Gretchen Markle

Travel Blog

(posted on 13 Jan 2017)

Mazerolles Farmhouse, South of Here

Besides all the birds, there is abundant wildlife of the mammalian kind.

First, we see deer pretty well on every walk. They bound across the fields in small herds of three or four, though once we saw a group of nine. We usually see them only at quite a distance, though once we flushed three from a small copse right beside the lane. Luckily, Ibis, the Dalmation cross who spends her time quartering the fields and who can run like the wind, is either unaware of or uninterested in them.

Then there are the Wild Boar. We've never seen any, which is not surprising considering that they are nocturnal animals. They do, however, leave traces. Lately, beside the roads we've found huge areas that they have rooted up with their tusks. The dogs are particularly keen on these. It's probably a good thing that the boars are nocturnal. On Wednesday I had to take one of the dogs to the vet for a vaccination. We ended up waiting almost an hour because the vet had been called out on an emergency. Apparently, one of the local hunters' dogs had been gored by a boar.

Finally - and this is huge - we saw a fox! I've only even seen one other, and that was in the wilderness of the Alaska coast. This one was poised, motionless, over a burrow in a field scarcely 10 meters from the road. The sight of it stopped us dead in our tracks. (My Beloved had never seen a fox.) After a few moments, it became aware of us and turned, sat down facing us, and calmly watched us for a few minutes. Then, having satisfied its curiosity, it turned and walked slowly off into the forest. It was a gorgeous creature with a thick reddish-gold coat and a magnificent tail. How exciting!


Everybody knows about the Spanish siesta, but who is aware of the French shutdown from 1200 to 1500? It's a good thing that our hostess warned us. The French take lunch very seriously, so all the stores like the butcher and the wine shop are closed for three hours in the middle of the day. How civilized.