This morning, I received an official letter from a fellow-citizen reminding me that my property at Gamone is located within one of the ecological zones defined in the context of a European chart, Natura 2000.
The following map indicates, in dark green, all the Natura 2000 zones (26 in all) in the Rhône-Alpes region, which includes many prestigious landscapes and extraordinary sites.
Our tiny local zone, in the middle of the map, has an exotic official label: Prairies of wild orchids, tufa deposits and Gorges of the Bourne. Here is the exact location of the zone that includes Gamone:
It's funny to learn that you're living in the middle of some kind of ecological museum. Normally, after next week's meeting in the municipal hall at Choranche, I'll know more about the down-to-earth implications of this affair. In any case, I'm such a profound admirer of my magnificent adoptive abode that I could hardly love and respect it any more than I do already. I even get around to thinking that the situation might be reversed. Maybe this wild and glorious land should have a little bit more respect for an awkward but intrepid old Antipodean such as me, living dangerously at times, who will never conquer its challenges, master its mysteries, nor fully behold its beauty.