Bugs on Hazel bushes


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It is well known that Oak trees support more species than any other tree in northern Europe. It is also thought that the longer a type of tree has been populating an area then the more species will adapt to become dependant on it.

Hazel has been around a long time so I had a little mini safari poke about on the various hazel bushes in our garden. As you can see from the state of these leaves, they provide quite a lot of food for various species.

I found quite a few species, possibly the most spectacular was these Hazel saw fly larvae. (Croesus septentrionalis). They look like caterpillars but they turn into saw flies. They also have a curious defence mechanism, which is that if something disturbs them then they all arch backwards and present a jagged outline to the leaf. Presumably this is enough to deter predators.

Some of the species I found were incredibly small like a tiny spider and a red mite, here is a slide show of some of them.

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The largest I found was a stick insect, (Clonopsis gallicathis ) was about 10cm long.

I looked up on the internet (as you do) how many species live on Oaks and Hazel and found this article by T Southwood ….  is it the same Southwood who wrote the two volumes on British Moths back in the 1960’s ? …… probably.

So it is 284 insects on Oaks and only 73 on Hazel

Department of Zoology, Imperial College, London
It is common knowledge amongst ecologists and collectors that some trees have many species of insect denizen and others, usually recently introduced, comparatively few. But the number of species of insect associated with a certain tree would seem to reflect not only the actual time it has been present in Britain but also, and of rather more importance, its general abundance or scarcity throughout this period. If this hypothesis is correct, then in other parts of the world where the pattern of tree dominance is different from that in Britain, we should expect the comparative numbers of insect species to vary accord- ingly. The coniferous forest belt is far more extensive in Russia than in Britain and thus pine, spruce, larch and fir (the last three introduced species in Britain) will be comparatively
Table 1. Comparative series of the numbers of insect species on various deciduous (un- marked) and coniferous * forest trees in Britain and European Russia
Tree Britain Russia
Oak (Quercus) 284 150 Willow (Salix) 266 147 Birch (Betula) 229 101 Hawthorn (Crataegus) 149 59 Poplars (Populus) 97 122 Apple (Malus) 93 77 *Pine (Pinus) 91 190 Alder (Alnus) 90 63 Elm (Ulmus) 82 81 Hazel (Corylus) 73 26 Beech (Fagus) 64 79 Ash (Fraxinus) 41 41 *Spruce (Picea) 37 117 Lime (Tilia) 31 37 Hornbeam (Carpinus) 28 53 *Larch (Larix) 17 44 *Fir (Abies) 16 42 Holly (Ilex) 7 8


Réserve naturelle nationale de la baie de l’Aiguillon


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La baie de l’Aiguillon is situated just north of La Rochelle and part of it is in Charente-Maritime and the northern part is in the Vendee. It is a major nature reserve, particularly because of the large numbers of wading birds.

I visited it in order to photograph, carallets at sunset.  Plenty of carralets but just as the sun was setting a large black thunder-cloud spread across the sky and a pretty red or pink sunset was not forthcoming.

Along parts of this coast there is a road running right beside the sea. In places there are some low cliffs and the coast road runs along the top. In other places the road is below the cliffs and right next to the shore line. This is good if you want to spot the birds but not so good if you leave your vehicle and then the tide comes in. There are warnings that the area is liable to flooding but obviously some folks either did not read the signs or were distantly related to King Canute.

This is not the most attractive bit of coast line, there is quite a bit of shellfish industry with a few outlets selling mussels and oysters direct. Also a few restaurants but it is not really tourist country. There are quite a few camper vans and mobile homes parked up in some of the car parks but this is no doubt because it is free parking with overnight stays permitted  and it’s quite close to La Rochelle. Were it to be more scenically attractive then I suspect the parking areas would not allow overnight stays.

I was not particularly on the lookout for birds, but I did see large flocks of gulls, most Black-headed but also lots of Herring gulls. There were Cormorants and Shell ducks passing by and along the shore line I saw quite a few Turnstones. No doubt had I have taken along a telescope then in the distance I might have spotted some more interesting species.

Whilst we were driving along I did see a group of Grey Partridges in one of the fields… Much nicer than the usual Red legged Partridge. The sign board gives you an idea of what other birds you might come across…All the usual suspects.


So worth a visit and a kilo of mussels fresh and cleaned only cost 3 euros.

Rallye de Charentes


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The Rallye de Charentes is on this month, it is a fantastic opportunity to see some classic old cars with the backdrop of rural and/or urban  France.

Austin Healey


Here is a link to a page from the 2013 Rallye report with about 50 different British cars. Click here to see the slide show

From that page you could navigate your way through hunderds of photos of all the other cars, French, German, American and many others….. Have fun.

What’s on in Poitou-Charentes; September 2017


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Autumn starts, either on 1st Sept or the 22nd September, depending on whether you are a weather forcaster or an astronomer. Here are some of the other events taking place in September in the Poitou-Charentes region.

