Friday, 11 April 2014

a Bientot

This is the last blog of this winter season.   It has been a good season for snow.   We have been able to ski off piste most days until about the last 3 weeks of the season, when the sun came out and spring arrived.  Mont D'Arbois lifts closed on Tuesday (though we were told they were to stay open until the end of the week and we didn't understand why they closed earlier), and Rochebrune (except for Cote 2000) closed today.   Again it is hard to understand why as the pistes are still skiable and the resort is losing the weekend trade.
The spring flowers are blooming.   The first ones to appear on the banks where the snow has melted is the coltsfoot, a yellow dandelion like flower.   In the damp shade the butterbur is ubiquitous, and the gardens are yellow with primroses.   Further down the valley there are cowslips by the side of the road. I have also seen oxslips, marsh marigolds and violets, though not heartsease, though I have seen them other years.   But my favourites are the mountain crocuses.  These are tiny, like little flakes of snow at first glance, mostly white but you do get purple and yellow.  And they appear at this time of year as soon as the snow has melted from the sunny banks.
The birds are singing enthusiastically and building their nests.   Under the Chamois lift there are 6 ewes and 5 lambs.  During the winter they are in a shed at the bottom of a garden, but as soon as the snow has gone a fence goes up and the sheep appear.  Sometimes one sees marmots sunning themselves under the Ideal chair, but again I have not seen them this year.
So farewell for the moment.  We are back in the summer for the Jazz Competition.  Now it's time for tennis!

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