We've spent last week with visitors. My sister Kathy and brother-in-law John made a very welcome stop on their European holiday. They've visited before, when the house was still like camping, and got to sleep on an airbed in the pantry. Nowadays we can proudly offer them a comfortable bedroom with adjoining shower room.
Naturally it was a full programme of nature and cultural heritage. They had a hire car so on days when I needed to catch up on admin or gardening, they went off to visit chateaux. But we also had several days out looking at wildlife in general. They are keen birdwatchers, but I am only a casual birder, so the birdwatching was a bit disappointing because I didn't know all the good spots and can't identify LBJs in the tops of trees by their song. Botanically there was lots to see and the butterflies and dragonflies were quite good. Kathy was using a new iPhone app for European butterflies which she found very helpful and generally easy to use.
Maison du Parc in the Brenne.
bank of Carthusian Pinks.
On Saturday, after spending the morning in the Foret de Preuilly, we joined my local botany club for an outing to look at the orchids around Chaumussay (last year's outing report here). It was extremely hot, and many of our local orchids like open roadsides or limestone ridges, so we wore hats, sunscreen, sunglasses and stood around in the limited shade as much as possible. I tried to translate Marc Fleury's little lecture on each of the 18 species of orchids we saw and the day ended with several mugs of his home made cider. Since cider is John's drink of choice, this went down very well and they were impressed with how good it was.
On Sunday we waved them off on their way to Lyon for a few days, then they fly home back to the Canberra ratrace.