Practical Ecology

Nature Switched On





in the Pyrenees  the first 10 years

floristic catalogue
faunistic catalogue
gallery 1: 2006-2012
gallery 2: 2012-
>> 2011 Oct 23
<< 2011 Jul 30


Cornus sanguinea.
13 Sep 9:47

                         a   S T A M M E R  project              

2011 August 30 to September 24

The appearance of the vegetation seems to suggest that autumn is  in full swing but actually temperatures are still passing 24║C every day and the autumn colours are partly caused by drought as it hasn't been raining for a month now.









This sunflower 'BeautÚ d'automne' has many relatively small flower heads in different colours.
It suffered much from the dry summer.
13 Sep 9:56
  The grapes of this vine 'Red Globe' were mostly eaten by birds even before they were completely ripe.
13 Sep 9:52

















Upper terrace with tussocks of Festuca ovina and Phleum phleoides.
Looking south-east.
14 Sep 9:40

Inula conyza
is clearly expanding in different areas of the zone.
Middle terrace looking south-east.
13 Sep 9:25


Senecio jacobaea shows a similar expanding pattern as the Inula above.
Near the filter pond, looking east.
14 Sep 9:59



Dry flower heads of Centaurea scabiosa without any seeds left.
14 Sep 9:53

The parasitic Odontites luteus is all flowers and very fine stems.
Middle terrace, looking east.
15 Sep 9:23


It's a miracle how this Celtis australis manages to stay fresh and green during the long, hot summer.
Looking east.
13 Sep 9:37



I thought the flowering days of Picris hieracioides were over but the last thunder storm at the end of August brought enough rain to start another flowering cycle; quite amazing since its leaves seems all but green or active.




I  identified a thistle which I had already photographed four years ago. Carlina vulgaris, the Common carline thistle, is really decorative and, like his cousin the stemless Carlina aucalis,  a good hygrometer, folding its bracts under humid conditions even when the plant has died away . There were five plants on a spot with open vegetation on the higher terrace.



Old and new flower heads on Picris hieracioides.
Middle terrace, looking south-east.
14 Sep 10:20

  Typical for Carlina vulgaris is the gradual transition from leaves to bracts (here green) and fake ray flowers (almost white).
16 Sep 9:45
  Four years ago I photographed this  specimen of Carlina vulgaris.
Middle terrace, looking north-west.
29 Sep 15:23 2007


The building for the compost toilet was originally planned to be temporal as the design for our final house included a similar toilet. But the original, bigger house is for the moment out of the picture and this toilet is really functioning beyond expectation: no smells, no waste of water and an additional production of  natural fertilizer for the vegetable garden.

But the building was not too well built, with inclining walls and a roof which little by little was getting too low. So I decided to build the straw bale walls up again.
I was surprised to find the bales still in good shape with almost no rotting or decay. Also the roof material with  the knobbed roll (HDPE) was in a healthy condition, although I must admit that with heavy rain showers there had been some leakage.







I took apart the Sedum plants which had been growing on the roof and 'seeded' the cuttings again. A thicker layer of straw will help them establish.



The dismantling of the toilet building.
30 Aug 13:05





The restored toilet building.
2 Sep 15:49



Compost toilet interior. The red basket on the right contains the triturated straw which 'substitutes' the flushing water.
2 Sep 15:47
View from the toilet, looking south-east.
2 Sep 15:45
Rambling rose 'Paul's Scarlet Climber' in a romantic setting in front of the toilet building.
The different coloured straw bales indicate their former position.
14 Sep 19:11



Germinating barley on the 'straw' roof of the toilet building. The staw (a present from a neighbour) is from this year.
13 Sep 9:55



Because of the fire hazard I can't put straw on the roof of the garden house and the vegetation there is suffering somewhat from the dry summer but especially Sedum anglicum, S. acre, S. album and Iris germanica  are still clearly alive.






  Sedum and Sempervivum on the roof of the garden house.
Looking west.
13 Sep 10:50
The stones which help balance the roof weight also help maintain some humidity.
Looking north.
13 Sep 10:53


House with green roof, barley field, almond orchard and village.
Looking north-east.
15 Sep 9:25



The night after writing the lines above there was a tremendous thunderstorm discharging 53 litres of clean, fresh rain water. In the morning it was like entering into another world, with new colours, smells and sounds.








Thundery showers over the Pyrenees.
Looking north-west.
24 Sep 9:21
A short spell of sunlight.
24 Sep 9:51
The vegetable garden needed this rain badly.
Looking north-east.
24 Sep 9:49
Looking north-west.
24 Sep 9:48

floristic catalogue
faunistic catalogue
gallery 1: 2006-2012
gallery 2: 2012-
>> 2011 Oct 23
<< 2011 Jul 30











Latest revision on:  01/08/2018