Food? I have more photos. Or plants? I'll go with plants today. Yesterday I had one of the worst allergy days I've had since we moved here nearly 16 years ago. I don't know what pollen was in the air, but it was poison to my eyes and nose. I must have sneezed 100 times during the day, and I went through a couple of boxes of mouchoirs en papier (a.k.a. Kleenex). I'm exhausted, but I'm not yet feeling full symptoms of the hay fever this morning. I need to go to the supermarket to get more mouchoirs. The last time I had such a severe allergy attack was 10 years ago, on an April day when I happened to be in North Carolina.
On a better note, here's the view we are seeing right now when we exit the lean-to greenhouse that's attached to the west wall of our house.
This is a wisteria that we planted about a dozen years ago. One year it came unattached from its support wires, which Walt put up on the wall of the house back then, and we found it lying on the ground one morning after a bad windstorm. On the advice of friends, we pruned the fallen vines, put up new, stronger support wires, and managed to get the unwieldy wisteria put back in place. It worked, obviously.
There's news about other plants too — some good and some bad. It's definitely purple-flower season in Saint-Aignan. On my walks around the edges of the Renaudière vineyard, all over the place I'm seeing a lot of the little purple wildflowers called Pentecôtes or orchis pourpre around here, (which are the wild orchids Orchis purpurea). They have proliferated this season. And irises — we have irises galore in the back yard. I stopped and tried to count the iris blossoms and the iris buds that are about to burst open in the three or four patches where we have planted irises over the years, and there are well over 100 of them. I need to get out and take some photos of all these flowers. However, this allergy attack is slowing me down and it's supposed to start raining this morning. We're in for a week of rains, if predictions are accurate.
One final piece of news. We have "new" neighbors. One of the daughters (along with her husband) of our former neighbors across the street has taken over the task of maintaining that property, even though they have no plans to live here full-time. Her elderly parents no longer drive and therefore no longer come to stay in their house in the country here.
The husband is an enthusiastic mower, and that's commendable. The grass needs to be kept under control. The man in question is overly zealous, though. He's on a campaign to cut down every low-hanging branch around their huge yard so that he can mow under trees more easily. Day before yesterday I walked around the edge of their yard and saw, shocked, that he has cut down a plum tree that has given us many kilos of little sweet, juicy red plums over the years. In her day, his mother-in-law, who's now 85 (her husband just turned 89), used to always tell me to come and get as many plums as I could use when they started ripening. I would mostly pick them up off the ground. Now they are no more, I think. I'll miss them. I believe the new neighbor had no idea what kind of tree he was cutting down.