We thought we’d stretch our legs and walk to Fanjeaux and back. We began by taking the route out of the back of our campsite. It gives you a bit of a trudge along a road but it’s quiet and there are decent views over the escarpment down to the lower ground below Fanjeaux. The Café des Arts was open, having been closed recently. It would be rude not to freshen up with a beer at one of their outside tables. I found they had Grimbergen Blonde on tap, which is a half way reasonable brew bettering 6% ABV. I’d seen it in supermarkets when I’d been scratching my head wondering what to buy so I was interested to try it. It was very drinkable. I do wish we weren’t so limp when it comes to the alcohol content of beers.
Our route back formed a circular walk, returning along the approach road used to get to the campsite. Then we veered off along a lower track below the farmhouse and beside a second smaller lake and hedgerow. The hedgerow was productive; I was pleased to have another chance to photograph females of the Violet Dropwing (Trithemis annulata).
We relaxed chez Guillaume for a while but neither of us is terribly good at sitting still for too long. Francine spotted something near the lakeside that gladdened her heart: Autumn Ladies Tresses (Spiranthes spiralis), a relatively small wild orchid with a corkscrew spiral twist. One spike was quite advanced but other spikes were just bursting through the soil and yet more seemed to be following as Francine watched.
We weren’t done yet. Our Belgian neighbour spends a while sitting and watching the lake. He calmly called Francine over and a mustelid was poking around one of the tree bases that surround the lake near his pitch. Naturally when I went to join them it had disappeared down the bank onto the shore. It did, of course, fail to reappear. However, a short while later I spotted something essentially dark brown and furry swimming on the surface at our end of the lake. Then it dived and I didn’t see it again. It clearly wasn’t an otter. Given the watery habitat this just has to have been a Mink (Neovison vison). Naturally, a picture was out of the question, so fleeting and few were its appearances.