Invaded By Sanglier

1 Oct

There’s not a whole lot to report on this week.  At least there should not have been except for a nocturnal visitation by the local sanglier.  These wild boar are epidemic here this year and the local mayor’s office has assigned someone with the task of culling them until they are under control.  Based on the invasions we had on Wednesday and Friday nights they have not achieved their goal yet!

Sanglier (wild boar) are very active around here at the moment. More information on them at: http://www.lost-in-france.com/wildlife-in-france/19-wild-boar-sanglier

This was previously a nice area of grass. Now it is tilled to 300mm deep. This patch was a bit unusual though – normally they followed edges and around all the rocks etc.

We spent a few hours on Thursday and Friday repairing this sort of damage and looking for weaknesses in the perimeter fence and reinforcing those.  Then they came back again anyway.  This time we found a new hole they had made.  Without electric fences I don’t know that this is a winnable battle.  Even if the fence is perfect, the river is so low at the moment they could easily walk across it.

Went for a wander along the river on Tuesday afternoon and spotted these guys sunning themselves. There was a third one about 20m away just drifting. Usually we hear a ‘plop’ into the water as we get near but today we kept very quiet and the turtles didn’t really seem bothered. We stayed for more than 20 minutes and towards the end started making more noise to encourage the adult one to move and perhaps give me a better shot. We didn’t want to startle them either but even with us moving around and talking they paid us no attention.

The weather has been a bit wet this week with some prodigious thunderstorms.  However, in spite of a forecast of thunderstorms and a 70% chance of rain, Sunday morning dawned quite nice so after a relaxing cooked breakfast at home we headed off to Frejus and Saint-Raphaël to do a small walk around Cap du Dramont.

Just off the coast from the small port of Poussaï, at Cap Dramont, is the tiny rocky island of L’Ile d’Or. This island inspired Hergé to write his Tintin story “The Black Island”.

There was just one ‘flow’ of this green sandstone. It almost looked like jade.

In this small cove the redish rocks meeting the green sandstone looked great. The other thing here was the sound of the stones rolling up the slope with the incoming wave and back again on the receding. It was so loud it seemed amplified.

A view of L’Ile d’Or from part way up the track to the summit of the Cap du Dramont.

Vista along the coast in the direction of Saint-Tropez.

There was a sailing event on that seemed to involved some rather vintage vessels like this one. They appeared to be heading from Cannes to Saint-Tropez.

A panorama from near the top of the track.

It was a bit overcast later in the afternoon especially. This shot was taken at Agay.

On the drive back through Frejus towards the A8 and home, we found the arena and stopped in for an hour…

The arena at Frejus had been in very poor repair, especially compared to Nîmes. So the preservation work here is quite innovative. Rather than try to recreate what was believed to have been there, they have contrasted the repairs and I think to great effect.

The interior of the arena looks almost completely modern. The bleachers are cleverly made to look like solid concrete but are actually ~35mm thick breeze-block material over a lighter steel framework. I am guessing it would seat 3~4000 people now compared to the Roman era capacity of 10,000 (but that was with another level on top).

Parts of the exterior are still looking very authentic. It is a very clever blend of styles and very practical. The arena is not just a monument but it is a well used amenity of the city.

Tutu is continuing to be a delight.  Here is one of his latest antics.

Apparently it is a seasonal thing – at this time of year Tutu likes to sleep in cardboard boxes. But they must not be on the floor. Rather they need to be on a table or chair then he is quite content. This was a small box to start with, so Tutu finds the smallest part of it to fold himself into. Funny cat!

We are seeing some more autumn tones around now so I am hoping to do some local village visits to capture the change of season.  It might still be a little early and I don’t know if the colours will be as dramatic down here in the south because there are so many evergreen trees.  We will see.

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