Remontee de la Seudre; Royan: 2nd and 3rd September (more) 

Festival Coup de Chauffe; Cognac: 2nd and 3rd Sept (more)

L’Imprevu Festival Montemboeuf; Montemboeuf: 8th and 9th Sept (more)

Barrobjective photographic exhibition;  Barro: 16th to 24th Sept (more) excellent ….make the effort to visit this.

Le Grand Pavois boat show; La Rochelle: 27th Sept to 3rd October. (more) Biggest in Europe?

Circuit des Remparts/International Rallye: Angouleme: 15th 16th and 17th  September……   I love it. (more)

Rallye International de Charentes ( this is part of the above weekend but occurs on the 16th Sept. The route is not announced until a few days before the event, I will post it on this blog when I can. (more)






Half Marathon; Chasseneuil: 17th Sept (more)


The blog….. poitoucharentesinphotos


Some stats on my blog called ‘Poitoucharentesinphotos’

I started it on 15th October 2011, It was my daughters idea because I was bemoaning the situation that I took lots of photos and most of them only got seen by a very few people.   This was the first photo I published.

Originally I thought just to put on photos and a brief bit of info but gradually the info increased, hopefully not by too much. I found it interesting to research local history and to produce articles which other people might find interesting and all the time using my own photos.

Gradually the blog generated more and more interest. The wordpress site lets you see how many hits you have had, where they came from, which country etc etc  You can see how many hits each article has received and number of hits per month etc.

OK here are some stats.

Number of hits to date. 151,917

Number of hits this month 6,876

Most visited blogs;

Home page…. 33,356

Snakes in Poitou-Charentes…. 15,221

Why do the English refer to the French as Frogs? ….5,379 ( This post is now getting the most hits of all, it was only published a couple of years ago so is catching up)

Comprehensive guide to What’s on in Poitou-Charentes. 2017…. 5,153

Tree lined roads in France…..4,989

Market days in Poitou-Charentes….3,322

Towns and Villages in Poitou-Charentes…..2,432

And so it goes on.

The most hits I have had on one day is 1,166 and the day was June 10th 2016 and the subject was part of the series I did in the run up to the Brexit vote and called Oradour sur Glane.

You can view any of the posts mentioned by just clicking on the links.

What’s on in Poitou-Charentes; August 2017


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August in Poitou-Charentes…lets hope the weather is good and the grass needs cutting less often. Now it’s full on holiday time so there are masses of things to do, here are just some of the events. I would suggest that you also search on line for the local events in your area. Local in my area is the Mad Hatters music festival… excellent and we have the Charroux Literary festival….both worth a visit.

promotion-2017Coupe d’Europe Montgolfieres, Mainfonds 2nd to 6th August 2017   (more)

Paddle boarding on the Gartemp ; Montmorillon 1st August 2017 (more)


2017 Tour du Poitou Charentes, Charente, Charente Maritime, Deux sèvres, Vienne 22nd to 25th August 2017 (more)

Summer sound Festival; Rochefort 3rd to 6th August 2017 (more)

La Marquise (folk music) Chasseneuil-du-Poitou 4th August 2017 (more)

BRIC A BRAC Chemin des vallées Quartier du Pontreau16700 RUFFEC 6th August (more)

FOIRE MENSUELLE Place du marché 16700 RUFFEC 9th and 23rd August (more)

Mad Hatters festival; Featuring SLADE with original members but no Noddy Holder, still it sounds good to me. Caunay  11th 12th and 13th August (more)

COURSES HIPPIQUES,Hippodrome16330 MONTIGNAC CHARENTE 10th August 2017 (more)

Championnat de France de supercross; La Tremblade 14th August (more)

Festival Crescendo;Saint Palais sur mer 17 au 19 Août (more)

De Bouche à Oreille Parthenay,  26th to 29th  August 2017  (more)

Festival de Confolens; Confolens:   9th to 15th August 2017 (more)

Les Soirees Lyriques de Sanxay; Sanxay: 10th 12th and 14th August (more)

Jazz en Ré – 18th to 20th  August 2017 (more)

Literary festival;Charroux:  In 24th 25th and 26thAugust (more)

Tour de Poitou-Charentes (cycling) 23rd to 26th August (more)

Festival du film Francophone; Angouleme:23rd to 28th August  (more)

Spectacle Pyromelodique;  Angles sur l’Anglin, 6th August 2017, (More)  

Festival du livre Angles sur l’Anglin, 13th to 15th August 2017 (More) 

Civray past and present; Le Grand Pont.


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The Grand Pont here it is sometime in the past. The post card is entitled Grande-Rue-Duplessis, which indeed it was and still is but it is also a shot taken looking over the bridge. This card does not have a date and is not credited to anyone.

And here it is today (June 2017)

Quite a few changes to the houses, the railings look the same and the old lady has gone. Next is a similar post card from 5th September 1910 and by Eug. Texereau. In this one you can see the railings in more detail.


There are two bridges in Civray the other one is variously known as Le Vieux Pont, le Pont des Barres and indeed Le Vieux Pont des Barres. I presume that this bridge (Grand Pont) is therefore the newer one of the two.

