Saturday, 20 October 2012

Glorious October

It has been a warm dry autumn here, and although the level of water in the river (well, stream) Ourne is at the lowest I've ever seen it in fourteen years, there's still enough blow the old mill across from us for my neighbour to enjoy getting out his little "boat" occasionally for a nice end-of-day float...This shot was taken only a week or two ago.

But the light is shifting now, there's a change in the angle of sunlight flooding the south terrace...nevertheless most days this month, when there haven't been visitors to Mas Blanc, I've been able to sunbathe in the early afternoon. However, there have been so many visitors  -- Australians following Canadians for the past several weeks -- that my tanning hours have been severely curtailed. However, I am not complaining, as the good company has been a tonic, and some of these friends have lent their hand to various chores on the property.  When my friends Garth & Annie from Victoria were here, Garth did some serious cutting of bamboo that grows below the north terrace. It was getting so tall it obstructed the view of the river, and now that the poles have been stripped of their branches, they'll be of use next year in the garden to stake out the tomatoes.

This year's garden is pretty well over now, with only the kale still in the ground and a few cheerful cosmos still blooming, such gorgeous shades of rose and cerise. They make a good bouquet for the kitchen window, especially when combined with the deep purple of wild sage that is having a second round this season.  I am always sad to see the sunflowers go, and they seem equally sad, as you see here...

When my friends Scott & Heather from Ottawa were here, I took them down to see the old wine cellar beneath the house, which has been dated at 1598, as there was a pottery on this property at that period and there is evidence pointing to the existence of this cellar (thanks not to my research but that of an historian who was writing a book about local potteries and asked to see and measure our cellars). My husband Bob enjoyed collecting wine from the region, and this was a perfect place to store his discoveries...And the cellar has always had a particular ambiance, because of a  high shelf lined with VERY old bottles that we never touched for fear of them tumbling down. "Is that sawdust?" asked Scott, as he looked at the shelf and indeed, it does seem that deterioration is in progress, and the shelf must be replaced. Since this photo was taken I've removed all the bottles, but they'll go up again once the new insect-proofed shelf is in place.

There are a few more photos to share, I'll save them for another post. Now I am going for a walk up past the spring where the sign says that the water is not tested, but everyone comes to fill their plastic containers anyway... and so far no one has died as a direct result.... (well, as far as I know...)