Summer is coming to an end.

The change of seasons is an annual phenomenon. Summer will officially end September 21st, after which autumn will take place. In Benelux countries, the change of seasons is progressively more gradual than in southern Europe. In southern France, you can often sit outside in October in a cosy sun, which can often push the afternoon temperature up to 24 degrees. But in the northern European countries, this is different. In the Netherlands, for example, people can be happy when storm and rain remain away for some time, while the temperature often drops to around 14 degrees. Of course it also has its impact on nature. In the south of Europe, you can see well-known butterfly species that disappeared in the Benelux countries around mid-August, still fluttering well into October.

The beautiful thistle butterfly is now noticeable in the Low Countries for some time. But in a good two weeks they will have to go to southern Europe to see them before they fly back to Africa via Spain in huge swarms.

The moment I write this story, the weather is bad in our southern surroundings. Rain and thunderstorms plague the country. There was 23 cm in six hours. rainwater in our immediate vicinity. Significant for the time of year. The result is, outside of smoothness and some flooding here and there, that in the low-lying forests the water is absorbed and stored by the spongy upper layers, as it were. Beautiful moss growth is the result of that. Of course, such a beautiful moss placard is not the result of a few rain showers. At the spot where I took this picture, the rather acidic soil is usually a bit humid. Even during long heat and drought.

Not all the butterfly bushes we planted at the time bloom equally beautifully. Some have only struggled to endure this year's long drought period. With a sufficiently wet winter, they may all make it, but that's a matter of waiting. At our pool, however, they bloom like never before and the flowers are visited by insects daily. In this case, a small heath ledge.

Even the clematis is still blooming. Long garlands with flowers have formed around the gate at our entrance. But they are walking to their end by now. Another week I think, it will end with them for this year as well.

The last king page I saw today I think. Actually, they don't fly after the end of August. But for the last ten years we have seen them visit our butterfly bushes regularly until mid-September.

Living outside has advantages and disadvantages. If you've always lived in the city with all your amenities around you, it's a bit of getting used to living in a house where you live close to neighbours, just over six hundred metres away from you. It is one of the reasons why some Dutch townspeople who have settled here in the vastness of the Occitan south of France are considering going back to the Netherlands. It's often too lonely here, while the facility is all at a relatively long distance. Even though there are often a bakery and a small “huit a huit” shop in the villages.

With the queen pages, it's just as much as with the king pages. They fly longer in the south than in the Benelux. Although I have to say that their numbers have been getting smaller and smaller in recent days.

The sun is now breaking through the clouds that still cover the peaks of the hills. Maybe we can still sit outside in the afternoon. Temperature is good at 27 degrees.

Tomorrow we want to go to Collioure. Despite the rain forecast, the weather is usually good on the Cote Vermeille coast. If you sit there in the sun on a terrace, the rain clouds can drop their moist load a mile away.

I hope readers enjoyed my contribution. For the record, I would like to mention that the last photo of Collioure is not my own but from the French Catalan traffic office.

All of them own photos.


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