Thursday, August 1, 2013

Butterflies at Gamone

There's no doubt about the preferred flowers of butterflies at Gamone. Disregarding my roses, they spend all their time on the lavender bushes. Here's a lone specimen of Euplagia quadripunctaria, nicknamed the Jersey Tiger (Ecaille chinée in French), which is rather rare here.

Iphiclides podalirius, nicknamed Swallowtail (Flambé in French), is quite common here at Gamone, where I found a couple flitting around the lavender this morning.

Click to enlarge, enabling you to see a visiting honey bee.

Media reports speak of an alarming diminution in the quantity of butterflies in rural France, due to the use of pesticides. So, their abundance here is what might be termed (metaphorically) a blessing. At the level of their wonderful park, Tineke and Serge have found, like me, that the butterfly population at Choranche seems to be intact. In an adjacent domain, Serge was happy to inform me that his hive of honey bees appears to be, not only healthy, but in a prolific state of honey production.

I say to myself constantly that we have the privilege of living in a lovely corner of France.

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