Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Crane Central

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.

This Lizard Orchid leaf rosette in the neighbour's orchard is quite substantial. All the orchids have responded to the wet weather by putting on generous growth.

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.


  1. Diane commented on our entry, that she'd had them over all day too... down there in Charente...
    some will have passed through during the night... I heard them here while cutting hollow stems for bee nests by lamplight.
    If they are still moving, we could even get some today...

  2. We saw them flying in NE direction as we drove back from Poitiers yesterday evening....
    ...well we assume they were cranes as we unable to listen! :-)

  3. I don't think there's anything more lovely than cranes and spring sunshine.

  4. A great sight, Susan. We are lookng forward to the time when we can see the cranes fly ove LP-P.

  5. More cranes today, Susan...

    And yesterday's temperature reached 18.5C on the weather station records.

    Where is your car's sensor? On the Merc it is just behind the numberplate and always reads much higher when in sunlight... until you start going and it drops rapidly.