So Walt is on the ground in Montréal, and the plan was for him to go out to dinner with our friends N. and Y., who live there. I hope all went as planned and they had a good time at the restaurant. I'm kind of jealous but I'm also enjoying the fantastic weather here in Saint-Aignan.
The tasks I have to do here are mundane, but there are always nice little surprises when you start puttering around and cleaning things out. My first job was to clear out the little sun porch downstairs, which is the main entrance to our house. We had it glassed in 10 or 12 years ago. It was a mess, with too many potted plants that over-wintered in there and were looking basically scraggly. Now I have to sort through the plants, compost some of them, and re-pot others. Above you can see how the sun porch looks now. I should have taken a "before" shot.
As I was moving plants out and setting them down in the shade on the north side of the house, I happened to notice some movement in the gravel out back. It was a small bird (above) — a gold finch or, in French, un chardonneret — lying on its back, legs twitching. It apparently had crashed into the closed window upstairs and knocked itself nearly unconscious. I went and got a gardening glove and my camera, thinking I would pick the bird up and put it where it wouldn't get stepped on, or seen by the dog or cat. I found it upright and alert when I got back, and a few minutes later it flew away.
Another little surprise was a couple of amaryllis bulbs that I found in a zip-top bag on one of the shelves I was cleaning off. I had brought them back from North Carolina in March, stashed them on the shelf, and then forgotten about them. The bulbs had already sprouted inside the bag. I took them out and planted them in pots for the time being. I hope they'll flower soon. I have to figure out where I can plant them in the yard.