Florac and faunac

Bob W pdml at web-options.com
Mon Jul 5 06:58:56 EDT 2010


Here is a rather large gallery of photographs I took on holiday which show
the trails I walked on the Causse Mejean & and other nearby hills. Don't
feel obliged to look at all of them - it is a large gallery, but I wanted to
show something of the variety of landscape and wildlife up there. 

As Dominique said before I left, there are lots of hills and grass. I can
now tell you that there's more to it than that - they have rocks too.

< http://www.web-options.com/Causse/ >

It was a wet June, so everything was very lush & green. I arrived for the
first hot days of summer (up to 33 degrees) and unfortunately much of the
shooting was with the sun directly overhead. After a few days some storms
bubbled up and I was caught 2 days in a row on top of the causse by
torrential downpours and lightning storms. This must be France's way of
making visitors part of the terroir, since my trail shoes never quite dried
out, and now smell strongly of Roquefort cheese.

What I was unable to photograph effectively is the bird life. Each time I
walked or cycled up onto the Causse Mejean I saw at least one and up to 5
vultures, which I'm sure were Griffon Vultures (Gyps fulvus) based on the
colouring on the underside of their wings and around their necks, and the
shapes of their wings, heads and tail. Quite disconcerting to see them
circling overhead when you're struggling up there! I also saw such things as
the Saint-Martin's buzzard (Circus cyaneus, apparently hen harrier is the
common English name), which is exceptionally beautiful, as well as the
common buzzard in abundance and occasional falcons and smaller raptors.
There are also large numbers of thrushes, larks, tits, partridge and
uncountable LBJs which I'd never seen before. It's incredibly rich for
birdlife.

Some of these photos were taken on days I spent with Alastair, Masha and
Neave Robertson who were in the area. I haven't posted pictures of them as
I'm waiting for their permission to post them or not. It was great to meet
them all - they are lovely people, so if you get the opportunity to meet
them, take it. Alastair drove us around the Circuit des Causses et Gorges,
basically around the Gorge du Tarn and up onto the causse itself. It's a
thrilling place.

Comments welcome, but please note I already know I'm no Ansel Adams!

Bob






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