Today? Gorgeous. Crisp, clear, bright spring day - as I write this a 2 day old skinny crescent moon hangs idly over Lower House. It's a slender and elegant thing. On the western horizon shimmers the last of the sun. So sun down, moon up. Stars are bright.....
......but what's that insistent 'click-click-click'?
It's the electric fence that encloses the hens' compound, that's what it is. It's shorting on something along its length. I walk the line. I kick the odd leaf out of the way, flatten a molehill which threatens to breach the first 'live' wire and push a load of potentially beetle-holding dry grass to one side too.
AH HA! But what has been going on here? In the lee of the log piles we left, largely to give the birds some points of interest in an otherwise barren enclosure, I discover great excavations; nids des poule. They are literally 'hens' nests' - but known in French speaking road-mending terms as pot-holes. My birds have been dust-bathing in the dry dusty soil under the log pile and have enthusiastically scuffed up enough soil to short the system. They have had fun.
'Nids des poules' ....... we first saw the sign down in the Languedoc in the mid 80's somewhere between Sète and Cap d'agde - a battered tin sign warned of imminent roadworks. Whilst my primitive French could do a word-for-word translation it took a bit of imagination to understand its vernacular use. We were much impressed with the French workers who mended these 'nids des poule' too - there was no stopping them and they seemed to cover vast distances each day - the stop for the long French 'dejeuner' only seemed to fire their progress.
I suppose a travelling Frenchman on the B4386 might be just as bemused on seeing a sign warning of 'Cat's Eyes Removed'.