Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Autumnal forest

We enjoyed perfect walking weather for our beautiful stroll in the forest yesterday, including a visit to the menhir at Kerampeulven. Thanks to Judith for the photo. We were pleased to welcome new people and dogs to the group, and a great après-walk was had by all. Thanks to everyone who came and made it such a good afternoon.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Huelgoat walk

We have a walk at 2pm on Tuesday 26th October in Huelgoat. This is mostly a new route (unless you are a very old-time Brittany Walker ;-)) and the meeting place is the large forest parking area on the left on the D769 as you leave the town in the direction of Poullaouen. Good forest paths, but one short section may be muddy in/after bad weather. The forest is spectacularly beautiful at this time of year! The après-walk will be at L'autre rive café/bookshop. All welcome.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Lesley's Nature Watch - Where do Butterflies go in Winter?

There is no single answer to this question as different species do different things. Some species such as the smaller Skipper butterflies, overwinter in their egg form. Many others hibernate as catterpillars,e.g. Large Skipper, Meadow & Heath Browns.
Orange Tips & many others overwinter in pupa form while Peacocks, & Speckled Wood are amongst those who spend the winter in hibernation as adult butterflies, often in our sheds, attics & outbuildings. This why, on the first warm days of the year, we can see some very tatty individuals of these species sunning themselves. Conversely, those who passed the winter as chrysalis will now come out as butterflies & look immaculate! The Painted Lady Migrates south for winter which was so wonderfuly witnessed when huge numbers returned on mass in the spring of 2009. Whatever happened to them all remains a mystery.
The Swallowtail (pictured) has an interesting survival tactic. The female lays several individual eggs. Some of those will complete their life cycle in the same year, while others will remain in their pupa form until the following spring.

Sunday, October 17, 2010


We are having a day trip to Rennes on Tuesday, 14 December. As we are arranging car-sharing, please let me know if you want a) to take a car and offer places (petrol contributions) or b) or have a seat in a car. The plan is to meet up in Rennes at 10.30-10.45 for coffee, have a guided tour of main sights in morning, then rest of day free for shopping (Christmas markets), superb museums, etc. Leave Rennes about 4.30pm. Maps and car-parking information will be provided nearer the time to those who have booked.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Glorious Guingamp

We had a most enjoyable walk in Guingamp on Tuesday, with glorious weather and lots of interesting sights. Those who hadn't been before were impressed by the town centre with its medieval and Renaissance houses and grand church in various architectural styles. This really is a good place for a day's visit, with a stroll along the river Trieux and lunch at one of the many good eateries. Thanks to all participants for making the walk so pleasant, and especially to Dave the photographer.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Walk around Guingamp - Tuesday 12th October

We have a walk on Tuesday 12th October at the most attractive town of Guingamp, starting at 2pm from the fountain in the central square (near the church). Easiest and free parking is the well-signed Parking St-Sebastien, then cross the passerelle and short walk to meeting point. The route covers the town centre and a river walk along the Trieux, returning with fine country views and a new perspective on the town, passing sections of the old aqueduct. The walk is easy with one uphill section. All welcome, 3€.
Reminder: the last day for Study Day places at a discount price is on October 15th. For full details of topics offered, etc. see our website

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Lesley's Nature Watch. A SINGLE ROOK'S A CROW.........

.......and a flock of Crows is Rooks. So goes the old country saying, & now is the season for flocking amongst many birds. Most evident are the huge flocks of Starlings, Rooks, Mallards, Gulls & Pigeons, but take a look at the flocks of smaller birds. There are flocks of Linnets & Wagtails, Charms of Goldfinches & Gangs of Greenfinches. (I call them 'Gangs' because of their loutish behaviour on the bird table) and many more. Of course this flocking is in preparation for the colder months ahead as roosting in numbers creates warmth & also when food becomes scarce, the more pairs of eyes there are searching for it, the better for all.
Yesterday, I had a long journey through Brittany & saw several Swallow & Martin 'stragglers'. They were sparce & in tiny groups, the largest of which was just 5.
We'll have to wait until spring to welcome the return of those huge flocks of Swallows again! Meanwhile, we shall soon be welcoming the many flocks of Waders & Wild Geese who will come down from the Arctic to spend the winter with us.
What more cheerful sound could there be on a cold winter's day than a 'Gaggle' of Geese?
Photo: Gulls on Alfred Hitchcock's Statue, Dinard