Friday, 20 August 2010

Ripping and Rasping

Not the sound of us renovating the attic, but the sound of nature in action in the potager. One of the things we appreciate most about Preuilly is how quiet it is.

It's so quiet I can hear the Wool Carder Bee Anthidium sp (l'anthidie in French) ripping the fuzz off the back of a grape leaf to line her nest. She tears the downy hairs off with her mandibles then tucks them under her belly in a ball for transporting back to the nest. She's obviously been working on this grape vine for several days. You can see where the leaf has had time to go brown in the spots she has taken fuzz from before.

Here's a view of the underside, showing the patches of missing fuzz.

It's so quiet I can hear a Red Squirrel rasping open a hazelnut shell too. Some days it is quite petulant about my arrival, rushing about in the lower branches, stamping its feet, flicking its tail and chirring at me to go away.

Hiding high up in the paulownia tree, waiting for me to go
away so it can get back to helping itself to our hazelnuts.


Diane said...

Interesting post, all new information to me. Diane

ladybird said...

Does your resident squirrel have a name? I think you should give it one! :)

Jean said...

How fascinating, I didn't know that bees did that.

And red squirrels are so cute. The grey squirrels we get over here are cute too but I feel guilty thinking that as they are such a nuisance. The year that we had them nesting in our loft was a miserable time and it cost us a small fortune to repair the damage and make the place squirrel-proof after we had evicted them.

lejardindelucie said...

La vie est belle! Chacun prend sa petite part dans le jardin!!L'écureuil prépare ses réserves! Voir les Anthidies s'envoler avec leur petite boule de "coton" pour y pondre leurs oeufs ets un spectacle étonnant!
Bonne fin de semaine à vous et bon courage pour vos travaux!

Diogenes said...

Amazing that the bee is able to strip away such a superficial layer from the leaves. I wish the leaf cutters that like our rose bushes were so minimalist!

Great picture of the squirrel too.

SweetpeainFrance said...

Fascinating! Oh Yes ... the quiet serenity and tranquillity of peacefulness and soundlessness associated with thinking that there is nothing there to hear ... but one hears sounds so small and so wonderful that after a while if one is not deaf the hearing system becomes more acute.... and yet also after a while one can long for sounds associated with noise!
I can well believe the sounds you hear!
We have lived here permanently for 5 years this weekend and two years part time before that and I love to hear the sound of nothingness which is actually full of noises... owls.. frogs,, sheep ( of course) the sound of the wind in the grasses,and even the silence of our cat creeping through the bedroom to then silently surprise us suddenly. She would like to go out into the dark night!

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