So many cranes are now leaving the Lac du Der to the north of us that some had to come our way eventually. We came out of the house late yesterday morning to see a group of 54/52 heading south over the hill and "grue"ing heartily. I flagged this to grus-grus.com as they have no records for Indre et Loire this year. There are always a few, but not 40,000 at a time (what a noise that must have been)!
|54 Cranes [Grus grus]|
|52 Cranes... where did the other two vanish to so quickly?|
We were on our way to the Huilerie Lepine at Aveilles en Châtellerault, where the family business of walnut oil extraction was celebrating its 200th anniversary with an open day and Marché Gourmand. Instead of our usual route via Barrou and Lésigny, we went through La Guerche and Mairé, then through some very Brecklandish acid heathland / mixed woodland obviously maintained for hunting. The woodland is lined with deer fencing and there are numerous open rides. For several metres to either side of the road, an open stretch had been freshly ploughed - by humans as a fire break - whereas the verges had also been freshly ploughed - by boars, or possibly by deer. This looks like an excellent wildlife area, if not right at this moment! In the plough area, Tim spotted and photographed a fine array of what appeared to be Panther Cap mushrooms Amanita pantherina....
poisonous, almost as deadly as the Death Cap Amanita phalloides
but much more striking... like a dark brown Fly Agaric Amanita muscaria.
Further on we came to La Chêne Rond, a major hunting lodge where dozens of hunters were standing along the edge of the road, shotguns broken, waiting for something to happen. Probably lunch.
When we came home Tim consulted the oracles and determined the mushrooms to have been The Blusher, amanita rubescens
, which is good to eat. A bit too close for comfort to the poisonous kind for me!
|The Blusher [Amanita rubescens]|