Well, I did it again... even though it is so much fun to live in Brittany

Well, I had to do it again. Sometimes I get so upset about things I cannot change... I start feeling like Don Quixote and I do fight windmills! How stupid of me. I should realize I'm no longer in my teens!

One thing I can say though without sounding too emotional nor delirious nor outrageous... I hate hunting. Well, maybe I'm still too emotional!

You see, I simply love wildlife very much.

I started following deer and boar tracks when I was much younger down South. I even learnt how to pick up a viper safely. (Always a great experience! I loved to show off a lot when I was a teenager.)

Since we now live in a remote place in Brittany where wildlife is flourishing, it’s a dream come true.

Last summer while we were eating lunch, we spotted a very familiar bird on a fir tree: a beautiful honey buzzard.
Ten years ago, we had spent almost one whole summer month with one couple.
It was a very enjoyable experience because when it gets warmer, we are plagued with wasps and hornets.
But during the whole summer, whenever we were eating in the garden, the buzzards would stand on a branch right above our table. They dived on every wasp that dared get near us. It was such an enchanting summer that we still call it called ‘The honey buzzard summer’.

Before the hunting season, rabbits and hares are quite «friendly» especially when they are young. Friendly but cautious. We wouldn’t dream to try to tame them though. (We never feed them.) They run in the garden and around the house especially in the morning and at dusk. When there is too much noise, they run for cover into the moor or one of the flowerbeds.

Hares are gigantic animals. I love to see them run around tiptoeing and yet so fast.

Then there are quite a few foxes and  a couple of badgers. They come up very close to the house. Sometimes it gets eerie at night when foxes start hunting in our garden. I’m not sure I’ll ever get used to the screams of their preys. (But that’s ok. They hunt to survive.)

We also live around hawks and from time to time, some magnificent sea eagles. Crows too, which nest in holes in the cliff below our house. Every species has its own territory where they fly around to catch mice and small birds.

We have witnessed incredible battles between hawks and crows. And sometimes magpies join them. Incredible fights up in the air above us.

Of course the moors are filled with small birds, migratory species with bewitching songs, all day long. Not to mention the everpresent ringdoves.

Usually the black-headed gulls and the herring gulls keep to the beach below. Sometimes, when the tide is high, they fly over the house, drifting along, carried by the airstreams. They are real chatterboxes. But it’s nice because they belong to the seaside. And we live by the sea after all.

Once a year, on the day flying ants are born (usually late on a summer afternoon), the gulls invade our space.
The ants come flying up from the ground and are snatched at right away by hungry gulls. It’s quite a noisy event. It’s even a little bit frightening. You sort of end up feeling sorry for the ants even though there will be so many survivors anyway... Usually, one lonely gull will spot them and her shrieks will entice tens of gulls. Their cruel ballet will last till sunset.

And at night, of course, we have bats all over the place. They fly so fast by you that sometimes you only feel them fluttering around without actually seeing them. They are extremely friendly and I do not understand why people are so afraid of them.

I shall never forget a brief and lovely encounter with bats which had decided to settle down for the day between the picture window and its shutter.

They were sound asleep, forming a weird and furry cluster behind the glass. I felt so sorry to wake them up but I really needed to open the shutters. They woke up, very surprised indeed.- I was so excited to see them for real. I even managed to take a few pictures in full daylight... Then they flew away and hid in the shady trees.

They keep coming back at dawn but they are careful to remain hidden in the roller shutter.  They love the space there. And at dusk, they fly away for the night. And it is such a lovely time!

You’d think that living in a faraway place would be boring. It never is. Even now that the children are grown-ups and I spend so much time all by myself...

Two years ago, we shared our garden (and fields) with a young wild boar... Popeye didn’t like very much the way his lawn turned out... (Boars tend to literally plow their surroundings!) But we never complained. The hunting society would have organized a battue. Then the boar moved away and Popeye felt suddenly relieved, should I say, happier.

Last week, while we were checking the few apricots the birds had left us, Popeye froze. Two does were peacefully walking by, less than ten meters away from us. A big first in our life at Les Tertres.

Now do you understand better why I hate hunting?

*Good Luck, and Good Night*

1 comment:

David said...

Thanks for posting this. I can't wait to come visit. :)