Category: 2011 Spring

The Pinail Trail

Last year, whilst trawling a few fellow dragonfly enthusiasts’ websites, I discovered an interesting looking nature reserve in France called La Réserve Naturelle du Pinail or the Pinail Trail for Anglophones. Of the 90+ species of Odonata in France, this

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Beer o’Clock

The press is on strike. Now there’s a thing. We have been unable to buy our French newspaper, Aujourd’hui, with the weather maps for the coming four days. Quite why the press thinks that a strike would adversely affect many

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Space at a Premium

Last year farmer Luc’s lake was not looking healthy enough for his liking. Most of the fish in it had died and much of the lake’s surface was covered with weed. Mind you, it did support a large population of

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Lunch at Gruissan

Fanjeaux was suffering from the Pyrenean effect with overcast skies today whereas, 50mls/80kms away, the Mediterranean coast near Narbonne was expecting clear weather. A good time to go and finally investigate an area we’d been meaning to look at for

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Les Chateaux de Lastours

A spot of culture for today. North of Carcassonne and at the eastern end of les Montagnes Noires, is the reasonably precipitous valley of the river Orbiel. About half way up the valley is the village of Lastours boasting an

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Shrinking Violets

Yet another pair of Homo sapiens subspecies brittanicus arrived this afternoon but this pair was attempting to disguise itself as subspecies gallicus by travelling in a French registered car pulling a French registered trailer tent. It’ll soon be time for

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The Garden Effect

We are staying in pitch 20 of a sheep farm site at Fanjeaux. It is one of the four main, sought after lakeside pitches. To our right (as we look at the lake) is pitch 19. Pitch 19, being a

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Four for Four

A wandering pair of Homo sapiens subspecies brittanica turned up this afternoon armed with their caravan and, as we were beginning another Odonata spotting sortie with cameras slung about various parts of our bodies, they began eyeing up the garden

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Le Barrage de Soulcem

Our Saturday newspaper, Aujourd’hui, predicted une canicule [scorching heat] of a weekend. The little weather maps on the back page showed Bordeaux suffering the full ferocity of our nearby celestial nuclear fusion reactor with temperatures peaking at 39°C/102°F – not

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Agoraphobic Sheep

Our very amicable hosts, Luc and Nadine, run a dairy sheep farm. They have a troupeau [flock] of about 300 ewes whose milk is used for the production of Roquefort cheese. The farm land is used to grow food, largely

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