Short walks in The Lot Valley.

All short walks lead to home.  In this heat days drift into one and so do the walks. There are many short circuits from the house. To fit in with gardening, cooking and lounging I can do some before breakfast, some before supper and at this time of year in the late evenings. The bird life is best early but the light is magic in the evenings.

Usually I’m heading up into the woods, which here are mainly dense oak. In the mornings you hear but hardly ever see deer scuttling away. There are few flowers on the forest floor, Scabious and Red Hellibore are probably the commonest.

Wild boar have been especially busy grubbing up the ground this year. They come right down into the garden at night.

Most orchids have died back but in a meadow of poor soil I come across a few Lizard Orchids which I haven’t seen before.

Where forest tracks join roads waste tipping often seems to be a problem – same as in England unfortunately.

Views can be limited until one is on the ridges clear of the trees but then distant vistas open with scant habitations. Lovely old farmsteads, many now holiday homes, dot the valleys and hillsides. Pigeon towers are often a feature, typical of the area, giving both food and fertilizer in the past. Today deep in the woods in a secluded valley I came across an old well, complete with bucket on a cord, I wonder when it was last used? There are ruins hereabouts.

A word of warning – these woods are home to ticks. Tucked in trousers have become de rigueur, trez chic.

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