Clouds of butterflies fill the air, more than we have seen in
a while, and many unusual species that need to be looked up in
the guide (like the paon du jour or peacock). Days are once again
hot and calm after high winds have abated and the crisp golden
grass has been watered by overnight rain, leaving the mountain
air fresh today. The roads are on ‘alerte noire’ with the heaviest
circulation of the holiday period, causing blockages as visitors
disperse and cross the border into Spain – on another ‘wave of
migration’ south, following the sun to the coastal playgrounds
of the region.
Quietly perched at altitude, we escape the crowds and live off
the abundance of produce from the garden. It is the time to enjoy
‘étoiles filantes’ (shooting star showers), a 3/4 moon hangs
above the ridge that divides us from Spain and days still include
a ‘siesta’ routine as the heat gains intensity around midday.
Bees frequent the belle de nuit flowers in full bloom – everywhere
there is a blaze of vivid yellow and pink. The panier is now filled
with ripe tomatoes and a steady supply of courgette varieties, yet
after a rapid growth spurt, many plants are now at rest awaiting
cooler days, finishing their flowering phases.