All kinds of everything

Do you know what a nightingale sounds like?  I didn’t until I moved to St Chinian, and even then it took me a while to figure it out.  The nightingales are truly wonderful to listen to, and there are a good many secluded walks, where you can just sit and listen to them and they sing their hearts out.

The quality in the videos is unfortunately not as good as I would have liked it to be, I had to take out my old camera for the evening…  On the way to my favourite nightingale spot, I passed this flowering lime (linden) tree.  The whole tree was abuzz with honeybees and the scent of the flowers was intoxicating – simply divine!  Each year it takes me a couple of days before I realise that the heavenly scent means that the lime trees are in flower!

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Another spring/summer sound is this one:

definitely an acquired taste, but so long as they are out in the wilds and not below your bedroom window they are fun to listen to.

There’s been so much going on in the garden, and so this post is just a collection of random pictures, and it has no real story to it.

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This panorama was taken on a recent cherry picking trip near Les Rossignols, just outside Roquebrun.  Isn’t it amazing?

I found the most interesting critters in my garden this year.  This is a moth called Proserpinus Proserpina or Willowherb Hawkmoth.  I was clearing up some stuff and first of all I thought it was a dead leaf.  Luckily I didn’t brush it off, and I did manage to get some decent pictures.  I like the way it seems to hide its head under its forelegs.

And here’s another moth, this one is Epicallia Villica or Cream Spot Tiger.  Wonderful name and a wonderful looking creature.  I’ve not found caterpillars of either moth in my garden, so have to assume that they hatched elsewhere and just came in for a visit.

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This flower, I have been reliably informed, is Tragopogon Porrifolius or wild salsify – I’ve just been looking up the wikipedia entry and it sounds as though the whole plant is edible, though I guess for some of it it’s too late.  I will try and see if I can get at the root though.

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The gorgeous frog was probably still a little dazed from hibernation as he let me come really close.

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This is Cistus Monspeliensis, one of the emblematic flowers of the region.  Visit at the right time and you’ll find whole hillsides covered in different types of cistus

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The new season’s garlic has also made its first appearance!  The flavour is amazing – a little less pungent than the dried variety which will be on sale later on, and good enough to just eat raw, if you dare 🙂

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Now I don’t know what the flower in the top picture is, but the one in the bottom picture is Lavandula Stoechas, which is native to the Mediterranean region and found all over the garrigue.

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And then there was this little guy – I have a certain fondness for these bugs (they remind me of striped sweets) but of course Colorado beetle can be very destructive in the garden.  As luck would have it, I found this one on a hydrangea on the terrace rather than in the garden.  I had Colorado beetle on my potatoes six years ago, and it wasn’t really fun collecting the red larvae that were munching through my plants 😦

And finally, the first apricots, peaches and tomatoes arrived this weekend – the apricots were simply divine, and the peaches and tomatoes pretty good.  The promise of more to come…

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13 thoughts on “All kinds of everything

  1. Hello, how lovely to meet you.
    Your blog is wonderful.
    Love your little green treefrog! (no white stripe, so he is a boy)
    They are going away so fast here in Florida and we treasure them~

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  2. I loved listening to the frogs while I perused your post. I forgot to check what pitch the bees were buzzing at earlier in the season when they were mobbing my cherry trees, but they seem to zero in on one pitch…it would be fun to find out!

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    • Hi Virginia, Glad to hear that you enjoyed the frogs!! I think like that they are fine, but I doubt that I would want a mass of them outside my bedroom window at night :-)!! Interesting point about the pitch of the buzzing of the bees, will ask my beekeeper friend about that, perhaps he knows…

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        • Hi Virginia,
          my beekeeper friend says that the sound varies between different kinds of pollen collectors, i.e. the bees have different pitches. Do please let me know if you have any luck in figuring out the pitch of the hum, I’m always interested in such things!

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          • I will keep my ears open! I know they have different pitches but it seemed like I heard one overlying dominant pitch when I was standing under the yoshino cherry this spring. Thanks for asking and getting back to me!

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  3. The purple flower is vetch, which apparently “featured in the frugal diet of the poor until the eighteenth century, and even reappeared on the black market in the South of France during the Second World War” (so says Wikipedia, anyway!). Thanks for sharing the nightingale’s song – I’ve never heard one before.

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    • Hi Amanda, and thank you for stopping by! I’ve done a little research and found that the plant in the picture is viccia cracca, the tufted vetch. I’ll have to look for it in its later stages and see what’s edible – thank you for the intersting information!

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    • Hi Denise and Sandy,
      you are right, there are many beautiful moths, but so many are also nocturnal, and we never get to see them in the light of day. One of the most fascinating is the hummingbird hawkmoth, hellishly difficult to photograph, but perhaps I’ll try a video one of these days…

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