Hot and dry

These teasels seemed to symbolise the day for me – a day when the temperature reached 40°C, which is a bit too hot, even for me and I like hot weather!  It’s far too hot to do anything in the garden apart from water the plants, in the evenings so that the water doesn’t immediately evaporate. Hoping to feel some cooler air we took our lunch to eat by the lakeside at the Barrage des Olivettes, but even there, in the shade of trees at the water’s edge, it felt hot. I try to remind myself that soon enough I’ll be complaining about it being too cold in winter!  Once again there were several varieties of dragonfly zipping from reed to reed and from leaf to leaf over the water – and once again I wasn’t quick enough to catch on camera the small blue darting ones or the large blue ones, but I did get some more views of the Scarlet Dragonfly:

Dragonfly and butterfly

Following yesterday’s Common White butterfly, some less common sightings by the lake at Vailhan this morning:

A Scarlet Dragonfly (Crocothemis erythraea), posing on a reed. It seems to be using its proboscis to extract the inside of the reed. These dragonflies can be seen all over southern Europe and North Africa and there are many of them along the shore of this lake at the Barrage des Olivettes.

And a few metres from the shore I saw my first ever Two-tailed Pasha (Charaxes jasius). It’s a large butterfly, as big as a small bird, whose grubs feed on arbutus leaves, which explains its presence here where the surrounding hillsides are covered with arbutus as well as holm oaks.

Water and fire, renaissance and a dying back again

The banks of the lake by the Barrage des Olivettes were busy with dragonflies the other day. I spotted several different varieties – some tiny silvery blue ones that moved too fast for me, these red ones, one of which I managed to catch on camera as it flew away, and a lot of large blue ones that were happy to pose, and mate, on the leaves in the shallows.

We came home past the site of last September’s big fire, which I noticed in April was green with spring grass and flowering plants, although the trees will probably not recover for years.

Now nature has gone through almost another full cycle for the annual plants, which are dying back again after flowering, like like the grasses on the terraces here and this thistle:

And, a bit further along the road, there were signs of another more recent fire – probably someone throwing a lighted cigarette end out of a car window judging by its position. Will people never learn?