The Rocks with Something Different

Not much to say about this. It really speaks for itself. Hopefully this isn’t a trend, as I have a lot of large rocks on the property which would represent years of crocheting little outfits for them. Yes they are French, from a “cool trendy decorating” site.

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No Photo for Today’s Post

Something a bit different. Today when leaving a large store in the center of Carpentras, I was in the very busy left turn lane, waiting for the light, when Opelie’s (the car you know) motor just went completely dead. No warning, it would turn over, but obviously was not getting fuel. There was a line of cars behind me (horrors) who did not wast time honking at me. I of course turned on my flashers and got out of the car to put out my required red triangle behind the car, while trying to find the phone number for my insurance towing. Two working men in a flatbed truck, who were in the other lane, asked me if I wanted them to push me out of the way. Of course I said “oui, oui”. They drove out and parked along the side, and came back and pushed me around the corner where I could stop more or less out of the way, although I was still blocking a lane, and wait for the “depannage” (i.e., the tow truck). They were from the Mahgreb, probably Moroccan, and were the only people who offered to help. Other than the homeless looking guy who asked if I needed help while I was waiting for the tow truck. My Moroccan saints were so kind to help, they were not being inconvenienced as they were in the other lane and could have just gone on. I think of how negatively North Africans are portrayed by American media, and I really felt obligated to share this story. I have had nothing but good experiences with people from that part of the world.

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Christmas in Carpentras

OK, right, I haven’t posted for months. I’ve been busy! But I need to catch up now, so let’s do my post of the some of the Christmas decor in Carpentras. These are right in the center of town, they are better at night ……

And here is a shot of some of the decor available in a local discount-type store, have these caught on in the U.S.?

Next up?  More Christmas in Carpentras, the better side of it.


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Looks like I forgot the link:

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Bee Update and a New Blog

My bee larvae from last year have hatched except for two that are in the biggest bamboo tubes, so I’m hoping that they are a slightly larger species and will hatch soon. The new bee activity has produced nine new eggs, you can see all of the closed tunnels. If you look around the middle near the top, you will see a bee butt, she is working on her egg tunnel. She flew out shortly after I took the photo.

The other news is that I have started a second blog dedicated to my sewing experiments! Who knew that I liked to sew? Its like handyman work (bricolage) except with fabric and old clothes. Please go over and have a look, and maybe subscribe!

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Remember the Bees?

one bee


There’s a bee there, at the bottom.  Note that there are two holes still closed, there were eight so I have had 6 bees hatch!  This bee goes in and out of that hole, I’m sure is adding pollen and will eventually lay an egg in there.  This is from a video I made, which I can’t upload to this level of free blog so I had to pull screen shots.  Next up is another bee, not the same bee:


another bee


It is working on a hole farther up in the bee house.  They crawl in and turn around inside and fly out.  First they cleaned up the holes, flying in but backing out with debris.  They are probably Osmia, one of the mason bees.  I’ve also had a big black bumblebee checking out the holes:


2 bees


The big black one is near the top, and our friend from the first photo is at the bottom, at her hole.  The black one has blue wings when you see them in the light.  Very harmless, I believe their abdominal muscles are insufficient to sting you.  There are a fair number of different species that come here visiting our garden, I think most of them are solitary bees.  They are quite uninterested in stinging, perhaps because as they are solitary there is no nest to be protected.  Aren’t they great?

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Pine Processionary Caterpillars

Well, we had 5 nests of these horrid things. They are extremely poisonous, their hairs cause a flesh destroying reaction and can kill a dog. They are also dangerous to people, and to pine trees as well, they have killed many trees in France. The best way to eliminate them is to cut off the nest and burn it.  Well, as you might guess this sounded like a job for me and my weed burner!  Don’t I look very scary?  That’s a bottle of alcohol, those suckers are hard to fry!!  The nests were too high for me to reach, so our trusty tree trimmer, David, set his ladder up in the back of his truck and managed to get them all down.

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