Saturday 21 May 2011

Three B's

our lime tree in flower
Last year we came over to exchange contracts for our house in early June [the 8th to be exact] and the vendors invited us for coffee at the house before we went off to the notaire. At the time the large lime tree at the corner of our barn was in peak flower and you could hear the bees humming from quite a ways away. 
This year, that's happening now; about 3 weeks earlier! We stood and listened yesterday evening--the whole tree was swarming with honey and bumble bees and the hum was intense.

bee orchid
Underneath the lime tree is a solitary orchid which will flower soon, and there are another 3 under an old cherry tree close to our boundary with the neighbour's orchard. According to Susan they look to be the same species--monkey orchid correction: lizard orchid [sorry Susan, our mistake] but we won't know for sure until they open. Another 3 or 4 have decided they are not going to flower this year; probably due to the very dry conditions. But as a lovely bonus this little bee orchid popped up out of nowhere under some of our pine trees. Quite a surprise as the soil there is bone dry. 

Today we've been busy assembling. The week has been rather frenetic work-wise which meant that the BBQ we bought a little while ago was still sitting it its flat pack. Until this morning....
Armed with the tool box and large bottle of water--by 10:30 am it was already pretty warm--we were ready to "do battle" with the screws, bolts and confusing instructions. This was a bone fide French LeRoyMerlin flat pack--the super league! On the front of the instructions it indicated that assembly would take 45 min and require 1 person! 

spanking new BBQ
Such optimism! How 1 person should be able to hold 3 different lengths of metal tubing together and simultaneously put in screws and nuts was not clear. Both being proud owners of "I have assembled Ikea flat packs and survived" badges we decided to tackle the task together. And though it did take us more than twice as long we now have a BBQ. Hurrah!! In fact it's the first one we've had in ages. We've gone for a  traditional charcoal one with a lid so that if it does rain it won't end up having coal and ash floating in a pool of water.

Speaking of the weather, which I know we are all going on about a bit; there's still no rain so we have put out a DIY bird bath--wood stump with shallow terracotta dish. Some promising thunder heads appeared mid afternoon but no shower. So far only the bats have been drinking from the bath at dusk. We've positioned it so that there's no cover for the cats to creep up on it so hopefully we won't have any fatalities.


The Broad said...

I would be so thrilled to find orchids growing in our patch in the Lot! Every year we get down there to a great wild orchard and have to spend endless days and hours taming it all -- so I've no idea what might actually be lurking underneath all the long grass and wild flowers. There are a lot of beautiful butterflies though -- and that's is the ONLY thing to recommend it!

GaynorB said...

Hi Antoinette,

Good to see your orchid in flower. I thought that in difficult conditions plants tend to flower, but that's probably an old wives tale.

I'm hoping you get a lot of rain soon and the weather improves for our visit. Although I don't mind some rain when I'm in France so that I can make a start on my reports. I'm wondering what our garden will look like with the lack of water.

The BBQ looks good! I think a lid is a good idea. I think we must be heathens as we went for gas, although I think food cooked over charcoal has that extra je ne sais quoi. Doing fleeting visits we just wanted to be 'ready to go'. Actually buying the charcoal is often easier than getting the gas!!!

P.S. I'm just hunting out my badge making kit!

wcs said...

Our tilleul (Lime tree, you say?) is in full flower (and hum) now as well. The bbq looks great. Congratulations!

Craig said...

You're certainly having the weather to make the most of the BBQ - enjoy it! We can send some rain (and wind) your way. It won't cost much...

Niall & Antoinette said...

@The Broad--we're thrilled too! we asked a friend of ours, Susan who is knowledgable about these things to take a look back in March when we noticed the leaves coming through. She was pretty sure they were orchid leaves so we've been keeping an eye out and mowing round them. Except for the bee orchid--a lucky miss!

@Gaynor--thunder and lighting last night round 10pm but not a drop of rain! Looking forward to our new badges ;-)

@Walt--A tilleul is a lime or linden tree in English. Re the BBQ--now all we have to do is make sure we don't burn everything! :-)

ladybird said...

Congratulations on the new BBQ! We've struggled with Ikea kits too, but managed to put a sideboard and two bookcases together. However, the sideboard makes the most awful noises during the night. I'm always afraid that one morning I will wake up and find it in its original 'pièces détachées' state. Martine