He was gone, of course, long before I could lay hands on a camera. But soon after, one of the new kittens, Ali, decided to follow him up the chimney and fortunately stopped on a ledge within touching range so could easily be retrieved before getting herself into difficulty or danger. I've long been particularly interested in Owls, so this was a most pleasant surprise visit. J had thought she'd seen a Little Owl perched on a nearby building and it was probably this little 'un. There are huge numbers of BArn Owls around here too. I've never come across so many. Sadly, there is also a string of them dead by the roadside leading into one of our nearest towns, Thouars. These have presumably been hit by traffic on the road at night while hunting.
Today we have a gloriously bright, sunny day albeit with lowish temps following an overnight frost. Still nothing like Sweden where our old neighbour, Monica, confirmed a day or two ago that it had been minus 23 overnight! Oddly enough, we are sure we'll both miss the beauty - including temps and snowfalls - of the place, though the wine, food, weather and general lifestyle is better down here.
The two kittens are slowly adapting to life with us; the male, called, imaginatively, 'Ginge' is into everything, constantly curious. He cracked the catflap immediately and comes and goes happily. His sister, Ali, is much more timid and cautious, though she does come to me when I call her and jumps onto my lap most evenings. Today is thr first day of catflap usage. She was initially very wary of Jack but has come to realise he's not a threat. The same cannot be said for Rocky who, to our surprise, has suddenly grown enormously and will chase the pair of them at the drop a hat. Sadly, there's been no news of Charlie - my all time favourite Swedish cat - who has now been gone for the better part of two months. I still miss him terribly and hope he returns though the odds must now be stacked against it!
J has bought and planted three trees for the longer term in the garden: a Catalpa, Liquid Amber and 'Silk Tree' ( Paraserianthes lophantha.) We also have our thirty-plus years old Pomello in a pot. Somehow or other It has survived all the moves and a few years in Sweden:
We've bought loads of wood to keep the fires and stove running and have oil and a new heating system in situ with only two pipes and electrics now to be connected. Then we'll have central heating. We could do with it now and hope to have it before Xmas.
We've had a bit of rain too, so the garden - or weed-patch - is a bit muddy for now. Hopefully we'll get over that soon. Maybe we'll even have snow!