Col du Pradel

6th May 2022

Coming up the small mountain road through the forest and up into the high pastures, the hillsides around the Col are transformed by a carpet of daffodils. There are also patches of ubiquitous broom, which the farmers are always trying to burn away in early Spring, and a scattering of flowering mezereon (Daphne mezereum) as well clumps of trumpet and spring gentians. On wetter pastures, alpine snowbells are common and oxlips are again everywhere.

Spring in the Ariège
Lammergeier over the forest

Two lammergeiers are playing with a bone and the younger one drops it into a beechwood. Ravens and a pair of red-billed chough are also on the ride; marmots whistle their alarm calls from the slopes below. The view west is across empty rolling plateaus with the distinctive half dome of Le Quié visible in the middle distance.

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