THE APIAN WAY IN NORMANDY: THE ULTIMATE BEEHIVE?


St Martin de Boscherville is a small town – more of a large village – quite near Rouen, but a world away from the bustle of the city. In many ways, it is much the same as any similar French rural community 30 or more years ago. Set in an agricultural landscape in a loop in the Seine, it has the familiar small shops for provisions, the cafe / bar, some old houses and barns, some neat modern houses and… a magnificent early Norman abbey, St Georges. It was largely spared from revolutionary destruction by being designated the parish church, as it remains today. There’s more to be written about the abbey, a favourite of artist John Sell Cotman during his Normandy tours.

The gardens are being – have been – restored, if not to their former glory at least to an impressive standard, with well-ordered flower beds, vines, herbs and fruit trees – staples of the medieval way of monastic life. And a hive. A truly splendid ‘Bee Pass’ chimney hive that stands impressively tall. Each facet has one or more doors for access to the innards. I have posted videos below that show the workings of this unusual hive rather better than I can describe them. These hives have been installed in a number of locations in France – not least the Chateau de Chenonceau – and Germany. I’ve no idea if there are any in the UK yet, but if not, there ought to be…

Beehive, St Martin de Boscherville, Normandy 7Beehive, St Martin de Boscherville, Normandy 9Beehive, St Martin de Boscherville, Normandy 2Beehive, St Martin de Boscherville, Normandy 3Beehive, St Martin de Boscherville, Normandy 6Beehive, St Martin de Boscherville, Normandy 5Beehive, St Martin de Boscherville, Normandy 4Beehive, St Martin de Boscherville, Normandy 1

Click HERE to go to the ‘Abeille Avenir’ website

Click HERE to reach the ‘Abeille Avenir’ Facebook page

All photos: RH

GIVERNY: IMPRESSIONS AND REFLECTIONS


Many visitors, as they shuffle in a slow queue around Monet’s beautiful lily pond at Giverny, will have noticed a congruence between the reflections in the water and the painted impressions of the scene by an ageing artist with failing eyesight. A few will have decided to see if photography can produce an effect reminiscent at least of the great paintings. Mrs RH is one such, and these are all her photos taken a few days ago.
Impressions of Giverny - Lily Pond 03Impressions of Giverny - Lily Pond 01Impressions of Giverny - Lily Pond 04Impressions of Giverny - Lily Pond 05Impressions of Giverny - Lily Pond 10Impressions of Giverny - Lily Pond 02Impressions of Giverny - Lily Pond 13Impressions of Giverny - Lily Pond 14

Mrs RH also had the perfect opportunity to channel her inner Georgia O’Keeffe…Impressions of Giverny - Lily Pond 07

ROCK FORMATIONS AT THURLESTONE, DEVON (2)


Following on from the wider views of the rocks at the east end of THURLESTONE BEACH, here are some close-up views that show the wide colour and texture variations over a relatively small area.

Thurlstone Rock close-ups, Devon 08Thurlstone Rock close-ups, Devon 01Thurlstone Rock close-ups, Devon 02 Thurlstone Rock close-ups, Devon 03 Thurlstone Rock close-ups, Devon 04 Thurlstone Rock close-ups, Devon 05 Thurlstone Rock close-ups, Devon 06 Thurlstone Rock close-ups, Devon 07
Thurlstone Rock close-ups, Devon 09 Thurlstone Rock close-ups, Devon 10 Thurlstone Rock close-ups, Devon 11 Thurlstone Rock close-ups, Devon 12 Thurlstone Rock close-ups, Devon 13 Thurlstone Rock close-ups, Devon 14 Thurlstone Rock close-ups, Devon 15 Thurlstone Rock close-ups, Devon 16

Thanks to Jessica Winder for confirming that the Jurassic Coast does not extend as far as Thurlestone, and ends in the Exmouth area.

ROCK FORMATIONS AT THURLESTONE, DEVON (1)


Thurlestone Rocks, Devon (L) 04

A long weekend spent at Thurlestone, Devon for a family event – a cheerful one – meant time to explore an unfamiliar area. And the rocks on the beach were quite unlike any we had seen before; certainly unlike anything on our part of the Dorset coast, 100 miles or so to the west. So I took some photos. Having no geological knowledge, I can’t say if this is part of the real – or even the flexibly tourist office-defined – “Jurassic Coast”, but I suspect not. Here are some of the strange bumpy many-hued formations.

