Tuesday 24 May 2011

Industrial Heritage

Spanish broom (Genêt d'Espagne Spartium junceum) and the factory in the background have a strong connection. The Usine de Garrigues at Aspiran Gare operated until the 1950s and employed some 200 people. Spanish broom was grown throughout the area and processed in the factory to make everything from thread and cord to sacks for transporting goods such as coal. Today the factory area is used to process wood.

Wednesday 11 May 2011

Vampire free hillside

Wild garlic growing on a hillside overlooking the Hérault valley and Aspiran Gare. Also growing in the same place is Laitue Vivace (Lactuca perennis) which has a delicious tasting salad leaf.

Wednesday 4 May 2011

Grand paon de nuit

This large moth, known as the Grand paon de nuit (Saturnia pyri), was spotted at dusk on the wall of a friends house. The pot of busy lizzies gives some idea of the size of Europe's largest moth. The markings on the wings are to mimic the eyes of an owl and deter potential predators, although it blends well with the colour tones of the stone wall. Apparently it likes eating the leaves of almond trees.