Friday, 25 July 2014
MaleField Scabious Knautia arvensis, and in July they are out and about in numbers, waving their preposterous antennae and laying eggs in the scabious flowers.
Female, ovipositing on Field Scabious.
Thursday, 24 July 2014
Saddle-backed Bushcricket Ephippiger ephippiger was lurking about in rough grass near Chaumussay last week. I could hear another calling their distinctive tizi song over in a nearby wheat field. This one is male and I suspect has one more moult to go before it is fully adult.
Wednesday, 23 July 2014
Chateau Gaudrelle, Cyrille, the maître du chai (cellar master) was fumigating the empty wine barrels. Everything has been bottled now, so he needs to maintain the empty barrels so they don't grow bacteria or fungus over the months before the next harvest.
Cyrille showing me the sulphur pastille.
Tuesday, 22 July 2014
Curiously, in the spring right at the end of the firelighting season, we had a couple of instances of something catching fire in the flue (at least, that's what we assume was happening -- there was a lot of noise of rushing air, and a few sparks and flakes of black material coming out the top). Probably birds dropping twigs down the chimney which then catch fire according to our neighbour.
We asked Pascal about the possibility of fitting a self-regulating trap on the flue, to slow down the draw. He said we could install such a thing, but the payoff is that they rattle.