It looks like it's on fire.

I had good intentions yesterday morning. I got all ready to saw some birch branches and I couldn't get the chainsaw to work. It started, but sputtered out before I could cut anything. After about ten minutes of trying I gave up. So frustrating! I was complaining to Ken about it and he said why don't you just get a new one. We looked on line and found one. It's scheduled to arrive today (Amazon Prime!).

The "old" one is only eight years old. I've had trouble starting it from the beginning. I even took it back to the store (40 kilometers away) a week or so after I bought it because it wouldn't start. The guy in the store started it up on the first try, of course. I felt like an idiot. I guess I don't have the magic touch.

At any rate, I'm hopeful that the new saw will work better. By the way, these are not full-size chainsaws, but are something called élagueuses, pruning saws for smaller jobs.

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Greens and golds

This is another view from our guest room window, zoomed in on the hedge and the cylindrical bay laurel in the southwest corner of the yard. Not much to say about it, except that I'm enjoying the color. As winter approaches the golds will fade to browns and the leaves will tumble. The hedge and the grass stay green through the winter, as do the fir trees, of course.

Our version of fall color.

Speaking of winter, I've had a couple of fires in the wood stove already. Just to take the chill off. But the weather gurus are predicting a warming trend this week. I want to take advantage to cut up some of the birch branches the landscaper left us (as opposed to splitting the trunks; that's another chore). I can burn the branches in the stove when it gets cold again.

Monday, October 25, 2021

A room with a view

Regular readers will recognize this view from our guest room window. The vineyards stretch out toward the west from our little hamlet, bordered on the north and south by stream beds that carve deep ravines as they descend toward the river. Those ravines are where the woods grow and where a lot of our wildlife lives.

The dirt road winds its way westward from our little hamlet.

The vineyards' fall colors are mostly yellow and gold, but there are traces of bright red here and there. The show is subtly different each year, but never boring. The parcel just in front of the cabin in this photo is being dug up right now. If you look closely, you can see that the canes and their leaves are gone. The vines in that parcel are old and there are a lot of empty spaces where dead vines have been removed in recent years. The parcel will be replanted with sauvignon blanc (that's what's there now) according to one of the guys who works out there, probably in a year or two.

Sunday, October 24, 2021

Over the road

This is the view of our neighbors' property from our kitchen window. They do a nice job keeping the grass cut and the shrubs trimmed. It helps that they have an army of kids, grand-kids, and friends to lend a hand. And, at this time of year, we get treated to a show of fall colors.

Fall 2021.

I had a small breakthrough yesterday. My little chainsaw has been temperamental since I got it back in 2013. Specifically, I have trouble starting it. The choke lever is very sensitive. This year, when I wanted to start it up, it wouldn't even sputter. Nothing. Nada. Rien.

Before I go further, I'll tell you that I made a decision this year to spend €€ on pre-mixed fuel for the saw. The engine is a two-stroke engine which requires a mix of gasoline and oil to run. I never remember the mix ratio and it's always a pain to look it up and mix the fuel, and I have to buy a special kind of oil for that at the hardware store. I noticed a couple of years ago, however, that the hardware stores sell pre-mixed fuel for two-stroke engines. It's expensive, but I don't really use much. So I broke down and bought some on Saturday morning. This prompted me to try to get the saw started again. No luck.

Ken suggested that maybe the fuel filter was clogged. Some research revealed that there is no fuel filter in this chainsaw, but there is an air filter. I've had a clogged air filter on one of my lawn mowers in the past that prevented it from starting until I replaced it. So, I opened up the panel on the back of the saw where the carburetor is, checked to see if the levers were working (they were), then pulled the filter off. It looked ok, but I took a toothbrush and water to it and cleaned it up a little.

You can guess what happened next. I put the cleaned filter back in and the saw started right up. Now it's time to get out there and slice up some birch branches!

Saturday, October 23, 2021

Between a fig and a hard place

Our poor little fig tree had an amazing year this year. I suppose it was all the rain. There are more figs on the tree this year than all previous years combined. Or close to it. That tells me that the tree needs to be watered more in drier years.

A few of this year's figs on our tree. Bite into one and lose a tooth.

I was so happy to see all the fruit and notice that the birds didn't seem to want them. I eagerly awaited harvest time (late summer) and dreamed of fresh fig tarts and eating figs with foie gras. But Lucy pulled the football away once again.* All of those beautiful figs are as hard as rocks. Not one of them is edible.

Maybe I'll pick them, cook them, and see if their salvageable that way.

