Saturday 20 November 2010

First post

Welcome to our blog!

Photo is view from our house over to the other side of the Aigronne Valley. The Aigronne is a small trout stream. A couple of weeks ago we were lucky enough to see a dog otter in one of the fields bordering the water, think he was after frogs.

We moved into our house in August 2010 and have been busy settling in--we'll share more of this soon. Not only is living in France a new experience but this is also our first foray into blogging.

Our two cats, Shadow and Katinka are especially pleased we have a blog--they are keen to share their adventures.

Shadow is 5 and came from an animal rescue center in Limburg, NL and is already a well travelled cat having lived in Maastricht and Suffolk. Thankfully he speaks French as Maastricht is on the border with French speaking Belgium. Just as well, as Katinka is very definitely French and local--she was rescued in the Chamussay area and has been with us a month.

Shadow and Katinka on our roof


domi said...

Bon bon bon! C'est magnifique!


Katinka & Frank said...

What a peculiar name for a cat!
Anyway, nice to see that you've settled in. The surroundings look beautiful.

kind regards, Katinka

Susan said...

Welcome to the blogosphere :-) I'm very interested in your otter! That's an unusual sighting.

Niall & Antoinette said...

Susan: Thanks for the welcome!

We saw the otter one morning late October. He was in a field beside the Aigronne on the road from Charnizay to Petit Pressingny. We were driving past. At first I thought he was just a large-ish lump of mud--turned out to be his backside :-). Niall looked back saw it was an animal. We stopped and began to slowly reverse at which point he raised his head and scuttled back into the trees bordering the water. So what I saw was via the rearview mirror. Still my first glimpse of an otter in real life so fab!

Susan said...

I don't want to burst your bubble, but I strongly suspect it was a coypu not an otter.

Next time you are in Preuilly would you like to meet for a drink? You can contact us via our profiles on our blog.

Niall & Antoinette said...

I know, did definitely think at first it might be a coypu -- much more likely. Niall has seen otters in the wild in Scotland and he was pretty sure; so optimism won out.... He saw more of it than I did, I was driving. As far as I could tell it had a thicker more tapering tail than a coypu. Still we're probably wrong :-)

Thanks! we'll be in touch. :-)

Susan said...

I would love it to have been an otter, but they are very rare in France. The total population is estimated to be somewhere between two and three thousand (down from 50 000 in 1900), concentrated in the massif central, coastal Brittany and the marais poitevin. They are slowly moving into their old territories, but at the rate they are expanding it will take 100 years to recolonise the rest of France. It is not impossible for you to have seen an otter, but you can see why I wouldn't put money on it :-)

Niall & Antoinette said...

Susan: that's shockingly low! Sad really as a trout stream like the Aigronne should have an otter population of some sort--it is ideal habitat.
Any thoughts what else it could have been? It definitely wasn't a coypu--we do know our coypus :-)