Sunday, 13 January 2013

Down our lane

Our home here in Perros is on the edge of town where the streetlights and pavements stop at the start of our garden.  From there on it's a narrow country lane lined with 'talus,' the traditional Breton boundary, basically a high bank which is constructed when the house foundations are dug.  Instead of taking away the soil they just pile it up aroud the property and plant things like shrubs in them.  It's a much greener solution than a fence or a wall, which need planning permission here.
All around us the narrow footpaths meet up with the lane and are a haven for wild flowers and creatures.  I often go for a walk and try to collect as many different flowers at a time as I can find which has been over 20! I enjoy drawing and identifying them from my field guide.
After ours and our next door neighbour's modern houses all the buildings along the lane are old stone cottages or farmhouses, full of character.  The farm barn opposite is home to the flock of swallows that arrive every year at the same time and delight us with their acrobatics while feeding on the insects that love the flowers in my garden.
One day we saw this amazing sight, a buzzard was gliding around in the sky above us and as he came lower all the swallows came together to swoop and dive at him and eventually he slowly flew away.  After he had gone there was a great commotion as the swallows all chattered at once, obviously congratulating themselves for chasing the predator away!

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