We are no strangers to the Marais Poitevin since it one of our regular stopping points in France, both to visit friends and to hunt dragonflies. It’s a flat, rural landscape perfect for exploring on bicycles which we normally have with us. This one-day visit is very different, though, since we aren’t camping and are not carrying our bikes. Mike suggested that we take a walk and investigate one part of the marsh more slowly on foot.
Mike led us down through Arçais and round one of his favourite routes of about 5kms/3mls. It started rather unpromisingly on a tarmac covered lane but soon struck off onto tracks that began to look more Odo-friendly. Our trip is different in another way in that it is teh first time we’ve visited this area in August. Not only is it the height of the tourist season but it might provide a different collection of critters.
Next up was a Darter. Back chez nous it would be either a Common Darter (Sympetrum striolatum) or a Ruddy Darter (S. sanguineum) but there are more to choose from here so one has to look a little more closely. After a little considered thought I realized that this was the first of several Southern Darters (S. meridionale) that we would see.
Both these Odos were new to my list for the Marais Poitevin.
Back chez Mike while being well refreshed, we were entertained watching Violet Bees on Mike’s Passion Flowers. Violet Bees are particularly large and the Passion Flowers, which fit them perfectly, seem to be designed to be pollinated specifically by them. Here’s a couple of shots showing a bee at work.