Yesterday was bee-u-ti-full! Clear blue skies and the car thermometer registered 23°C (although Simon made sure to point out that Accuweather said it was only 14°). I took the opportunity to spend the afternoon down at the orchard.
There were Brimstone butterflies leaping about all over, as well as the occasional Comma and Peacock. I discovered that the Common Winter Damselflies like to warm up on the corrugated iron sheets that are laid on the ground to provide basking places for reptiles and shelter for voles. There was a Red-tailed Bumble Bee queen checking out my French style neatly tied bundles of prunings, although sadly not my extremely artistically arranged bumblebee snugs (made from terracotta pots, small logs and moss). European Wall Lizards scuttled about.
Best of all, several flocks of cranes flew over while I was down there, and more came through after I came home. Simon got some nice photos from our driveway. I estimate that maybe a thousand cranes in all passed over our orchard and house. They navigate by flying up the line of the small stream that runs past Fontbaudry, and between our two properties. Some of the flocks were losing height over Preuilly so they spent some time milling about catching a thermal above the chateau.