Friday, 1 October 2010

Things to Look Out for in and Around Preuilly in October

Crane migration: the cranes will be making their long trek back from Scandinavia down through France to winter in Spain. You can follow their progress on this website.

Ceps - the damp but still relatively warm autumn is the peak time for edible mushrooms. Look for ceps in pine forests, where they live in a symbiotic relationship with the conifers.

Looking out towards Bossay from Preuilly on an autumn day.
Saffron - the crocus which produces the expensive spice should flower and be harvested this month.

The dominant roadside flower will be the pale Yellow Toadflax Linaria vulgaris (la linaire commune).

Saffron flowers.
Birds of prey will be very visible - merlins, hobbies hunting linnets, sparrowhawks, buzzards and harriers chasing young away.

Anniversaries: one year ago we got our fireplace. Now we have insulation, the fire should heat the whole house.

Making apple juice at l'Art et Lard.
Fête d'automne - Le Petit-Pressigny's L'Art et Lard food and art festival on 10 October from 10:00 to 18:00. Come and wander round the village, into private gardens to see a wide variety of art work. There's a gourmet market, kids' workshops, trout fishing, an apple tart competition, and several options for lunch.



  1. You'll have your own saffron
    harvest this year, won't you?

    Here in thee Texas Hill Country
    we are seeing a few Monarch
    butterflies signaling the
    start of the annual migration
    down to Mexico for the winter.
    By mid-October they become an
    amazing sight.

  2. Sheila: yes I am hoping for saffron of my own this year. I weeded the saffron bed a few days ago in anticipation.

    We got Monarchs in Australia, but they did not do the really striking migration.

  3. You have captured the beautiful autumn tree colours really well.
    We read about the L'Art et Lard festival in your blog last year, just as we were completing on our house purchase in LP-P. Unfortunately we will have to wait until we retire to make it across for the festival - I teach so time off during term time is impossible. However, I will be the first to admit that the holidays at other times are faily generous in comparison with other jobs, so I won't complain!!
    Hope you enjoy this year's festival.

  4. We enjoyed the "art and lard" last October but sadly we will arrive too late to see it this year. Pity.

  5. We'll see you there then!

  6. The saffron flowers look like crocus. Crocuses? Are they related, do you know?

  7. The man who is making apple juice is sitting at a press just like the one we have at home in Australia. We call our press Bertha and thus far we have only used her to press grapes. The man in your picture looks more experienced than our attempts to collect our grape juice. Sounds like a fabulous festival; not one to be missed. In the Hunter Valley there are many commercial presses and some are the size of a large room.

  8. Emm: yes they are crocus. Some sort of complicated hybrid known only in cultivation, not in the wild. There is a big research project in progress to find out what their antecedents were.

    Ann: you will see these presses in lots of places in the Touraine / Loire Valley. The ones used for grapes and the ones used for apples are more or less the same. The man is the father-in-law of one of the very first people we met in Preuilly, and also runs a mobile still for producing eau de vie.