Sunday, 31 October 2010

Old Friends

Yesterday on the way up the valley to Le Petit Pressigny we saw another osprey being mobbed by two crows. The Osprey - chocolate brown bird, white underneath - was not a lot bigger than the crows but with longer, narrower wings. It isn't just the fishermen who appreciate the regular re-stocking of the Aigronne, one of France's premier trout rivers.
Today we visited Beaulieu-les-Loches for the 'Fil et Bio' exhibition. Here we met an old friend - Jim the Mushroom Man, formerly of Leeds Farmers Markets and now based in Loches. He and his partner Philippe have 30 hectares of caves where they raise Japanese mushrooms - Shiitake, Oyster and Eryngii at the moment - and have just secured organic status. As well as Loches market, they sell from their shop at 45 Rue des Lilas.
Heading home, we saw and heard three young peregrine falcons spiralling around the steeple of the old abbey church, again being mobbed, this time by jackdaws.
Finally arriving home at 6:10 pm, it was almost dark and a little owl was calling. Then over the hill came a familiar trumpeting. A single crane grus grus (grue cendré) was heading south, grue-ue-ueing for his mates as hard as he could. According to the latest RSPB magazine, a bird can fly up to 70% further in V-formation than on its own, so this one could be in real trouble. We thought of several captions for this picture, such as "You fellows might have told me the clocks went back today!".

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