As our guests are discovering the Limousin is a great place for a summer holiday. However, we live here all year through and we have to tell you that by not coming ‘out of season’ you are missing out big time! One of the things we missed when we lived in England was the difference between the four seasons – and although climate change means that we cannot guarantee specific weather at a specific time you can definitely still tell what season it is! Although some of the tourist attractions (such as Arbre en Arbre and the Historail Museum) close down at the end of summer there is still plenty to see and do! For anybody who enjoys walking or cycling, - and especially if you’re good with a camera - then each season will offer something different to see. Don't forget there are miles of tracks around the gite that are ideal for walking or mountain biking, and we've got leaflets which show just a few of the local routes - you need not pass the same way twice!
A time of bounty for foragers! Mushrooms of course are a staple wild food at this time of the year – on a crisp clear day and armed with a good reliable mushroom book (we’ve got some good ones in the library!), a walking stick and a bag to carry the goodies home there’s nothing quite like finding your own supper! It is a shame that so many people fear to try this out thinking that it is a dangerous activity with dire consequences – with a little preparation, and a dose of common sense, the reward of finding and eating wild mushrooms is amazing! The trick we have developed is to learn to identify 4 or 5 mushrooms with total confidence (and there are many types that just cannot be confused with anything nasty!) and to concentrate on finding those. The truly great thing here in France is that if you collect something that you are not sure about is that you can take your finds to the local pharmacy and they have experts who will soon tell you if you can eat what you’ve found! Other autumn bounty includes apples, hedgerow fruits such as blackberries and sloes (take some home to make sloe gin!) and chataignes (chestnuts). Come back from your foraging and roast them on the fire in the gite!
The autumn colour can be quite spectacular - as with anywhere it can vary year to year, but as a general rule we like to think that we can run a close second to New England! Bear in mind that autumn starts and finishes a little later here that in does in the UK, with the last leaves not losing their dramatic hues until mid-November
Got a big thick jumper, hat, scarf and gloves? What could be better on a cold crisp sunny day than a brisk walk followed by a cup of hot chocolate or a bowl of soup sat in front of a roaring fire! Actually, it’s even better if it’s been snowing!
And don't worry about being cold overnight! We put a Welsh blanket and an electric blanket on the bed !
This is a most beautiful time of the year – wild flowers abound and the first of the years colour comes into the trees. Even the dandelions put on a wonderful display! The English regard these flowers as weeds of the first order and we remember battling to keep the little blighters out of the lawn! Here they are just left to their own devices – and guess what? They cover the fields with a glorious yellow blanket and then totally disappear in about three weeks, hardly to be seen again until the following year! A lesson for all gardeners there perhaps!
There are numerous orchids to be found, not just in the different species but in the actual quantity of each species - often in large swathes which we have never seen outside France!
This is a great time of the year for bird watching too - plenty of buzzards and kites to be seen - and one friend swears she was overflown by a bird of prey that was as wide as her car! Now, we can't actually verify that but there are rumours that eagles have been seen locally, if only rarely! If you are really lucky with the timing (and this applies to the Autumn as well) you might get to see the passing of the cranes on their annual migrations to Africa and back - and we have seen them pass literally in their thousands!!
Ok - so we're cheating here! This chick belongs to one of our chickens!