One of the pleasures of living in the PO is to open the local paper and find the lead story the saga (ongoing, like any good saga) of Balou the bear. Balou is in rut and has been roaming the Pyrenees and Corbières for many weeks looking for a mate (or mates: Balou is insatiable and is known to have sired numerous cubs). (Here is a great video of Balou.)
Bears are not the only creatures hunting mates. Land turtles, the paper tells us, are prowling as well. We are warned to be cautious if we encounter one. They are likely to be in a bad humor and can be quite dangerous. A snap of their beak can take a finger right off, which would indeed be a sad ending to a stroll in the countryside. Even on such a spring day as we had yesterday.
Another pleasure is the sunny spring afternoon walk around the village. This is the season of blossoming trees and shrubs and vines -- and the clouds of pollen which seem to turn the air golden, so the outing carries its share of peril for the sensitive. Even so, the risk is worth taking. Several houses along the banks of the Agly have wisteria vines in full blossom, for instance, and everyone seems to have one or another variety of rose putting on a show.
At the bend in the river just before the main bridge, we pause to watch the trout sunning. There are a dozen or so of various sizes, each one facing into the oncoming current and swaying body and fins just enough to keep from being swept downstream. A fishy spring walk.