We've had lots of Crane (Grue Cendrée) formations like this passing above us for the past few days. The birds make an incredible noise while they're flying and it's interesting to watch how the leader drops off from time to time to let another take his or her place. There are the inevitable stragglers and you just can't help cheering them on as they struggle to keep up with the rest in the long journey south.
If you want to track the course of the cranes, or add your own sightings, go to the European recording site where there's a lot of information on this magestic bird.
Seeing them pass on their way south is a glorious sight - and a sure sign that winter's on it's way.
We've been getting ready for the cold weather too and as there's still a bit of heat in the October sun, I've been doing a lot of hand-washing of socks - drying them first outside on the terrace, then bringing them in to dry near the wood burner which we lit for the first time this week. Washing by hand sounds like a bit of a drudge, but once I've found all the matching socks it's lovely to discover old friends who'll keep you nice and warm all winter and the job becomes a pleasure - especially on a bright sunny day.
I started making socks from our goats' wool for ourselves because there's nothing worse than having cold or uncomfortable feet when you're working outside all day.
I make them on a single bed machine from a pattern I designed and gradually adapted for a perfect fit, with no possibility of the socks going under the foot in wellies (Oh how I loathe that feeling!) and I make sure that the socks are easy to get on and off - very important at the end of a long day when you don't really feel like struggling to get your boots and socks off.
Some of our socks are more than ten years old and although I often have to darn or patch them when they wear at the heel, it's worth doing because they're still comfortable to wear. One of the nice things about woolen socks is that the wool absorbs a lot of moisture yet still feels warm and soft. You can wear woollen socks for days and days - the only limit being your own conscience !
You can buy these socks direct from us, or you can buy the mohair to knit your own pattern or use my machine pattern which I'll put into a separate posting in this blog.