Not so deadly en­counter

French Property News - - Contents -

I en­joyed Pam Gill­ham’s ar­ti­cle (Fe­bru­ary FPN) about all the weird and won­der­ful crea­tures she sees around her moun­tain chalet in the Alps. Our hol­i­day home is quite a bit fur­ther north, in Char­ente, and I’m glad to say I’ve never seen snakes in our neck of the woods; but I’m con­stantly amazed by the wildlife we do see (and hear) in the fields and lanes around the house. Maybe I’m just imag­in­ing it, but It al­ways seems as if the birds sing more loudly; per­haps it’s just that their songs are not drowned out by the con­stant drone of traf­fic. We al­ways see plenty of buz­zards cir­cling over­head on clear days and lizards bask­ing in the sun­shine on the walls of our house and scut­tling in and out of the cracks. At night we hear the screech of the lo­cal barn owl and the haunt­ing hoot of a tawny some­where across the fields. One evening a cou­ple of sum­mers ago, our next-door neigh­bour’s son pointed out a bright black and yel­low crea­ture that he’d found in the woods down by a lo­cal stream. He said it was a fire sala­man­der and deadly poi­sonous – but only if you ate it or touched it and then licked your fin­gers which, fun­nily enough, we had no in­ten­tion of do­ing! Rachel Smith

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.