Part one: Randonnée Millevache – Chavanac
With blue skies a distant memory, on Sunday we decided to take advantage of a small crack in the grey, water ridden clouds and escape from the confines of our home for a short, wild flower spotting walk.
Living in the open countryside is one of the greatest privileges of life in France; you can simply step out of your door and set off down the quiet roads and onto forest tracks and stumble across a multitude of wild flowers. Yesterday however we opted for a 20 minute car journey to nearby Millevache, so we could undertake a 5km walk we’d never done before.
The walk started in the little village of Millevache which has one of the last remaining thatched houses (la chaumière) in the area.
It was a gentle randonnée, perfect for stretching the legs on a Sunday afternoon, and took in glorious countryside, beech lined tracks, pine woods and a stroll through the picturesque (if somewhat typically deserted) village of Chavanac.
Given the weather over the past couple of months, I did not expect to see much in the way of wildflowers, but was rewarded along the way with a few colourful patches, daubed in the somewhat weather beaten verges.
Viola tricolor, Heartsease or wild pansy in English, Pensée sauvage in French is an annual or short-lived perennial that can be purple, blue, yellow or white in colour. I thought that this one was a particularly lovely deep purple which contrasted perfectly with its bright yellow centres.
Anemone nemorosa, wood anenome in English, Anémone des bois in French, is an early-spring flowering plant which only appears for a few weeks each year as it sprints through its whole life cycle, from flowering, through setting seed and back to dormancy in the matter of weeks.
These were lovely splashes of colour amongst the fresh greeness of the spring grass that was trying to burst through, but the most welcome sight, was that of fields of wild daffodils near to the small hamlet of La Brugère, Chavanac. Dotted as far as the eye could see they were a beautiful surprise, waving in the wind, and enough to make you forget all about the wet, cloudy weather of the past few months, even if only for a few minutes.
A bientôt x