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August, 2005:

Praying Mantis

Praying MantisWe have seen various types of praying mantis around the garden. There are small white ones on the potager and big green ones in the orchard. There are also some medium sized brown ones in the hedges. One day we saw a huge green mantis catch a wasp in flight and quickly dispose of it. Another time we waited eagerly to see what would happen when a brown mantis came face to face with a larger green one. We were hoping to see a “David Attenborough” moment, female biting the head off the male after mating, but after ten minutes we got bored and left them to it.

Stick Insects


I hadn’t realised that stick insects lived in Europe, I always thought they were from somewhere exotic. Well, Adrian spotted a couple of large stick insects in our garden. They are very unusual insects.

Dig for Victory II


Our paddock contained a rather odd looking hole. Not just any hole.. more of a pond or sheep dip type affair! Being adjacent to the roadside and the usual French drainage ditch we knew where the water table was and this thing was just acting as a buffer for all the waste water that drained away from the entire hamlet. Fine for the visiting ducks and one or two frogs but we wanted to get shut of it – it didn’t really figure in our plans.

The local jungle drums came to our rescue when a call from the mayors office revealed that the commune were doing some digging work and would we like any topsoil?
“Yes, please!”
“How much”
“Erm.. all of it, please!”

So. 40 tons later and a brief visit from a man in a JCB and our hole problem is sorted.

Cost? Two bottles of wine, one for the tractor driver, one for his mate in the JCB. Splendid job!

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