Hunting: The main hunting season starts this month. Game in French is gibier and furred game such as rabbits, deer and boar are gibier à poils. Waterfowl is gibier d'eau, and the third category of game are the very controversial oiseaux de passage (migrating birds). The exact start and end dates for the hunting season varies from département to département, but here in Indre et Loire, the general opening date is 9am on 19 September. Conversely, the angling season ends on 19 September.
The rules are many and precise.
- Some species have a more restricted season than the general dates (e.g. hares and partridge).
- Hunting underground is only allowed by specialist registered clubs.
- In order to allow the population to rebuild, hunting hares is not allowed everywhere.
- Hunters are not allowed to put out grain to attract boar unless they have a special licence.
- Hunting is generally only allowed from 9am to one hour after sunset (with some exceptions e.g. waterfowlers are allowed to be in position two hours before sunrise).
- Nuisance species e.g. coypu can be hunted on any day of the week, within the usual hours, without any prior notification to the authorities.
- Hunting is not permitted when it is snowing (with some exceptions e.g. waterfowl on open water).
- It is forbidden to buy or sell certain game (e.g. woodcock).
Grape harvest: The wine growers will start harvesting their grapes sometime this month, the exact date depending on the weather. The harvest is called le vendange. Also being harvested will be sunflowers and feed maize, so there will still be lots of slow wide vehicles on the roads.
Touring cyclists: Now that the weather is a bit cooler, the serious touring cyclists come out with their high-vis gear and enormous laden panniers.
Open House Days: Known as Open House weekend in the UK, in France they are the Journées du Patrimoine, on 18-19 September. This is your chance to see all sorts of places that are not usually open to the public. In Preuilly there will be guided walks of the town, the museum is open and Gérard Fleury, an expert in medieval sculpture, will be giving a lecture on the Abbaye.
Anniversaries: Célestine first came to live with us twelve months ago this month, and it was three years ago that we had the barn and staircase tower re-roofed.
Wildlife: Praying mantis.