28 January 2008

A sunny Sunday afternoon

We're in a period of cold frosty nights and warm sunny days. Temperatures vary from below freezing (-3º or -4ºC) in the morning to chilly but pleasant in the sun (+6º to +9ºC) in the afternoon. In other words, 25º to 50ºF. I have no complaints about this kind of weather. It's dry and bright.

The woodpile under the carport

The wood stove has gotten a workout this winter. Walt makes a fire every afternoon, usually before five o'clock, and it burns until about ten in the evening. When winter started, we had a good supply of wood — a lot of oak and some softer wood too — that we had delivered, oh, at least two years ago, and it is holding out. We'll need to buy more this coming summer, though.

Rooftops at La Renaudière

What we started running out of was little twigs and branches to use as kindling. Walt went around our yard and gathered up all he could — we've had a few windy days that blew some dead wood out of the trees.

Primroses have started coming up and blooming in the yard

A few days ago, our neighbors from Blois were here. They were cleaning up some things in their yard across the street from us, and Callie went over to see them so I did too. We were talking about things in general when I remembered I needed to ask them about kindling wood.

Callie likes to nip and bark at the wheel of
the 'barrow when we roll it around.

They have a quince tree that blew over last fall and is just lying there for now. All those twigs and little branches were tempting me, but I didn't want to go and just take some without asking. When I asked, the neighbors said we could help ourselves. They said any little sticks and limbs we picked up out of their yard would be that much less work they would have to do before the mowing season begins.

The bell at our gate, a gift from a friend
four years ago already

The neighbors have 2½ acres of property. Part of it is meadow that they mow, and part is woods. Even in the meadow, there are quite a few trees that drop branches in wintertime. Since the neighbors spend very little time here in winter, they don't build very many fires in their fireplace. That means more kindling for us. We gathered some yesterday afternoon.


  1. Oh, I envy you your warmer climate. We won't have primroses here until May. Next week I want to start some seedlings of lettuces and spinach, but they'll have to go in a planter that I move indoors whenever it's near freezing. I wish you a good gardening year.

  2. Callie knew exactly where to go to find kindling for your woodstove...

    I remember seeing the bell in your old photo albums, and thinking how beautifully champêtre it looks. Just the right touch!


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