Civray past and present; Louis X111


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Well Louis may have stayed a couple of nights in Civray, that is why a road is called Rue de Louis X111 and there is quite a grand house where he could have bedded down. This is the key postcard, attributed to Chaleraux but no date.

It suggests that he stayed from 3rd to 5th January 1616 whist returning from marrying Anne d’ Autriche which was celebrated in Bordeaux. I presume it is Anne of Austria and not the Anne who looked like an Ostrich. Did she accompany him? was the marriage consummated in Civray?

There are lots of postcards of this building, I like this one which is quite mysterious and foreboding. It is just entitled ‘Old House’ this is attributed to someone called Arambourou and dated 19th January 1904

So what do we know about Louis and his stay in Civray? Well there is some evidence that it happened but not 100%

A detailed chronicle from the time.

It reads: “It was arrested that the lundy ten feventh of August their majestez leave from Paris to go to Bordeaux”. The king and his court were not alone on the roads. The west is not considered safe, there are still scuffles linked to the wars of religions. The Duke of Guise is in charge of security. He left with 1,200 riders and 4,000 men on foot. King Louis, aged 14, went to Bordeaux to marry Anne of Austria, daughter of the King of Spain. The official ceremony takes place in the cathedral on 25 November 1615.

Return to Paris by Civray


On December 16, 1615, the King, the Queen, Queen Mother Marie de Medicis, the Court and all the armies left Bordeaux. The magazine tells us: “Their majestez went to Villebois and the next day to La Rochefoucault. The following day, the 3rd,  at Civray, we passed the Charante and stayed until the 5th . The king then spent two nights at the provost’s residence, the seneschal’s residence. The passage of the sovereign is a rare event, he has had to mobilize all the civilian nobles. Unfortunately, there is no trace of writing in the Civraisien. The King has left a lasting memory: the rue Louis XIII is known by all and the Hotel de la Providence, where one can still admire a window of Renaissance style, has become the Louis XIII house.

So it would seem Anne might well have accompanied him but as it was over a month since the marriage then he may well have already made himself aquainted with his queen by that stage. Having said that he was only 14 and there is some suggestion that he also had an eye for some of the male courtiers. You can read all about it in Louis 13th Wikipedia.

Here are my photos taken in June 2017.









This is a bust above the door…. is it a representation of Louis?


Civray past and present; Eug.Texereau


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The site where I am getting most of these old post cards from is Cartes Postales Anciennes de CIVRAY (86) do have a look I do not think they are for sale, it is just someone making them available for folk to look at. There are other sites with a more limited range where they are for sale. This site also has some cards from nearby places like Charroux and Lizant .

Many of the cards have the place printed on them and they often they have a  name of what one assumes was the photographer. One of the names that is often found on the cards is Eug. Texereau. Here is a close up of what you find on his cards… a bit fuzzy as it has been enlarged considerably. You can also see it says Lib. and Pap.

On one of the many postcards I noticed a shop and the name above the door says Eug Texereau, and it is a bookshop and newsagents, no doubt also selling postcards.

So it may have been that Eugene was the photographer or maybe he employed someone else and then put the name of his shop on the cards. Here is the photo with his shop towards the left. This is not one of his cards  though. It was produced by Nouvelles Galeries and the name of the photographer is on the card P.de Beaulieu and the site says it was taken on 20th Sept 1920.

You can fairly easily make out Libraire and Papetere and if you squint then below you can see his name. The building is still there today, below is a photo I took recently (June 2017) in this the Boulangerie looks to be a more modern construction.




Eugene’s shop is the one with three white windows and two little windows above. Here is a closer view.

And finally this is a photo I took back in about 1990 when the shop sold pens of the Waterman brand. Excellent make but nothing to do with me unfortunately. The photo below is a bit rough as it is a photo of the original which was then taken on a film camera.

There are still Texereau’s  living in Civray, there is even a Rue Guy Texereau. Guy was a steeplechase runner in the 1960’s he represented France in 3 Olympic games 1960,1964 and 1968 . On Wikipedia it says that he was born in Melle but that his parents had a shop in Civray , probably Eugene Texereau would have been his Grandfather. In this photo I believe Guy is the one in the middle.

Evidently Eugene was Mayor of Civray  1925 to 1929 There is a list of Civray mayors.

Civrary past and present; The Hotel de France


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The hotel de France is no longer the Hotel de France but the building is still there and virtually the same as it was over 100 years ago. Here is a postcard, which is attributed to A Breger and dated 20th April 1903.Back then the main square was known as Place d’Armes, now it is Place du Maréchal-Leclerc. Interestingly the main square in Poitiers is also called Place du Maréchal-Leclerc  and it was also called Place d’Armes.


This is the same scene today, it is virtually the same, some changes to the downstairs windows and doors and of course we now have trees. The bell is still on the roof.

A similar view is this postcard called Rue Louis X111 and this was take by Leon Giraud and the date is 15th April 1914.. Rue Louis X111 is still called by the same name.

Many of the road names were changed after the wars, especially WW2 and resistance hero’s were honoured.