The Thursday 25 April walking club outing started in Chambon. The weather forecast wasn't promising, but by lunch time it looked like the predicted storms were not going to happen or would go round us, so we set off, in waterproof coats and boots just in case, but pleasantly surprised at our good luck. It was not to last.
Scrap metal aeroplanes protecting a vegetable garden in Chambon.
The chateau of Chambon (now a farm) in the middle distance.
Babette can never resist offering some green pick to horses when we pass them. These two were in very good condition, and very eager for some human attention. I was quite surprised when Simon, who is not comfortable around horses, stepped up to pat one on the nose.
Sheep in a field.
Garden escapee asparagus on the roadside, no doubt from a seed sown by a bird.
This plant was particularly robust with a tall thick spear and others coming.
A rural house near Chambon.
The group walks past a bank of Early Purps and Cowslips.
Poultry on the doorstep of a farmhouse. This place had little groups made up of a rooster with a harem of two or three hens everywhere -- out in the fields, in the woods, in the farmyard.
Five minutes after I took this photo it got very dark indeed, thunder rolled and lightning flashed. Dominique told me a very dramatic story about being right in the heart of an electrical storm in the mountains where he could smell the ozone being produced and the very air fizzed and crackled. Scary but thrilling stuff. Just as he finished his story the rain came rattling through the trees at us. Our trousers were saturated within a minute, and water started running down them into our boots. Then we got pelted with hailstones. Fortunately, it transpired that we were not in the worst of it. Later driving home we saw the ground in the forest near Boussay was still white with hail. We were about five kilometres out from our cars when the storm hit, so we took a short cut and made our way back, walking a total of 6.8 kilometres.