We're having a string of 90º days here in mid-August. It hasn't rained in I don't know when. It's great for the garden, but the ground is very dry and we have to water our plants for the first time in several years.
The vineyard is very green still. And the grapes are really filling out. Our routine of walking Callie twice a day continues. Each of us goes out with the dog once every day. Walt went this morning. I'll go this afternoon and tomorrow morning. Then he'll go out tomorrow afternoon and Wednesday morning. It keeps us busy. We walk a couple of miles each time.
Callie sees deer and rabbits several times a week and of course takes off after them, chasing them into the woods. But she never stays out of sight for more than a few minutes. I call and whistle for her a couple of times and here she comes, running back. She is pretty much bonded to us and doesn't like to lose sight of us either.
A few days ago I was walking along a path that passes by a stand of fruit trees, a little orchard, not very far from the house. Callie was walking along ahead of me, nose to the ground, taking in all the interesting scents. I looked off to the right and saw two adult roe deer bounding away from us. We had startled them. They were probably feeding on fruit in the orchard. Callie never even noticed them. I was glad of that.
If you're American, you might wonder about racoons, opossums, and skunks here. Well, we don't have any of those (except at the zoo). The animals we do have around Saint-Aignan are two kinds of deer — smaller roe deer and bigger white-tailed deer — rabbits (hares, actually, I'm told), foxes, badgers, and red squirrels. There are no American gray squirrels in France. We have moles, but no gophers.
There are a lot of little mouse-type mammals — more kinds than I can keep track of. Dormice, for example, which the dictionary says are "squirrel-like," and shrews, which are insectivores, not rodents. Little red mice I've seen too, but don't know what they are. There are frogs and toads, of course, and there are snakes, including poisonous vipers and harmless garden snakes. And lizards. Hedgehogs. Snails and slugs. I won't even try to start naming birds.