Thursday, 5 January 2017

The Nature of Touraine in 2016

Today's post is a series of photos, one taken in each month of 2016, to show some highlights month by month of the natural world in the Touraine in 2016.

January: A European Mistletoe Viscum album (Fr. Gui), on False Acacia Robinia pseudoacacia (Fr. Acacia) and covered in berries, in Amboise.

February: Cowslip Primula veris (Fr. Coucou) in a lawn, including a red flowering mutation, near Charnizay.

March: Wild Tulip Tulipa sylvestris (Fr. Tulipe des bois) flowering on the edge of a vineyard in Vouvray.

April: Ramsons Allium ursinum ( Fr. Ail des ours) on the banks of a stream, smelling strongly of garlic, near Sainte Maure de Touraine.

May: Bee Orchid Ophrys apifera (Fr. Ophrys abeille) in our vegetable garden in Preuilly sur Claise.
June: The biggest flood on record swept through the Claise Valley, photographed here at Chaumussay.

July: Small Spreadwing Lestes virens (Fr. Leste verdoyant) resting in the grass near Chaumussay.

August: A mud dauber wasp Sceliphron curvatum (Fr. Pélopée courbée), in our attic bathroom and flying too and fro to build a mud nest in a crack in a beam.

September: A male Orange Swift Triodia sylvina (Fr. Sylvine) resting on the green beans in our vegetable garden.

October: A Eurasian Swallowtail Papilio machaon (Fr. Machaon) caterpillar on Wild Carrot Daucus carota in our vegetable garden.

November: Grooved Bonnet Mycena polygramma (Fr. Mycène à pied strié) growing in the Forest of Preuilly.

December: The larva of a longhorn beetle Cerambycidae in our oak firewood. I'm told it is likely to be Leptura sp or Clytus sp, or a closely related genus. Based on that and the size of the larva, I think it could be either Plagionotus arcuatus (Fr. Clyte arqué) or Spotted Longicorn Chlorophorus glabromaculatus (Fr. Clyte poilu).
The beetle larva in the photo was identified for me when I posted some photos on the Facebook group Insects of Britain and Northern Europe. Entomology groups like this are one of the reasons I recently succumbed to the blandishments of FB. If you are interested in sending me a friend request, please do so, I'd be delighted. I use my real name on FB, but my profile image won't necessarily be me, and I will 'friend' you if I recognise your name or you send me a message explaining who you are if you are a lurker or use a pseudonym.


  1. Nature is marvellous! Every month has something to offer if you care to look. Just walked iback from the supermarket with my walker and we've had our very timid first snow flakes. I so wish it wouldn't be any worse!

    1. I wouldn't be surprised if we get a few flakes in the next few days.

  2. as an entomologist really love the pcitures

    1. Thanks. Entomology is my first love :-)