20 April 2018

A white-post post

This is the Renaudière vineyard outside Saint-Aignan in April. It's a sea of white posts. The vines have been pruned. The remaining canes have nearly all been attached to the vine rows' support wires. Fruit trees, mostly cherries and peaches, are in bloom all around the edges of the vineyard plots.

The image above is what we see from the end of the gravel road that runs from our house and joins up with some paved lanes a mile from here. We used to walk on the paved roads with Callie the border collie, who was well-behaved around cars, but with Tasha we have to be more careful.

This view is much closer to our house. We walk out here twice a day pretty much every day. Leaf buds are appearing on some vines, but not all. I guess some varieties of grapes bud out earlier than others. The main grapes planted here are Sauvignon Blanc and Gamay Noir, with some Cabernet Franc, Côt (Malbec), and Chenin Blanc. There's at least one plot of Chardonnay near our house.

The vine trimmings are lined up on the ground along every other row. Then a tractor pulling a chipper comes through and grinds them up, leaving the chips on the ground. In the past, workers would burn the trimmings in big old oil barrels on wheeled carts, but that practice stopped nearly a decade ago.

Tasha loves this weather, and so does Bertie the black cat. He's 12 years old now, but he is still a crafty hunter. Yesterday morning he brought us a live green frog. I took it from him, carried it out back, and threw it into the pond, which is full of frogs right now. Then the cat brought us a pretty lizard, which we also took from him and returned to safety, unscathed except a bit missing off its tail.


  1. Bertie, the black cat, is well behaved not to kill his preys so you can return them to the wild.

    1. Sometimes I think he just hunts for the fun of it. Maybe the frog didn't taste as good as he thought it would. Same with the lizard, though he has eaten lizards (at least partially) in the past. The little rodents seem to be his prey of choice.

  2. The next to the last shot really gives a good view of the old vine trunks. Decades old? The growers really have it down to a science.

  3. Bertie must be very happy these days, enjoying the company of Tasha. That story of him going on the walk with Tasha and Walt just warmed my heart.

  4. one of my kitties esp loves to catch skinks so we find a lot of tail-less skinks on the porch.....y'all are so lucky to be able to walk in those vineyards....

  5. I love it when cats hunt and bring you the victim lol My poor mother was terrified of mice and our cat was a good mouser. Except he would bring Mom the mouse and lay it at her feet ..proud to do his job so well.

  6. As long as the little rodents aren't alive when Bert brings them in, I'm okay with it.

  7. LOL, yes, definitely .. not long ago a young ( I think it was smaller than usual and stupid ) snake came into my lanai, with 3 cats sitting there watching.
    Happy Ending, I grabbed the cats and opened the door for the snake. He didn't stop to think about it :)


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