Saturday, 21 September 2013

A welcome harvest

Harvest time has arrived once again in Burgundy. Actually we've been harvesting for some time but somehow the strawberries, raspberries, redcurrants and peaches got munched before I had a chance to photograph them. 

 What makes this so exciting for me is my first walnut (the small green globe in amongst the foliage in the photo above). Apparently you can wait 10 years for the first fruit to appear - I've had the house for 6 and the tree was planted before I arrived. There was a lovely old walnut tree in the lane in front of the house and we'd pick up the nuts as they fell. Each year the tree tipped a little further into the field opposite, our arboreal tribute to the leaning tower of Piza - we had bets on which year it would finally topple. Then the farmer came along and took his chain saw to it! So, the timing of our walnut is spot on.
 I'm still getting to grips with harvesting mushrooms. Its great here - you pick the lot then go along to the local pharmacy who split the hoard into edible and those that will make you poorly. I'm not going to gather these but thought the colour was lovely.
 Any recipe suggestions for damsons? Not jam! We're so jammed out.
 The quinces are great this year after a very poor show last. Quince jelly and a host of other goodies to try this autumn. Off blackberrying now - crumble for tea. I'll combine them with some of the apples from this tree. Perhaps if I pick enough the poor tree will be able to stand upright again?

Thursday, 19 September 2013

As others see us

I think it goes with the territory that if you live in a place, see it on a daily basis, you become a little blind to both its charms and shortcomings. We ask our guests for feedback to ensure continuing improvements and also enjoy looking at their photos, their perspective on the space we have built up. Today's blog is a series of photos taken showing Les Cerisiers and surrounds through the eyes of others. Thank you to Stella Pitman for sharing your amazing photographs.
 This year we planted sunflowers in front of the house and around the arbour. The brilliant yellow and the sky blue (chosen to match Mark's eyes) made for a great contrast.
 I'm not sure whether lichen is a good sign or bad but the silvery colour and intricate form provide interest on an old apple tree.

 This little shrine guards and protects the winding road above our valley. The roof of our house is just visible to the left of the apex.
 One of many reasons for visiting KF des Ormes in Dompierre - the best chocolat chaud in the world.
 We were pleased with our display of hot red begonias this year - they've been providing colour since April and are still going strong.
 Clear, pollution free skies make for an astronomers dream - this full moon took our breath away.
 The house at night is still a thing of beauty - inside shared meals, chats around the fire in winter, or people snuggled in their beds.
 Cows changing fields or off on a jaunt by themselves. This is traffic country style!

 A bumble bee settled on the chocolate cosmos, dusted with pollen and having a whale of a time.
 The honey buzzards are more common here than sparrows. Birds of such majestic beauty but also creatures that provoke fear - chickens and other small creatures are always on their guard.
 The photographer, Stella Pitman, together with friends and family after a successful wine tasting with our good friend and local vigneron Roger Bonjour (centre back). A must do activity here at Les Cerisiers.
Early morning light in the orchard. I love this time of day - a world unspoiled and full of promise.