* A reference to the cartoon "Peanuts" in which Lucy holds a football for Charlie Brown to kick and each and every time, despite her assurances to the contrary, she pulls the football away at the very last moment causing Charlie Brown to whiff and fall flat on his back. And he never learns.

Friday, October 22, 2021

Dog biscuits

Friends of ours welcomed a new puppy into their home earlier this year. When we were invited over for lunch last weekend, I thought a gift of home-made dog biscuits would be nice. I looked on the internet and found a recipe (there are a lot) that used ingredients that I had, more or less, on hand.

Dog biscuits baking in the oven. Yes, I have a bone-shaped cookie cutter.

Tasha liked the biscuits so I hoped the new pup would as well. And it turns out that she did. They're made with whole wheat flour, duck fat (in place of vegetable oil), chicken broth, and a little leftover roasted pumpkin purée (in place of corn meal). What's not to like? BOL (barking out loud)!

Thursday, October 21, 2021

The path to nowhere

I mentioned that, last July, I started digging out the rock/concrete border of the little path that makes a useless loop out in the south forty. I was using a pickax. Not fun, and not good for my back. And I didn't get very far before letting the project drop.

Before. Last July I pulled up one side of the border on a small section of the path. Look at those tall weeds!

Then, last week, the landscape contractor used his mini backhoe and made short work of the entire path, removing the rocks, the concrete, and the little stones that made up the walkway. What a relief!

During. This is the path after the contractor finished with the backhoe.

Now, I'm using up a big pile of mulch we've had for a couple of years to fill in the path. The goal is for the mulch to break down and that grass and the other wild plants that make up our "lawn" will fill in over the next years.

After. I'm filling the path in with much. The lawn will reunify in the coming years. I'll probably get rid of that green saxifrage in the spring.

The path was a barrier to mowing because of that rock border. Weeds and wildflowers grew up around the rocks and in the middle of the path and it was ugly, not to mention a pain to trim by hand. So now it's gone. We may need to get some bags of soil before spring to finish filling in the gap. I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Hazelnuts no more

When we moved into this place a little over eighteen years ago, about a dozen noisettiers (hazelnut trees) lined the northern property line out in what I call the west forty. In the spring of 2013, we had them cut down to hedge height.

Before. The dead hazelnuts. A couple of them had been cut down to the roots in recent years.

Now, at least half of them have died, likely from the persistent drought conditions that have built in over time. At least, that's the opinion of the landscaper for the reason we and others are losing so many trees and shrubs right now.

Before. Another view of the condemned hazelnuts. the green you see is mostly invasive blackberry brambles.

So, as part of this year's work, the landscaper took out the line of dead hazelnut trees/shrubs and their roots. We never got any nuts from the trees. The weevils bored into most of them, ruining them for eating. I'm sorry to see them go, but not sorry at the same time. Cutting the grass between them and the fence was a real pain. And, each year, thorny blackberry brambles used them as a support and needed to be cut back. That was a necessary but so-not-fun chore each year.

After. All gone.

The other half-dozen or so hazelnut trees are hanging on (although one of those has died as well). They'll probably have to come out in the near future.

After. The other view. No more roots. Mowing along the fence will be a lot easier now.

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Carport birch

We have this somewhat rickety old carport out front. It was built by a relative of the neighbors across the road several decades ago. I used to cut and store firewood under it until we got a second car. Now the newer car lives in the garage and the older car stays under the carport.

After. The dead tree was just to the right of the carport.

At three of the carport's corners, somebody planted trees. One is an ornamental weeping some-kind-of-fruit that makes beautiful pink blossoms in the spring. The other two are weeping birches, one of which died a couple of years ago. I asked the landscaping crew to take it out as part of their work last week.

Before. The dead tree and some little volunteers that I will remove soon.

The tree is now gone and the space looks a little better. There's still some trimming work to do to get weeds and other trees out of the ivy ground cover that surrounds the carport. The carport itself needs some work to secure the sheet metal roof on its windward side. The roof flaps wildly when the wind blows. I've stabilized it temporarily with some concrete blocks to keep it from flying away. They guy who's going to do our deck renovation is also a roofer, so I'm planning to ask him if there's something he can do (besides tear the whole thing down).

Monday, October 18, 2021

Lunch break

Let's take a break from the back yard photos for a look at lunch. Last week we got a new raclette machine, having retired the old one earlier this year. Raclette is a Swiss cheese made from cows' milk. It's also the name of the meal.

Our raclette lunch, all ready to go!

The French verb racler means "to scrape," which is how the cheese was originally eaten. It's positioned near a heat source, then, as the cheese melts, diners scrape the melted cheese off the main wheel and eat it on boiled potatoes and cold cuts. These days, modern electric raclette machines and pre-cut slices of cheese are used to make the process work better around a dining table.

