Saturday, 1 November 2014


The grass in this picture is Spinifex Triodia sp. The tips of the leaves are like cactus spines and you really don't want to have to walk through a patch. It is a plant of the arid interior of Australia and is endemic to this area.
A la cuisine hier: A chickpea based dip that wasn't hummus. I kind of followed this recipe and added onion (aka nigella) seeds.

Roasted crumbed pork fillet with mustard cream sauce. I marinated the pork in a 2:1 mixture of yoghurt:milk because I didn't have any buttermilk. It was really, really good.

Friday, 31 October 2014

Witch's Hats

 Witch's Hat Mushroom Hygrophorus conicus.

This Halloween themed mushroom conveniently appears in the forest just at this time of year.
A la cuisine hier: Hoppin' John, served with baked pumpkin (well, for some of us, anyway), Ken's Aunt Chloe's corn pone and steamed spinach. I baked the corn pone in the mini oven and it rose so high I couldn't get it out. In the end I had to hold the tin in the oven whilst sliding the shelf out from under it which then allowed me to lower the corn pone and remove it from the oven. Fortunately the corn pone seems not to have suffered in any way from the slightly unorthodox treatment.
Heritage News: The crowd-funding campaign to raise money to restore the ceramic panel 'Arcachon' in Tours station has reached 92% of their goal of €8000. The campaign has been extended until 17 November in the hopes of getting that last €635. To donate you need to register with Ulule and pay online.

A full assessment of the work required on the Chapelle de Tous les saints in Preuilly has been done and the cost estimated at around €100 000. The restoration was an item on the local council meeting agenda last night but I don't know yet what the outcome of the discussion was.
Butterfly Survey News: I've just collated my butterfly surveying data for the year and if I had to describe the results in one word I think it would be 'dismal', both in terms of total abundance and numbers of species recorded. I didn't manage to do surveys at all in April and May due to the poor weather. The only notable record was dozens of Small White Pieris rapae recorded on agricultural rape in September.

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Ladies in Waiting

This is Claudette in front and Célestine behind, waiting their turn to be seen by the Traction doctor a couple of weeks ago.
Loire Valley Nature: A new entry has been added for Tortoise Bugs Eurygaster spp.

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

A Painted Church Ceiling

We've written in full about the wall paintings in the church at Lignières en Touraine before, but I liked this photo Simon took of part of the ceiling the other day and thought it would be nice to post about the church again. These two strips show Adam and Eve and the expulsion from the Garden of Eden above, and the parable of the rich man and the poor man below. They date from the 12th century.
Fungi Foray: The Association de Botanique et de Mycologie de Sainte Maure de Touraine has organised a fungi outing to the Forest of Loches for Sunday 2 November. Meet at the Pyramide de Saint Quentin (on the D31 road to Bléré, between Saint Quentin and Loches) at 2.00 pm. The fungi gathered will be displayed and identified in the carpark after the outing.
Loire Valley Nature: A new entry for Ceps Boletaceae has been added.