Sunday, 10 April 2011

early morning wake-up call

We saved a bat yesterday. Have no idea what type* but they like roosting between our opened shutters and the wall. All of which means we need be rather careful that we don't flatten one inadvertently. The cats are, of course intrigued. Not content with chasing and catching lizards --which is how they realised there were other creatures behind the shutters-- they now have 'mice with wings' to pester.

Yesterday one of them was obviously within reach of an exploratory paw [they need to learn to roost higher-up preferably in the top corner] and was caught by Tinka. Cue humans to the rescue with tea towels and plant sprayer full of water for kitty. Niall sprayed Katinka who obliged and dropped the bat and I swooped in with the tea towel to collect a hightly upset chittering bat from the grass. 

Brocante: Azay-le-Ferron
As far as we could see it looked none the worse so we released it in the barn. No pics as the poor bat had been through enough and we wanted to get it back into a cool dim place asap to recover.

 plastic flowers selling like hotcakes!
Very early this morning about 5am we were woken up by nightingales singing their hearts out--loudly. It sounded as if there were 3 of them having a competition, one close by and the other two further off. About 6am they were joined by a noisy cuckoo so we were well and truly awake! No Sunday lie-in chez nous!

Not a problem as we were planning to go and visit the brocante being held at Azay-le-Ferron today and being up early allowed us to do some household things before setting out.

real peonies in Azay-le-Ferron
It was cold, about 9am a mist came down blocking the sun and the temp was 10C lower than yesterday's 24C. Still, Azay-le-Ferron was reasonably busy for the time of year and foreign cars are slowly beginning to appear --we saw Dutch and British plates-- as people come back to their maison secondaries after the winter. Despite spring flowers being everywhere, a stall selling very bright plastic flowers was doing a roaring trade!

* bats are about 5 - 6cm long [body size], rusty/ middling brown, small ears. Suggestions?


Susan said...

The likelihood is Common or Soprano Pipistrelle, but I can't discount half a dozen other species. As always, you did exactly the right thing with it.

Jean said...

Those peonies look beautiful - amazing to have them in bloom in early April, surely.

I also wonder what they do with all those plastic flowers. Maybe they put them on graves or maybe they buy them because they last longer than real ones - which are so expensive, as we have metioned before.

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Susan--thanks; had a look at pictures of both types of Pipistrelle and I think we might have the Common type.

@Jean-- the peoinies are stunning aren't they? I actually touched them just to make sure they were the real thing :-).
As for the plastic flowers; it beats me--they are 'so' fake and in a village like Azay le Ferron everyone has a patch of garden most of which have some flowers--why not cut a few for the house?

But you're right they do use them to decorate graves too.

GaynorB said...

I think I prefer 'hotcakes'!!

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Gaynor: LOL me too :-) The flowers are, to my taste, "of a hideousness most vile"

ladybird said...

I love peonies. But in Belgium they seem to have gone completely out of fashion. However, they always remind me of my childhood as I remember my mother's uncle having a large bush of deep red peonies in his backyard. We were not allowed to pick or even touch them, though. Which left me very frustrated :)