Firstly I would like to apologise if I have not visited you for a while! I seem to be getting further and further behind schedule and I have no idea where all the time goes! We will be away for a lot of May, and the beginning of June, so I am going to take a break from the blog over that period, but I will be back, I promise, towards the end of June! I hope to come back with some great stories to tell you; the first few posts unrelated to the Charente, but hopefully of interest. I will be trying to keep the photodiary up to date when I can over the holiday break, but this will depend on availability of WIFI and, of course, time!
For those of you following me on Google reader, I gather that this service is being closed down at the end of June, so the best plan would be to follow by email; the email link is at the right hand top of my home page. If you have Facebook, it seems that you can also use bloglovin. I am not a Facebook fan, so I know little about it! Also suggested by followers is feedly.com.
Last week we took a country walk around Mazerolles with the local leisure club and near the end of the walk, we were shown a "small" mound, tucked away at the back of the church. The mound and moat are all that remains of a centuries-old defensive position - we had no idea it was there! A circular wooden stockade would have been built on the top, to provide shelter for local inhabitants in times of attack. I wrote about the church just over a year ago HERE. At that time we did not walk around the back and just look at what we missed!
A feudal (medieval) mound and moat, on land kindly donated to the commune by two local benefactors.
This medieval mound is reported to be 20 metres high, and 25 metres in diameter at the base, but looking at the proportions in the photo, I think the diameter is substantially understated!. It is surrounded by a ditch and an embankment. It is said to date from the XIII century, but fell into ruin after the French Revolution. There are suggestions there was a castle at the top, but it must have been quite small! A little research shows that, although a few archaelogists have dug test pits in various places, nothing has been found, so the site's history will remain a mystery! While trying to find out more about this feudal mound, I discovered that Mazerolles was one of the last places in the kingdom to testify to the presence of wolves (canis lupis).Pity I cannot take any photos of them now!
Lots of digging!!
Some of us climbed to the top to take a look.
Here we are on our way back down. Luckily there were some stout posts with rope attached, to help you on your way!
A little way down the road is this pretty lake
and on the opposite side of the road, next to the stream that runs into it, is the old lavoir. One of the few we have seen that has not been restored.
I was also fascinated by this collapsed building and hidden doorway, slowly being reclaimed by nature!
Walking through the country lanes and bridleways, I tried to find as many wild flowers as I could. Here are some of the pictures I took, with questionmarks where I cannot identify the species!
Possibly Blue-eyed Mary
With thanks to Beatrice I have discovered this is Euphorbia.
Herb Robert (Geranium robertianum )
Early purple orchid. (Orchis mascula) I think!
One of the violet family.
Stitchwort - possibly Greater stitchwort.
I think this is one of the Plantain family.
and also - My Life Before Charente Updated 30/04/2013 will be taking a break as well.