While most of the rest of France suffers from unseasonably poor weather, we’ve stayed rather longer than anticipated on the west coast at the Côte Sauvage because it seems largely to be escaping. Normandy and Brittany also seem to be escaping but we’re damned if we’re going to head back north this early.
One of the VTT cycle routes that we tried introduced us to a new facet of our surrounding area. As swift right turn about a mile up the road from our campsite is a small lane at the entrance of which is a sign declaring “Zone Gibier d’Eau”. This is a new phrase to us and we’re completely sure what it is. However, gibier generally refers to game animals. Fond de gibier is game stock.
The area has many small water channels and is not unlike the Marais Poitevin which we visited before coming here. Most late afternoons we’ve seen several locals with very rudimentary fishing rods (i.e. sticks with string attached) trying their luck in these small channels. The channels are clearly too small for any worthwhile fish but a sneaky peek into one of the local’s buckets by Franco revealed a collection of écrevisse (fresh water crayfish). Once again, a free food source was typically not being overlooked. Gibier d’Eau, seems to have something to do with game water though, if there’s anything other than crayfish there, I don’t know what it might be.
Given a decent collection of fresh water channels, when the weather is right there is a also a decent collection of dragonflies and damselflies. Regrettably, the weather recently has not been settled enough for long enough to encourage them to be very active. There are a few specimens, though, and today Francine spotted what I think is a Southern Emerald Damselfly clinging tenaciously to a grass stem in the stiff breeze. The situation didn’t allow for the best of photos but, since it’s new to my collection, here it is. Rather more cooperative was a pristine specimen of a Black-tailed Skimmer, though poor Francine got a little chilled waiting for me to capture it on pixels. 🙁