Thurlestone Rocks, Devon (L) 03Thurlestone Rocks, Devon (L) 02 Thurlestone Rocks, Devon (L) 05Thurlestone Rocks, Devon (L) 01Thurlestone Rocks, Devon (L) 06Thurlestone Rocks, Devon (L) 07Thurlestone Rocks, Devon (L) 08Thurlestone Rocks, Devon (L) 09Thurlestone Rocks, Devon (L) 12Thurlestone Rocks, Devon (L) 10Thurlestone Rocks, Devon (L) 11

CHINESE NEW YEAR AT CHISWICK HOUSE


Chinese New Year 2016 Chiswick House 06

Chinese New Year was celebrated at Chiswick House with a spectacular display of large and colourful inflatable animals from around the world. The same display had previously been used at Longleat. We watched them being installed; and once the event had been opened, it was the perfect place to take children as night fell.

Chinese New Year 2016 Chiswick House 10 Chinese New Year 2016 Chiswick House 09 Chinese New Year 2016 Chiswick House 08 Chinese New Year 2016 Chiswick House 07 Chinese New Year 2016 Chiswick House 05 Chinese New Year 2016 Chiswick House 03 Chinese New Year 2016 Chiswick House 02 Chinese New Year 2016 Chiswick House 01

SNAKE’S HEAD FRITILLARIES


SNAKE’S HEAD FRITILLARIES

Fritillaries - snakeshead purple & white 06Fritillaries - snakeshead purple & white 01 Fritillaries - snakeshead purple & white 02 Fritillaries - snakeshead purple & white 03 Fritillaries - snakeshead purple & white 04 Fritillaries - snakeshead purple & white 05Fritillaries - snakeshead purple & white 07 Fritillaries - snakeshead purple & white 08 Fritillaries - snakeshead purple & white 09 Fritillaries - snakeshead purple & white 10 Fritillaries - snakeshead purple & white 11

This blog has been in limbo for 6 months or so while I have been working on other projects. This blog is always the one that gives way first. Thanks to everyone who has visited it and even stuck with it despite the lack of new posts.

THE HONEY BEE & THE DAHLIA: LATE SEPTEMBER SUNSHINE


This honey bee was making the most of the late September sunshine. The colour of its pollen load suggests it had decided to target the dahlias. It managed to get a good all-over dusting too. 

Late honey bee and dahlia1Late honey bee and dahlia2 Late honey bee and dahlia3 Late honey bee and dahlia4 Late honey bee and dahlia6 Late honey bee and dahlia7 Late honey bee and dahlia8 Late honey bee and dahlia9

BEES GOING ABOUT THEIR BUSINESS (1)


Dorset honey bee in flightDorset honey bee on HyssopDorset honey bee on HyssopDorset honey bee on HyssopDorset honey bee on HyssopDorset honey bee on HyssopDorset Honeybee on HyssopDorset Honey bee on runner bean flower

COMMON BLUE BUTTERFLY, DORSET


These exceptionally pretty little butterflies were prolific in the garden in late July and early August. However an autumnal chill arrived around the 18th. A few remained, but I saw only one or two last week. 

Common Blue Butterfly, Dorset 1Common Blue Butterfly, Dorset 2 Common Blue Butterfly, Dorset 3 Common Blue Butterfly, Dorset 4 Common Blue Butterfly, Dorset 5 Common Blue Butterfly, Dorset 6

SKIPPERS (NON-NAUTICAL) IN DORSET


Two skippers taken recently in Dorset, before the rains came. Then, as the rain has poured over the garden, so I have pored over my ‘Dummy’s Guide to Lepidoptera’ to work out what type of skipper this is. Or should I say, ‘these are’, because although the photos are not particularly good, these two creatures look different to me. But that could just be the angle of the “sun”, whatever that was.  Any hints from those kind enough to glance at this woefully under-curated ‘side-project’ blog would be welcome!Skipper Butterfly, Dorset Skipper Butterfly, Dorset Skipper Butterfly, Dorset

The same type of skipper? Or another, maybe?Skipper Butterfly, DorsetSkipper Butterfly, Dorset Skipper Butterfly, Dorset