• marklunn57

The Ateliers start to take shape

Time moves on and the weather cools a bit, I have to say it is a bit of a relief, mid 30’s was getting a bit tiring, low to mid 20’s is far more comfortable especially if out and about cycling etc.

Nature wise, a few minor changes, more Dragonflies showing up, in this case a Small pincertail, Onychogomphus forcipatus and the Demoiselles, Calopteryx virgo are in good number down on the riverbank but fewer butterflies. However, we have been blessed with a Purple Emperor, Apatura iris visiting the courtyard over the last few days, I suspect a 2nd Brood have emerged, no photo as it was very flighty. While out for a walk one notable ‘new tick’ for me was a Southern White Admiral, Limenitis reducta on some scrubland along the side of the river. A lone French Red Underwing, Catocala elocata moth came into the courtyard as well, they are rather large, 7cm along the wing leading edge.

Not to everyone’s liking but they really are impressive and they eat flies – works for me ! A Wasp Spider, Argiope bruennichi. In long grass along the side of Lac Montbel

From a bird perspective the ‘eagle’ we have seen on a number of occasions still frustrates us on identification as we only see it when we are driving ! But the Black Kites and Griffon Vultures are around often and seen in good numbers. A chance view of what we think was a Hen Harrier while driving but frustrating as there was as usual nowhere to stop and get a really good look.

And of course the Sunflowers are out and in many places have already gone to seed, but they are planted in stages so you can still find fields of them fully open. Lovely to see fields of them scattered across the countryside as you drive, it really adds swathes of cheerful colour to the countryside.

We had a trip out to see some good friends in Alaigne, Lin and Geoff. On the way we stopped off at the lac in Chalabre, what a lovely place, we will certainly be visiting that again on a regular basis. The feeder stream was low so a lot of rocks were exposed and the Blue butterflies were making the most of the access to the mineral salts there, I noted Chalk-hill Blue, Provencal Short-tailed Blue and Long-tailed Blue amongst them, as well as this unkindly named Dingy Skipper Erynnis tages.

Small pincertail, Onychogomphus forcipatus

Demoiselle, Calopteryx virgo

Southern White Admiral, Limenitis reducta

French Red Underwing, Catocala elocata

Wasp Spider, Argiope bruennichi

Sunflowers under a blue sky

Dingy Skipper Erynnis tages

Yoke’s atelier (studio) has started to take shape and photos will be put up shortly. My atelier is slowly being cleared of boxes and work items and the kiln has been fired up and works okay. Now to organise everything where I want it and set up the lampwork torch and I will be able to make more beads for Yoke to make into her beautiful jewellery. Once we are both fully set up we will be able to offer taster sessions of Lampwork bead making, Glass fusing and Jewellery making to visitors/guests.

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Time to change

Well, its been a blast, but, managing the blog when the gite is in full swing is not easy and to make it simpler we have decided to move the Blog to Facebook, sorry - I know its not a brilliant thing