September 2010 Late Summer

September 2010  Late Summer
September 2010  Late Summer
September 2010  Late Summer

Late Summer, and the evenings begin to draw in. An unsettled spell of weather (unusually for September) refreshes the landscape as the grape harvest gets under way. They say this year will be a disappointing vintage, because of the frosts and snow in early spring and the rain in May. Work moves downstairs, it takes three weeks to do the entrance room, again in simple whitewash, but with a restored floor and an oak table bought for a song from a pub in UK, and covered in black paint before the sander got to work on it. Now to get started on the main lounge, a forbidding task with over 40 m² of floor and ceiling, and several woodwork tasks.

The return migration continues, diminishing as the month proceeds. The bee-eaters and honey buzzards are fewer, replaced by large clouds of swallows and house martins (we saw red- rumped swallows at Cap Bear, but have yet to identify them at the house). Occasional eagles (short toed), kestrels, and ravens pass by, and the bushes are alive once more, with finches (our first chaffinch this month!) warblers and other passerines. The red legged partridge and pheasant seen this month would be wise to be more discreet, as the hunting season is under way. The cicadas have been replaced by the spectacular praying mantis, and baby geckos play in the doorways. The serious walkers have returned after the heat of the summer, regular groups setting off for Cadaques and many day walkers off to Madeloc or the Tour de la Massanne.