Wednesday, 13 April 2011

French spring walk #2

Today's walk was in the hot afternoon sunshine.  Just Graham and me this time.  We walked to the neighbouring village, not taking the usual route by road, along the bottom of the valley, but walking right up and over the very steep - almost precipitous - hill which separates the two villages.

Graham by the meadow and flowers
We started off by meadows strewn with wildflowers - buttercups, daisies and so many other pretty ones I don't know the names for.  By the time we reached the top of the hill we were hot, sweaty, panting with exhaustion and not caring so much about the flowers.
Forest path

The hill is covered with a dense oak forest, teeming with plants and wildlife.  We saw thousands of beetles, ants, bees, spiders and butterflies.  Twice we heard thundering hooves and saw a flash of white bambi tail disappearing off through the trees.  And as we reached the village on the other side we saw a really big, fat green-blue lizard sunbathing greedily in the middle of a patch of buttercups.
The wildlife was too quick and shy for me to photograph, but the flowers made up for it.
Lilac blossom
lilac blossom
Wild quince blossom
pink blossom on the quince trees that grow wild in the hedgerow - which reminded me of Sue
Lichen twig
lichen on a twig
Small blue flowers
 pretty small blue flowers
Teeny, tiny speedwell flower
miniscule blue speedwell
Cowslips - almost gone
cowslips - almost over

At the village we stopped for a very welcome cold glass of beer at the bar, and then headed back up and over the ludicrously steep hill, slightly wobblier than when we walked down it.  The whole walk took us three hours, and at times we felt like explorers stumbling across a precious and unexpected abundance of flora and fauna, which had to be inspected and catalogued.  If I could draw I'd be heading back up there tomorrow with a sketchpad and coloured pencils to document it all like the early explorers did - with watercolours, charcoal pencils and paper.

But perhaps I've had enough of steep hills for a little while - there are rivers here too, and river walks are always flat.  My legs would thank me for a river walk next I think.
PR1 walk sign


  1. Oh so amazingly beautiful! I'm worried you might not want to come back to London now...!

    K x

  2. Bet the beer tasted good after that though!


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