Monday, 2 September 2013

Wildlife Watching in the Touraine du Sud in September

Praying Mantis Mantis religiosa and stick insects Clonopsis gallica will be about. This female Praying Mantis was munching a Devil's Coach-horse beetle Ocypus olens on a farm track two years ago.
 September is fairly reliably warm and dry, a beautiful month to be here, with days that are still a good length.

Both Swallowtail Papilio machaon (below) and Scarce Swallowtail Iphiclides podilirius caterpillars are not abundant, but can be quite visible in early September. They are large and colourful, nearly ready to pupate. Look on or near their host plants (umbels like Fennel Foeniculum vulgare, French Hog's-fennel Peucedanum gallicum or like this one, Wild Parsnip Pastinaca sativa for P. machaon -- it's even worth checking your garden carrots. For I. podilirius try fruit trees).
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A la piscine hier: Yesterday was the last open day of the season for the Preuilly pool, and Laurent's last day as the maître-nageur. We took down a couple of bottles of wine and some homemade blueberry muffins and invited everyone at the pool to apéros. I saw lots of people exchanging email addresses and Gérard, the deputy mayor, got his ear bashed about the Chapelle de Tous-les-saints.
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A la cuisine hier:  A really simple tomato sauce made from fresh seasonal ingredients and served with GF spaghetti.

10 comments:

  1. Great Swallowtail catta pic...
    but the mantis eating a DCH...
    boo! We need the Coach-horse...
    there are too many slugs and snails as it is....
    OI! Mantid...
    try crickets!!

    Thought of you and your potager yesterday apres... saw an advert for a 1600 litre towable water bowser at the vide grenier at La Guerche... no price [as usual] tho'.

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  2. Tim: I'm very pleased with the photo. I like the cyclists in the background. They were coming towards me and probably wondering what the hell I was doing. Naturally we politely 'bonjour'ed each other when they passed.

    We have thought about a mobile watering tank, but I wouldn't be able to manage it on my own so it's not a solution.

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  3. I hope something will be done about la Chapelle de Tous-les-saints.

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  4. chm: Gérard did not sound very optimistic. He says getting the commune to act is proving difficult.

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  5. Susan...
    Les Jours du Patrimoan are coming up...
    could a group of you get something organised for a fortnight hence?....
    yes! I know... it is France!!

    As for a bowser, the one for sale had three wheels... two, plus a jockey wheel.
    You should be able to manouver it empty on three wheels...
    then chock it and lift it off the tow hook with the jockey wheel when full.
    It worked here with our trailer full of 20x20 parpaing....
    and you would be able to get a can under a tap that way.

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  6. Tim: Something is being organised for the JdP I believe.

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  7. On a wildlife topic, Susan, you might be interested in this link:
    http://brecklandbirder.blogspot.fr/2013/08/thompson-water-lynford-arboretum-and.html
    Whilst it is in Breckland... read on to discover the Australians he went birdwatching with...

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  8. That photo of the caterpillar is brilliant!!

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  9. Jean: It's a classic example of something you can do with a really ordinary point and shoot digital camera that you can't do with an SLR.

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  10. Susan....
    your camera is a point and shoot SLR!!
    That's why it is sold as a "bridge" camera...
    and, when the latest ones have x23 Optical zoom...
    and 16plus megapixel resolution...
    there is now, very, very little reason to go totally SLR!

    Unless, like me, you have an assortment of lenses,...
    reversing rings,...
    extension tubes,...
    a further assortment of lenses,...
    bellows,...
    yet more assorted lenses...
    etc...

    Starting now, I would go the Bridge Camera route.

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