Gérard's father and grandmother in a buggy out the back. The stables (now ours and neighbours garages) have barely changed. I think the toddler on granny's knee is Gérard and the other children are two of his siblings.
One of the pair of working horses Gérard's father kept. These horses were much admired in the district as always being in tiptop condition and beautifully turned out. On only our second visit to the house we were told about them, and many local people remember them with fond nostalgia. The horses, like most of their kind in this area, were chestnut with flaxen manes and tails (I think the breed is Comtois, although our friend Bernard refers to them as Percherons). Gérard doesn't recognise the man in the photo, but the setting is the same as the previous one.
June 7 Sold to Mister Mauduit Abilly
100 ?sacks wheat delivery 18 August
at the price of 40F[rancs] 50 paid ?
July 11 Sold to Mister Robineau at Thouars Deux Sèvres
by the intermediary of Mister Sarrazin
100 ql [quintals] walnuts delivery 9 ?Oct at the price of
51 francs per 100 kg ?at the time of harvest
17 July Sold to Mister Bessereau of Paris
250 ql oats-grey-winter delivery on the
1st to the 3rd August at the price of 18F50 per 100 kg ?at the time of harvest
11 July Rented to Mister Degranges at Coins
600 ?dirty ? from the 1st August
A humidity metre, which appeared to be in good working order. Its dial is reading about 82% Rh, and since we were standing in the cellar entry, I'd say that was fairly close. It has a long spike, perforated along its bottom quarter, and you plunge it into the grain to measure moisture levels.
A kit for measuring the density of the grain.
Answer to the Quiz: It is a fleam, used for bleeding horses. Here is a link to a very good article about the practice.*************************************
Nature News: I managed to do my first butterfly survey for the year yesterday, of the Chaumussay transects. This survey patch concentrates on calcareous grassland and arable land. The weather was overcast, but not that cold, with realfeel being about 17°C and no breeze at all. I saw Wood White, Brimstone, Holly Blue, Orange Tip, Violet Fritillary, Dingy Skipper, Wall and Peacock. The first orchids are out, with Early Spiders in the orchard and Ladies at Chaumussay on the dry limestone slopes. There are Early Purples and Green-wings around too. In the Aigronne Valley the Snakeshead Fritillaries continue to flower, after being flattened by a deluge a couple of weeks ago.