You can see in the photo some of the things we ate along with the cheese. If you go counter-clockwise around the raclette machine from the wine bottle at the top, you can see jambon cru (Italian raw-cured ham), thinly sliced Canadian bacon, traditional boiled ham slices, steamed potatoes (with the skins left on), sliced raw mushrooms, steamed broccoli and Brussels sprouts, cornichons (little gherkin pickles), and the sliced raclette cheese (it kind of looks like sliced sandwich bread in the photo). The meats and vegetables can be warmed on the griddle while cheese slices go into little trays that are placed under the heating element (below the griddle) until the cheese melts.

Last week was the first time we used the new machine and it works pretty well. We're having raclette for lunch again today.

Sunday, October 17, 2021

The north forty

Here's the first of a short series of before-and-after (or after-and-before) photos of the landscaping work. This section of the yard is what I call the north forty because it's just north of the house. The huge juniper and the trio of birch trees grew in the middle, and I had lots of fun mowing around them for the past eighteen years, not to mention picking up fallen birch twigs and branches before mowing and trimming the sides of the juniper once a year or so.

After. Wide open space! You can see the shadow of the house on the ground; it's much shorter in summer.

Now all of that is over. Two of the birches died in the past two years and the third was on its way out. The tops fell out onto the fence in a wind storm last December. The juniper got way too unruly and was filled with wild blackberry brambles and their nasty thorns. Tree seeds took root inside the shrub and started to grow up through it. The whole thing was a mess. Ken used to do a good job of cutting and pulling out the invaders, but it got to be too much in recent years.

Before. Dead and dying birch trees and the monster juniper.

Mowing should be a lot easier in this section from now on. We're starting to talk about the possibility of getting a small riding mower in the next few years. With fewer obstacles to navigate, it makes more sense than it used to. And I ain't gettin' any younger.

Saturday, October 16, 2021

The finished garden path

The path's finish layer is gravel, like it was before. This gravel, however, is much smaller than the previous was. It's going to take a while to settle. Tasha's (and our) footprints are obvious. As are the leaves falling from the linden tree. Nothing stays pristine for long.

Looking east, toward the house from the back gate.

We could have gone with a hard surface (pavers or bricks) for the path. That would have been much easier to keep free of fallen leaves and other debris, but it would probably have cost a good deal more in labor. The gravel goes with the rest of the walkway around the house and the driveway, so it made sense to go that way.

Looking west toward the back gate. Tasha always likes to get into the act. And she's welcome to.

I'm hopeful that, at least for the first few years, it will be easy to keep weeds out of the path. I don't think there was any weed barrier in the path before now. I don't know how well they work, so we'll see. Pulling the odd weed will be easy for a while. I'll be interested to see what happens when it starts raining again.

Friday, October 15, 2021


This is the rouleau compresseur (roller compactor or road roller) that the contractor used to compress the crushed granite layer in the garden path. Once that was done, he started pouring the gravel on top (picture coming soon), then compacted that. Et voilà, the path was done.

The crushed granite looks like concrete. The finish layer is made from small brown pebbles.

Another thing he did on Wednesday was to rip up that little garden path I've been bitching about for years now. It serves no purpose and its rock border made mowing the grass a real pain. I started to pull it up with a pick-axe back in July, but it was slow going because the border rocks were set in concrete. I mentioned all this to the contractor and he said, well, as long as we have the backhoe, I'll dig it all out. And so he did. And he took away all the debris. He'll add the cost of that extra effort to the bill.

I'm falling behind in taking photos of the finished work, but I'll get them done. The crew finished their work on Wednesday after taking down the two remaining birches. The machines were hauled away yesterday.

Thursday, October 14, 2021

The path to victory

The yard work continued on Tuesday and the entire garden path got scraped down by about six inches. Then a layer of anti-weed fabric went down, topped with a base layer of crushed granite (at least that's what they called it).

The main garden path, halfway through the scraping.

It all looked pretty spiffy at this point, but there was more to do. As it got late, the guys stopped work on the path and took the backhoe thing back over to where they had removed the juniper on Monday. Within thirty minutes they had most of the roots out of the ground, including the huge main trunk of the beast.

Meanwhile, back at the juniper... the roots are gone!

The boss operated all of the heavy machinery. The employees worked on raking, picking up the debris and loading it into the truck to be hauled away. The youngest guy got all the worst of the grunt work, but I guess that's the way it goes.

Tasha inspects the fabric and granite layers after the guys packed up for the day.

