Thursday, May 22, 2014

Europe day 2: Cascades de l'Orbieu

Yesterday we arrived in France, and so it is unsurprising that the most dominant feature of today is jetlag. We are taking it slow. However, we made a few small walks in the vicinity.

The above picture shows what we might call the Central Business District of the village we are staying in. Lanet has approximately 60 permanent inhabitants and is surrounded by a few paddocks and lots of awesome forest, mostly of Quercus ilex, Quercus pubescens, Erica arborea and Buxus sempervirens.

An applemint (Mentha suaveolens, Lamiaceae) clogging up a waterspout on a wall in the village. I wonder how the seed got there. And I wonder what happens 'upstream' if there is strong rain.

The endpoint of our last walk today, the cascades of the Orbieu near the old watermill ruins. It was very foggy, and consequently I found it very difficult to take decent pictures, but this one does capture the atmosphere.

The river below the cascades. Although the area is in the rain shadow of the Pyrennees and accordingly dry, it is perennially wet in this particular location. The vegetation is dominated by mosses and ferns, for example Phyllitis scolopendrium, Polypodium australe and Asplenium trichomanes.

Finally, and to end on a very botanical note, a 'princess' my wife made for our daughter from a poppy flower and grass.

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