15th May 2022
On the route up to Port de Lers the road runs through dense woodlands to the open ground where waterfalls crash down by the road and woodland browns chase along the fringes of the beeches but never land in plain sight. In a flush by the road, a single De Prunner’s ringlet drops in briefly before rudely disappearing. The limestone cliffs on the road between the Port de Lers and the Etang below are rich in primroses, gentians and saxifrages. Wet flushes around the lake hold abundant colonies of butterwort and lousewort.
Above the Etang de Lers, the road rises to the Col d’Agnes on the road to Aulus-les -Bains. From a viewpoint there is an immense panorama of mountains that sits astride the border with Spain. A tree pipit hangs in the strong breeze and sings incessantly. Here there is flowering dog’s tooth violets on the grazed slopes, flowering around six weeks later than those that first appeared around the Etang de Lers in late March. That is the great thing about the mountains of Mediterranean Europe; you follow Spring up the hill until Autumn.