When the juniper was done, the boss took the backhoe thing over to where the hazelnut trees were and dug up those roots as well. I'll have photos of that soon. They finished up around 18h30 and quit for the day. Stay tuned for more tomorrow!

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Hedges are done

The guys arrived on Tuesday morning and finished trimming the hedges pretty quickly. Then they took down two of the dead birches (two more to go!) and sawed them into lengths I can burn in the wood stove. Then the heavy equipment was delivered.

The hedges are done for another year. The heavy equipment being unloaded out back.

Heavy might not be the right word. The front loader/backhoe, steam roller, and mobile bucket all look like they're the size of Tonka trucks. They fit right in with the smaller scale of many French communities and they get the job done. The first thing the crew did yesterday was to scrape the top layer of stones from the garden path. We asked them to put the used stones under our carport. They did that gladly because it meant that they wouldn't have to load them and take them away.

Work begins on the big garden path. It already looks better than it did.

After that, they spent most of the day digging out about four to six inches of the path, then filling it in with a new base material and an anti-weed fabric. But I'm getting ahead of myself. More tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

As easy as 1, 2, 3

The landscapers showed up on time Monday morning. Yay! They started working on trimming the hedges. When the boss arrived about a half an hour later, he and I did a tour of the yard to review what was being done. We added a couple of things that will help me out with other projects (among them, ripping out the little garden path).

The boss (in green) cut the branches with a small chainsaw. First he cut a slice, like a piece of pie.

Then he got the other guys off the hedge and they attacked the monster juniper bush on the north side. It didn't take long before the bush was reduced to its rather impressive stumps. The most junior of the workers was tasked with feeding all the cut branches into the grinder. It all became mulch.

Next, they cut more slices around until...

After that, they cut down the dead hazelnut trees and ground them up as well. The next step is getting the backhoe in to dig out the stumps. That was supposed to happen yesterday, but for some reason the backhoe was not delivered as expected (they rent the heavy machinery from a local company). Maybe they'll get it today.

...nothing remained but the stumps. We've been talking about taking this out for years, and now it's almost gone.

Meanwhile, the two employees spent the rest of the day working on the hedge. They're very nearly done and should be finished up today. There are still four trees to take down, including the birches in these photos, and the renovation of the big garden path to do. I'm so happy they showed up and got started. What was all that stress about?

Monday, October 11, 2021

Fall weather

The weather has been pretty decent over the past week. We're having single-digit (chilly) mornings. I could see my breath in yesterday's early morning chill. But the days are mild and mostly sunny. Typical of the "nice" days of fall. Fall can be crappy, too, of course. We'll take all the good days we can get.

Fields and vines and woods.

Sunrise today is at 8h08. Right about the time that the landscape contractor said he would show up. Here we go again...

Sunday, October 10, 2021

The day before, episode two

Dare I think it? That the landscape contractor will actually show up tomorrow morning as promised? Promised "without fail" in fact. The weather is good and will be for a couple of days. Oh please, oh please!

The real fake well. It's not part of the project. At least I managed to cut away the dead clary sage plants.

We've been waiting for nearly a year. I've put off a lot of maintenance work out there thinking that there was no point since a lot will be torn up in the project. As a consequence, much of the yard looks as though nobody is taking care of it. I did get it together to pull the fallen birch branches off the fence and mostly cut up and burned in the wood stove. That was last winter. So here we are, on the eve of progress or of disappointment. Hope springs eternal.

Saturday, October 09, 2021

Redwoods at Butano

Among the attractions at California's Butano State Park are groves of towering coastal redwoods. I didn't have much time to do long hikes during the weekend we were there, so I didn't see a lot of the park beyond the campground. But it was in the middle of one of those groves, and I thought it was beautiful.

Ben Ries campground, Butano State Park, California, USA. August 2002.

I took these photos with one of Ken's earlier digital cameras, a Kodak DC4800. I was still taking color slides at that point and was just beginning to learn about digital photography. The technology has come a long way since then, but Ken still talks about some of those early cameras and how good the pictures are. I stopped taking slides not long after this trip and used Ken's cameras for a while until I got my first digital in 2006.

Friday, October 08, 2021


Halloween is coming up. What better excuse for a photo of a cemetery? This one is in Pescadero, California, USA, a small town on the coast south of San Francisco. We've been to Pescadero many times over the years, mostly to eat in a locally well-known restaurant famous for its cream of artichoke soup.

Pescadero Cemetery, August 2002.
I thought it would look spookier in black and white so I took the color out, except for the hot pink amaryllis that was blooming around many of the old headstones.

