Early September, it was good to escape the heat of the Roussillon plain and head into the mountains again. Bruce and I were on a mission. He suspected there might be some interesting butterflies alongside the stream below the main track to the tower.
After parking (no other cars - we had the place to ourselves), we set off right, following a trail of cowpats down the footpath that leads eventually to Arles-sur-Tech, although we'd only be going a kilometre or so. Even at this height it was hot. There was hardly any wind, little shade, and it was blissfully peaceful. All we could hear were the stream and the gentle buzz of bees.
So many bees! And many different species too. There were some especially big ones, covered in pollen that made them look more grey than black. Not quite big enough (and too hairy) for Carpenters, I think, but so far I haven't managed to identify them. They were enjoying the beautiful thistles. As were the butterflies. Bruce's suspicion was spot on and it was hard to know where to look next. Many were attracted to flowering horse mint as well. By the end of the day we knew we'd seen at least 17 different butterfly species. (When Bruce subsequently checked his photos, that tally would get closer to 30).
Here's a very short video of one with a couple of friends (plus background sound effects from my dog!).
By now a few clouds had bubbled up and there was a light breeze, but neither offered much relief.