It's a Bug's Life

Autumn is here at Las Razes a little earlier this year.  Not that we’re complaining, there’s fresh air and after a few days of unseasonal September rain we have blue skies and warming sunshine.  The fields and woods are very inviting for getting out and enjoying the peace.

There’s a slight renaissance underfoot as wild flowers make an end of season come-back and insects and bugs are exposing themselves as they appear to do a little sun-bathing.

Walking in the fields is once more causing a little flurry of butterflies as you pass by; especially if you are accompanied by a more than enthusiastic terrier.  Trying to capture the ‘bug life’ on camera is not easy.  Focusing on something so small means bending down by which time the ‘enthusiastic terrier’ is all over the subject assuming there’s something of great interest to her down on the ground.

Today we have seen the pictures of yet another earthquake in Mexico and hurricane in the Caribbean – so somehow the solid earth and perfect calmness of the Quercy countryside seems even more precious than usual.


Butterflies, cows and chocolate cake

Well, it is a lovely Sunday (if you are in the shade and maybe with a fan) the temperature has just turned up a few notches. The countryside and the gardens look well.  However, if this heat continues we’ll start to see things browning and crisping up fairly quickly.  We’re used to summers with no grass growing and the miracle of those few weeds that keep going however hot it gets but it always a bit sad to watch things go from green to brown.  Right now we’ve the benefit of the prolific late spring flowers with the bluest of summer skies and swarms of summer butterflies covering the early lavender plants.

Another annual event took place in the last couple of days.  The arrival of the cows; the local farmer grazes his cattle in our pasture and there’s always that slight regret that the lovely wild flowers and endless orchids are just about to meet their maker.  However, when you go into the garden and hear rhythmic munching and see the peaceful cows and ever-so-sweet calves standing in the shade it’s sort of forgiven again.  The wild spring flowers and orchids will be back next year and for now we have the company of these gentle beasts.

The gîte is being prepared again today for a large party of wedding guests arriving this week.  We have been watching the weather forecast for the wedding planners, hoping that they do not hit a period of thunder and lightning or indeed that it is not simply too-hot for the many people that are arriving to the area to celebrate.  Standing about in new shoes and possibly even suits can, surely, damage your health very quickly in extreme heat.

Yesterday we said goodbye to a lovely family who had to get their flights back from Bergerac to Liverpool and then onwards.  There were lots of little children with them and they seemed to all enjoy playing in the pool.   It is lovely to hear happy voices and excitement.  This family went out for a birthday lunch on Friday to Le Caillau ( and had a wonderful time, bringing back (and sharing) a rather delicious and extremely chocolaty cake from their lunch party.