Back to the Marsh by Michael Fontes of Les Orchidées de Najac:-

I’m going to write about a field, a marshy field.  You may have a vision of elderly English people who retire abroad, dreamily sipping white wine by their swimming pools on hot summer evenings, as they prepare to tuck into the foie gras and the goat’s cheese.  My expat idyll is very different: I spend my afternoons in wild places, studying the butterflies and wild flowers of the Aveyron, one of the most remote parts of deepest France.  In my last article for The Vintage Magazine, I described the joys and pains of selling my photos in our village market.  Here I’m going to write about a place, a field, a marshy field, where I took all the photos in this article.

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Marsh Fritillary Euphydryas aurinia

I study the butterflies and flowers of Najac, a village on the Aveyron river eighty miles north of Toulouse. I bought a house here in 1988 and moved definitively when I retired in 2002. The department, the Aveyron, is wild, full of broad stretches of limestone heath, Causse, where orchids grow in the spring and moderately exotic butterflies flutter in the sunshine most of the year round. A professional botanist would dig up the orchids and examine them intimately; I have qualms about touching wild plants: they’ve chosen to live in a particular place, and who am I to uproot them? Read more…

The Orchids of Najac