Some of you may remember a post, written by Anne Roberts, and published a few months ago, about a walk, which we took together, in the countryside around Cruzy. If you don’t remember the post you can find it here. A couple of weeks ago I found myself back in Cruzy, this time for a guided botanical walk. The walk started at the Museum in Cruzy, where everyone met up with Christine Hervier-Roure, our guide.
Cruzy being a fairly small village, we found ourselves in the countryside soon after we started our walk, and that’s when Christine started explaining the local flora. At this point I have a confession to make: I had not brought along my notebook to write down the names of the plants Christine showed us, and my mind is not up to remembering all those wonderful names – I’m sorry!! I will add names where I know them or think I remember the correct name. I hope you’ll forgive me if I’m wrong (and feel free to point out the errors)!
The walk took us across varied terrain – the vineyards had all started to sprout new growth!
There was a great deal of excitement in our group of walkers as this plant was found:
From what I remember, it is a parasite which lives on the roots of cistus plants.
And the excitement heightened at the discovery of this:
I’m not sure if it is an orchid or another parasitic plant, but I’m thinking it is an orchid.
The flowers on this cistus look like they are made of crumpled tissue paper. They look absolutely gorgeous and are completely ephemeral – they only last for one day, but they were out in abundance!
There was more excitement along the walk as more orchids were discovered!! All incredibly beautiful!
Christine paid attention to a lot of plants, and patiently explained how to distinguish them. Here is another cistus, this one with tiny white flowers. If I remember correctly this one is called Cistus Monspeliensis.
At one point the sun came out, just as we were walking through a bit of pine forest.
This fascinating flower is the wild form of salsify:
And this is wild lettuce:
and wild garlic:
After walking for just over two hours, Christine brought us to our destination: the site of the dinosaur excavations in Montplo!! The day was the “Journee Paleontologique” and, exceptionally, the excavation site was open to the public. It was interesting to see everyone digging away with screwdrivers, chisels and trowels.
Having looked at it all, including examining a fossil with a magnifying glass, I honestly couldn’t say that I could tell the difference between a fossilised bone and a piece of rock – I’d be totally useless at the excavations :)!! The bit of white in the midst of the site is a protective plaster cover over a dinosaur bone, so that it won’t break up when it gets lifted from the site.
I wonder if the dog was employed as a “sniffer dog” to find any old bones :)??
Christine Hervier-Roure has published a book on native wild flora, which is available from the Museum in Cruzy, either in the shop or by mail order. A new book is to be published later this year.