A diverse offering twixt the interesting, the unusual, and the amusing.
Sunday, 27 October 2019
In times past, at this season, all red-blooded Frenchmen who owned a shotgun would have been found atop tall trees, in their Palombieres (above), awaiting the passage of these Wood Pigeons.
This annual practice now seems to have all but ended.
Yesterday morning I witnessed a sight that would have made many a French chasseur weep. On my early morning dog walk, I witnessed tens (maybe hundreds) of thousands of Palombes passing overhead on their way towards the South West. Some were in huge groups of thousands, others were simply dozens; all were heading in the same direction, at the same speed, and at the same height. It was a scene the size of which I'd never before witnessed; the passage lasted for about an hour. Hunters would have been in heaven.
Most of them passed directly overhead, and I was quite expecting to be splattered with excrement; luckily none came my way.
We always see a certain amount of birds in groups flying off for winter, but I've never seen as many as yesterday. It was quite spectacular.
I did hear a few very distant shots. Some of my chasseur friends used to speak of shooting hundreds every day. I believe they were preserved by being put into the freezer whole, including their feathers. Later they would only eat the breasts, which I considered rather a waste.
I've always rather enjoyed eating Pigeon; Lady M doesn't.
The difference between an optimist and a pessimist, is that the optimist enjoys himself whilst waiting for the inevitable! I AM that optimist!
This is a daily, optimistic, 'photos and comments' blog. I make no judgements (only occasionally), just notes. If you wish to comment in any way at all, please feel free. Everything and everyone (except the obdurate and dictatorial) is very welcome.
I was born just south of London, but for the past 50 years I've lived in S W France. I am a painter by profession, and writer by desire. Lady Magnon and I live between an ancient cottage in a tiny village in perfectly tranquil French countryside, and a bijou townhouse in Brighton UK. In France we have plenty of fruit trees, all situated amongst a view that takes the breath away, in the UK we have a handkerchief sized patio. We also have a Border Collie called Billy. I try to treat our planet with respect, and encourage others to do likewise (without preaching).
Contentment is a glass of red, a plate of charcuterie, and a slice of good country bread. Perfect!