Early morning walks

15/04/2014 09:54

This was the coldest morning since we are back in the Alsace. I should have worn some gloves on our early morning walk but I do not like wearing them and also, I wanted to take some pictures because it was gloriously sunny although the north eastern wind was very cold. In the shade there were still some patches of frost. Fortunately the fruit trees in the garden do not seem to have had any problems with this. The cherry blossom is nearly finished, the apple blossom out in full and the plums on the way back. So, hopefully we will have some fruit this year because the freezer is running pretty low now due to the fact that we had nothing last year! Normally, when we come back to the Alsace in early April the mirabelle trees behind the house are in full bloom - this year they had finished flowering already! Last year everything was at least six weeks late - this year they are a few weeks early!

Since we are back we have been able to take Tuppy out for a long walk every morning - no rain! She particularly likes the first part where we walk up from the house to the field. There is always a lot of scratching going on and grass and soil is flying all over the place. This is probably where all the smells are of the animals that come around during the night like badgers (you can see the track where they come down) and probably some other night creatures like house martins. I know these little creatures live arounf here and they have cost me a small fortune: I had to have a special ultra sound device put in my car to stop them eating through the cables. Further on in the field you can see where wild pigs have been rooting and of course there are the deer. 

This morning I had to take my camera with me to take some pictures:

Alan standing in front of a pear tree gone wild.

Tuppy, curious about what I am doing.

All the yellow patches in the field are cowslips. It is too early for the dandelions to be open and there do not (yet) seem to be many buttercups.

Tracks of a tractor.

Patches of wild orchids. (15.04.14 I now know the name of this orchid: harlekijn in dutch or green winged orchid in English - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anacamptis_morio)

I would love to know the name of this orchid. Every year there seem to be more and more patches of these orchids although the field has less wild flowers than when we first came here. Artificial fertilizer was used about ten year ago. I think it was used only for one or two years but it has taken a long time for the wild flowers to come back again. When we first moved here I could pick armsful of wild flowers and decorate the whole house with them. Now, more and more fields are used for agricultural purposes.

I do not know the name of these little blue flowers but there are patches all over the field.

I know the German name for these: gewöhnliches Seifenkraut.

View of the village.

Violets under the trees bordering the field

as well as these little white flowers. Can anybody let me know what these are called? In spring you find them all over in the shade of trees.