Saturday, 31 July 2010

Southern Skimmer Dragonfly

Southern Skimmer Orthetrum brunneum
This dragonfly is widely distributed throughout southern Europe but is absent from the British Isles. The photo was taken at the La Peyne stream near to the Barrage des Olivettes.
(Canon EOS450D, Canon 55-250mm IS lens @ 250mm, 1/400s @ f/7.1)

Friday, 30 July 2010

Château de Pouzolles

Château de Pouzolles
The village of Pouzolles, 20Km north of Béziers, is dominated by the twin turrets of its château and the spire of the church.
(Lumix TZ-10, 1/500s @ f/3.2, 32mm equiv focal length)

Saturday, 24 July 2010

Menhir at Picarel

Menhir at Picarel le Haut
The area around Murat and the Monts de Somail have many standing stones or Menhirs. This one, at Picarel le Haut, is near to the village of Fraisse-sur-Agout. Many of these curious megalithic monuments have some resemblance to the human form. This one has a simple groove about one third of the way from the top which is supposed to represent the division between the head and the body. The 2.5 meter tall stone stands down a gravel track some 400 meters from the road.

Monday, 19 July 2010

Dragonfly eating Damselfly

Yellow-legged Clubtail eating an Orange white-legged Damselfly
While at the Lac de Bordelet a few weeks ago this Dragonfly landed on my trouser leg with the prey that it had captured and ate it, like spaghetti, while I watched! The dragonfly is a Yellow-legged Clubtail, Gomphus pulchellus, and the hapless damselfly is an Orange White-legged Damselfly, Platycnemis acutipennis. Perhaps slightly gruesome but nonetheless fascinating!

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Fireworks, Bastille Day

Fireworks in Lamalou-les-Bains
July 14th is the main national day in France. Often called "Bastille Day" it is more correctly known as "La Fête Nationale". Most towns and even many small villages have firework displays. Lamalou-les-Bains has a spectacular display with the fireworks set to music. Along with the fireworks, the residents enjoy street entertainments and much eating and drinking!

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Tree lined road, Ceilhes-et-Rocozels

Shady, tree-lined road
France is often associated with its long stretches of tree-lined highway. In the summer the plane trees provide much needed shade from the intense sun. This road is at Ceilhes-et-Rocozels.
(Canon EOS450D, Tamron SP90mm, 1/60s @ f/10.0)

Monday, 12 July 2010

Marseillan, Le Port

Le Port, Marseillan
The town of Marseillan is on the banks of the Étang de Thau, a huge lagoon at the end of the Canal du Midi. The attractive port area is an active marina and is lined with good restaurants, many serving the shellfish for which the étang is famous, e.g. the Bouzigues oysters.
(Canon EOS450D, Sigma 17-70mm @ 17.0mm, 1/1000s @ f/7.1)

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Montpellier, Place de la Comédie

Place de la Comédie
This open space in Montpellier is a favourite meeting place with many pavement cafés from which one can watch the world go by. The Three Graces fountain stands in front of the Theatre (not in shot). The colourful trams are a great asset for getting into the centre as driving in Montpellier is a nightmare!
(Canon EOS450D, Sigma 17-70mm @ 17.0mm, 1/800s @ f/6.3)

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Clermont l'Hérault Market

The Musical Saw man
Wednesday (morning) is market day at Clermont l'Hérault. This duo, musical saw and hand operated organ are often there. This is my favoutite market in the area. It has a genuine French feel and is not as tourist oriented as many of the other large markets. Here are some more photos to give you a flavour. (Click on the photos for larger versions!)

Clermont l'Hérault Church

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Lac de Bordelet

Lac de Bordelet
The Lac de Bordelet is a popular picnic spot on the Somail plateau above the village of Riols. Much used by fishermen as well as picnickers, this lake also has many dragonflies which adds to the interest for me. As it is about 900m above sea level it can be a cool oasis when the temperatures climb down in the valleys.
(Canon EOS450D, Sigma 17-70mm @ 17.0mm, 1/250s @ f/8.0)

Monday, 5 July 2010

Orange-spotted Emerald Dragonfly

Orange-spotted Emerald Oxygastra curtisii
This species of dragonfly has been extinct in the UK since 1957 but is still quite easily observed in Southern France. This photo was taken near the River Orb in Hérépian, a favourite walking place for us (and swimming place for our dog, Button).

Saturday, 3 July 2010


Cicada Tibicen plebejus
The continued hot weather has got the Cicadas "singing" now. This is the largest European species with a very loud call. In the pinewoods on a warm afternoon the noise is quite deafening!
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