Chinon Fire Station.
Prostrate Veronica Veronica prostrata.Les Puys du Chinonais are 6 outcrops of between 65 and 90 metres above sea level, capped by hard limestone formed in the Cretaceous period, and with sandy lower slopes resulting from the erosion of the ancient plateau. They face south, giving them a quite mediterranean microclimate characterised by wooded summits dominated by Downy Oak and Maritime Pine; dry flower rich grasslands on the slopes and at the base, cultivated vines and cereals.
Dwarf Spurge Euphorbia exigua, with a
Platystomidae fly visitor.
Tassel Hyacinth Muscari comosum bud.
Pasqueflower Pulsatilla vulgaris.Early Spider Orchids Ophrys sphegodes, Vetches Vicia spp and other pea flowers grow amongst the Sheep Fescue Festuca ovina. If you go a bit further up you find Black Spleenwort Asplenium adiantum-niger and Tassel Hyacinth Muscari comosum. Best of all, on the southern end of the site is a significant colony of Pasqueflower Pulsatilla vulgaris, a plant I had never seen in its native habitat before.
The southern tip of le Puy Besnard looks over the valley to
the nuclear power station at Avoine.
PS Curiously, even though this was the date of the first round of voting for the presidential election, and a remarkable 80% of registered voters turned out, I did not hear one word of politics over a 4 hour period in a group of 25 French people! In France it is not compulsory to vote, but it is compulsory to register on the electoral roll (it's a kind of officially overseen rite of passage here). Politics is normally hotly discussed at any gathering too, and I would expect people to be keen to know what I, as a non-French national, thought. But no - apparently botany is even more important than politics!