30 April 2007

Beauty and the beast

Five pictures for the last day of April. It's been the warmest and sunniest April in a long time in Saint-Aignan. All the flowers are blooming early. Our muguets, the lilies of the valley that are traditional on May 1 in France, have finished their bloom already.

Here's the beauty part of this note, the flowers around our house right now.

Campanules — bellflowers (campanula)

Pivoines — peonies

An early red rose — we usually don't have roses in April

When you spend a lot of time outside, as I have recently, you get to enjoy the beauty, but occasionally you encounter a beast as well. In our yard and garden we have bees and bumblebees, snails, lots of lizards, some toads, and, of course, a slug or two.

A mottled brown slug I found hiding under a planter box

This slug was about three inches long when it was "running" away from me. Down the road a few hundred yards from the house I often see much bigger orange slugs that remind me of the yellow banana slugs we used to see in the Santa Cruz Mountains near San Francisco. I posted a picture of one of our orange slugs here back in November 2005.

Escaping at full speed, fully extended — flat out, as it were



  1. Bonjour Ken !

    Le muguet de notre jardin normand est aussi en fleurs... Francis fera donc des économies en m'offrant le muguet de notre jardin :-) !!! Bises. Marie qui profite de ces derniers jours de vacances (jeudi : boulot à nouveau...)

  2. Speaking of beasts, Half-Cat caught one of our rare lizards yesterday. I made her let it go, but she was not pleased, even when I explained that her job charter was to catch rodents only.

  3. I used to be find slugs and other such beasts totally repulsive, couldn't even LOOK at them and now, I find myself getting my camera out ;)
    I can see I am not alone ;)


What's on your mind? Qu'avez-vous à me dire ?