This photo is from 2002, when I went camping at nearby Butano State Park. Ken and our friend C. came over the hills from San José to spend the day with me and our friend S. Camping was not something C. did. Her idea of "roughing it" was a hotel without room service. We had a good day, a good meal, and a good time, after which S. and I went back to the campsite and Ken and C. went back to civilization.

Thursday, October 07, 2021

The garden plot

This is the state of the vegetable garden as we move toward winter. I still need to pull the zucchini plants out. And those cosmos will come out, too, as they begin to die. The greens, kale and chard, will stay and hopefully produce a crop later this fall. They like the chilly weather.

What's left of the 2021 vegetable garden.

I took the trellis fence down as I do every year, but this time I also took the posts out. I'm thinking I'll move the trellis further into the plot (as opposed to along the back edge) and grow tomatoes against it. I've noticed that with the curly metal stakes I use, the tomato plants tend to slide down as they get heavy. By attaching them to the fence, they should get more support. The weather will decide when  (and if) the plot gets tilled before winter.

Wednesday, October 06, 2021

This was a vineyard

The vine rows are still visible in this photo. There are even some grape plants trying to come back from roots left behind. I'm assuming this parcel will be replanted, probably next spring after another winter lying fallow. It's one of several parcels out back that have been ripped up over the last couple of seasons.

What's in store for this parcel?

I don't know what prompts the growers to remove and replace vines. Age? Disease? A changeover to organic growing methods? It might be that the growers want to include more parcels in the recently (2011) sanctioned Touraine-Chenonceaux appellation. That means sauvignon blanc for white wine and côt (malbec) and cabernet franc for the reds.

Tuesday, October 05, 2021

Needless to say...

The landscape contractor didn't show up yesterday. I sent him an email mid-morning that included his original statement that they'd be here on the 4th. Last evening, he answered. He said he was sorry, but they already had an appointment for the 4th. Yeah, I thought, mine! So he says they'll be here next Monday sans faute (without fail). You'll forgive me if I don't hold my breath.

This was about a week ago.

I noticed another few hours of hand-picking going on in the vineyards out back yesterday. I didn't know there were many grapes left, but apparently there are. They must be close to being done, though.

Monday, October 04, 2021

In the pink

October is when le fusain (common spindle) puts on a bright pink display of berries. I hardly notice these plants until they set fruit. Later, the berries will open to reveal bright orange seeds. What a show!

Spindle at woods' edge.

The last communication I got from the landscape contractor was on 31 August saying that he would be here at 8h00 on 4 October. That's today, two hours from when I'm typing this. I need to get the car out of the driveway and park it across the street before they get here. The sky is clear. No rain. So I'm assuming (always a gamble) that he and his crew will show up.

UPDATE: 8h40 9h00 10h00. So far, no show. No call.

Sunday, October 03, 2021

The day before

The wind picked up on Saturday and it started raining after the sun went down. There was some rain over night, but not a lot. The wind kept blowing. Today we're expecting rain most of the morning, then the system will be moving on this afternoon. This was the sky one morning last week when the weather was a little better.

No blue sky today.

En principe, as they say, the landscaping work in our yard should start Monday. Along with the shrubs and trees that are being removed and the renovation of the garden path, the hedges will be trimmed. I'm hopeful that, since this weather system will be gone before then, we won't have any more delays. I took some "before" photos on Saturday morning. Stay tuned.

Saturday, October 02, 2021

More leaves

From what I can tell by watching, the grape harvest out back is winding down. There are a few parcels yet to be harvested, but most of the vineyards are done, including that small parcel of chenin I posted about on Wednesday. In the coming weeks, the freshly pressed juice will begin the fermentation process. It won't be long before we see fizzy bernache (grape juice that has just begun fermenting) in the supermarkets. Toward the end of November we'll see the first of the "new" wines, the most famous of which is Beaujolais nouveau. Our local vins primeurs aren't as widely known, but they're fun to drink nonetheless.

Interesting patterns emerge as the leaves' chlorophyll recedes.
There's a gardening correspondent on France 2 tv named Philippe Collignon. They call him "Chloro'Phil."

That rainy system is poised to move through our area tonight and tomorrow, but it will not be nearly as wet as originally predicted. At least not here. The central west coast and down south are another story.

Friday, October 01, 2021

Limace rouge

I've posted photos of these critters many times before. This time of year, when the grass is wet with rain or dew, they are most visible. It helps that they're four of five inches long and that many of them are bright orange in color.

A European red slug in the damp grass.

Speaking of rain, and don't I always speak of rain, the weekend is forecast to be wet. Earlier this week, the long-range forecasts predicted a lot of rain, more than a month's worth on Sunday alone. Since then, the weather gurus have been dialing that back to a more modest amount. This happens quite often, by the way.