14 June 2010

A lacy flower and a green butterfly

It looks like another damp day in Saint-Aignan, with rain showers this morning and through the day, with a possibility of thundershowers this evening. Yesterday was nice — sort of cloudy and muggy but with periods of sunshine. Walt got a lot of work done in the yard and garden.

I stripped off some more wallpaper, did some cleaning, and, mainly, cooked lunch. Callie and I had a good walk late in the day. I noticed as I walked toward the back gate that a plant given to me by an old friend of CHM's, when we visited her and her husband last summer, has now flowered. I was hoping it would.

A new flower in the garden. May it live long and spread.

M. who gave it to me said it was a kind of sage. In my little bit of looking around on the internet, I haven't found anything that resembles it. I hope it will drop seeds and start spreading in the plot where I planted it, the way M. said hers had spread. She had quite big stands of these in several different spots around her garden.

This little green moth had a wingspan of about an inch (2.5 cm).

As I was cooking lunch — another spit-roasted pintade (guinea hen) was the pièce de résistance — I noticed a little green moth hanging onto the kitchen curtains. I had the camera close by, so I got some pictures.

Here's a less dignified shot of the creature. Great legs,
don't you think? And those high heels!

It wasn't easy to photograph this butterfly because it was in a place that was strongly backlit by the morning sun. But the papillon cooperated, letting me tug on the curtain, to get a better angle and shot, before he finally flew out the window to meet whatever fate nature had in store for him.

A guinea hen, or pintade, roasting on the tourne-broche in our oven

The guinea hen was very good. I gave it a butter massage before cooking it, and put some bay leaves and garlic inside to release their flavors while the bird roasted. Can you buy guinea hen in the U.S.? Somebody told me that you can find them in markets in the U.K. They are a standard item in France.


  1. May I copy your butterfly pictures for use in the classroom?

  2. I wonder if your Salvia is not Salvia-sclarea.


  3. I've got a little coquelette in the oven right now - we love them! I've never seen guinea hen in the states. I am currently on a hunt for poulet de Bresse.

    I am hoping for no rain tomorrow!!!!!! Tonight it will be ok.

  4. Guinea hens are almost impossible to find in the US. Occasionally I've seen a few on a farm, and it is probably possible to special order it in some places. There are many small farms raising chickens here in Maine, and maybe one of them will be willing to try raising and selling pintades.

  5. Hmm, no, I don't think I've ever seen a pintade for sale in a regular grocery store here in the U.S. I wonder if Whole Foods might carry them? (probably for $25 each *LOL*).

    Beautiful new flower! I think chm is right on with his "salvia-sclarea" find!

    It's cool that you can roast on the tourne-broche in your oven. Does it actually turn somehow? Is it something that you rigged up, or did it come with your oven?


  6. Hi Judy, the oven, like many or most French ovens, comes equipped with a tourne-broche. It's very handy.

    J. and Bob, here our favorite poultry vendor at the Saint-Aignan market has nice pintades for 5,20 € per kilo right now. That comes out to less than $3.00/lb. Chickens cost just slightly less.

    Thanks CHM. I'm glad you found that.

    Lynn, well, the weather forecast for tomorrow doesn't look very promising. But then again they predicted rain for today and, I don't know about you, but we haven't had any at all. Just clouds.

  7. chm is right, it's Salvia sclarea, known in England as "hot housemaid." No, not that kind of hot! The plant has an unpleasant smell, but the nickname is a little unkind to housemaids. (Do housemaids still exist?) Even after it finishes flowering it keeps its good looks for months. Don't cut it down after flowering and it will seed here and there.

  8. The moth is very pretty. We've had a bunch of yellow butterflies around here for the past couple of weeks.

  9. Cool plant- it looks like you can eat the leaves even and some people like the smell.

    I wish American ovens came with rotisseries built in without the extra cost, that is.

  10. Hi Ken. When I Googled "Pintades North Carolina," the second hit I got was your blog. But the first hit was from Ashley Farms in Winston-Salem. Here's the link:


    You've got me curious enough about pintades I might follow up on it.

  11. Simon, those are fairly pricey pintades. The ones I get are 5.20 € per kilo. The one I bought last Saturday was 1.7 kg and cost 9.75 € or so (fresh). They are good though, and worth the price just as a test.

    Thanks, Evelyn and Carolyn, for the information about the salvia plant. It now has half a dozen flower spikes on it.


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