A week or so ago there was a break in the weather just long enough for me to get some mowing done down at the orchard. On my way home I encountered this Lesser Bloody Nosed Beetle crossing the road.
It was coming from the direction of the recently poisoned and ploughed haymeadow, so presumably it was a survivor of the large population of these bedstraw munching members of the leaf beetle family that used to live in the meadow. Maybe it had got sick of trying to survive on the fringes and was migrating in the hope of finding a more welcoming site. It is female, so it may have been wanting to lay eggs somewhere safe. They are flightless, so ponderously walking is their mode of travel.
PS The annual plant fair at the Chateau de Verneuil is today. I will be there and plan on buying all my vegetable seedlings from them. If you are going to buy plants, bring a box or two to put them in - they are in very short supply otherwise. Plan to have lunch in the dining hall served by the students - it's good value and good food, and another way you can support the foundation that runs the place.