Saturday was a lovely day so we visited our local Plan d’Eau which is at Saint Macoux. My wife and her sister who was on a short visit were content to lie in the sun, read their books and talk about everything and anything. I am a bit more restless so took a slow and steady walk round the lake with camera in hand, often stopping and watching and waiting and sometimes photographing whatever was of interest.
The plan d’Eau is two lakes and a couple of steams with some side branches. some of it is very busy and has a water chute and beach and other bits are very natural and quite.
There is a slow flow of water through the lakes but it is very slow. There is a lot of weed in the lakes. Much of it is a peculiar form of algae which is called Chara. I say peculiar because unlike most algae which are quite simple and just make the water green or maybe form a green slime, this algae develops a quite complex structure so that most people would think of it as a water plant and not something as primitive as an algae. More about this algae click https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chara_(alga)
There are other ‘proper’ plants like yellow water lilies.
There are quite a lot of different fish and I tried to photograph some of them. Some were relatively obliging and I got some reasonable shots, but others stayed well away and deep down making it impossible to photograph them. For the record, I saw sunfish, pike, roach, trout, bream, perch and lots of little chaps, possibly minnows.
The frogs were quite noisy but less easy to see. You sometimes disturbed one and it plopped into the water never to be seen again, but by careful approach I did see a few and interestingly there were two species; Edible frogs and Marsh frogs, though I expect you could have eaten the Marsh frog as well had you cared to . The Edible frog has a yellow stripe down its back.
The Marsh frog is fatter and no stripe.
There were a lot of Dragon flies and damsel flies, and I spent some time trying to get good shots of these. My sister-in-law asked me what is the difference between dragon and damsel flies and my not vet scientific reply was that dragon flies are bigger but at the limits there are some small dragonflies like darters which are barely bigger than some large damselflies like demoiselles.
There was one butterfly which was quite an interesting one, and that was a Lesser Purple Emperor which was visiting the edge of the lake for a drink. It is called the Lesser Purple Emperor so you would guess correctly that there is another one. This is called simply the Purple Emperor, not a Greater Purple Emperor. However as with so many common names it is a bit confusing in that the lesser Purple Emperor is slightly bigger and has a more colourful look. The Purple Emperor does not have the ‘eyes’ on the fore wings.
Lesser Purple Emperor
I took some photos of pond skaters on the stream and there were a few birds around like Grey wagtails, which have a lot of yellow on them but not as much as a yellow wagtail. I also saw one solitary Mallard in the middle of the lake but did not bother to photograph it.
So that was my walk round the Plan ‘d’Eau and I hope you enjoyed it.