Found a wild tortoise on the track to the house

Found a wild tortoise on the track to the house

We’re used to seeing wild boar or foxes on the track, especially at night, but today we saw a wild tortoise: Hermann’s Tortoise (Testudo Hermanni). In 1789, France was busy sacking the Bastille, guillotining aristos, and starting the Revolution, but Monsieur Hermann was pottering about the Maures hills in the sunshine in the Var when he came across this little tortoise and identified it for the first time. The variety is mostly found in the Maures hills, behind St Tropez, so it was particularly special to find one near us! This map shows the distribution of this tortoise, so you can see it’s rare in France, only found in the region round us, and protected. You aren’t allowed to disturb it or move it, under threat of a serious fine. In fact, if moved, this little tortoise will try to return to where you found it, because they can sense the earth’s magnetic field and have an extremely powerful homing capability. We photographed this one dashing off to eat some more...
The Annual Agricultural Brignoles Fair

The Annual Agricultural Brignoles Fair

The fair has been going for decades and is comfortingly always the same, though this year there were noticeably fewer people there on the Tuesday we visited. Current financial uncertainties are hardly conducive to wine producers splashing out 80,000 euros on a new grape harvester. There is always an entertaining live farm animals section, with chickens, goats, rabbits, ducks, sheep and one pen of cows with calves – the Var is not a cattle region – and a good display of French farm horses, a breeding mix of French Percheron and English Shire. In the morning, we attended a very good lecture on bee keeping hygiene by a biologist from Aix-en-Provence who has over 250 hives. His chief message was about swarm strength and resistance to disease through good selection and good practice. Then, after a look around at the displays, and being in France, the highlight of the day is...

Pin It on Pinterest