Le heron et le ragondin

As I said on here before, I quite like autumn. But this year it is really kicking my ass. More than usual it feels like my body is preparing for hibernation. Last week I took an afternoon nap that I couldn’t wake up from. I ended up sleeping for almost 4 hours, waking up groggy and disoriented and grumpy.

So instead of giving in to the afternoon low, now I try to do something else instead. When I had a headache, I decided to go for a walk instead. I only noticed that it had started to rain after I had made my decision (and had texted Gergö about it), so I really wanted to go through with it. I have a good raincoat after all, am not made from sugar etc..

I walked our summer’s usual evening route along the Yvette. On my way back I saw the heron again. It was just standing in the Yvette in the rain. I stopped and watched. I didn’t want to spook it, so I didn’t even take out my camera. I just enjoyed the view. After a few minutes I saw a woman approaching from the other side. She stopped under a tree and also stayed watching the heron.

To mangle a twitter meme, “I am ‘stopping to watch a stationary bird’ years old now”. I’m still enormously impressed by herons, I don’t know why.

The bird got a little agitated after a while and I expected it to fly away. But it just turned to look at the little nutria, that had just crawled out of the bank’s undergrowth and was swimming past the heron. That was finally too much for me to bear and I got out my camera and took a photo. I keep forgetting that I don’t have a camera with zoom anymore, so it’s basically a wobbly photo of a heron in the drizzle. Somewhere in the foreground, hidden behind greenery you have to imagine the nutria swimming past. Not pictured is me squeeing on the inside.

the heron in the yvette


Le printemps est arrivé

The weather wasn’t great the last couple of days. It was mild during the day, but humid and it rained often. So on Friday, when I left for the supermarket, I hoped I’d make it home before the thunderstorm would break. Dark clouds were already gathering in the East. (I’ve always wanted to write a sentence as uselessly ominous as this.)

As I was walking along the Yvette, the insects were flying really low and I noticed the wind picking up. It was still warm and I’m not made of sugar, so I put up my hood and walked on. I figured I could wait it out in the supermarket, should the rain get really bad. Halfway to the supermarket, I noticed that I could already see the rain ahead, but it hadn’t reached me yet. When it finally arrived, big fat drops were falling, but so few, hardly any even landed on me. The wind was blowing petals around. At least that’s what I thought. On closer inspection, some of the petals turned out to be hail.

It was still mild and humid, just with big fat drops of water and the occasional hail pellet.

I got my shopping done and walked home with a heavy shopping bag on my shoulder. Just after the short descent down to the path along the Yvette I had to stop, though. Really close on the other bank there was the heron. I had spotted him before, but never this close. I stopped moving, turned off my music and just stared in awe. After a little while I wanted to take a step closer, but just this one step made him fly up. He circled a little, dipped his feet into the creek once and landed a bit further down on my side of the creek.

I was happy to stand still and just watch this time, but my shopping bag was so heavy it made my shoulder fall asleep, so I shifted it. That was enough to scare the heron away. He flew up, but they are big birds. It took him three circles to reach enough height to be able to fly away over the tree tops.

Only after my near religious experience with the heron I took out my phone to take a couple of pictures. The geese were for once not hiding. There’s a red headed duck around now. And I saw the first ducklings of the season and three (!!) baby nutria out and about where the geese feed, accompanied by one adult nutria. I didn’t photograph them, because all my nutria photos turn out terrible – the light, the water reflectin, the blurriness. You’ll just have to believe me.


duck parade


view towards the west along the Yvette


The red head.




New awesome smurf graffito under railway bridge


Gargamel has been caught spraying

Écrit sur mon support ordinateur

I hadn’t done a supermarket trip in a while, so I went ahead yesterday. Because I also hadn’t seen the nutrias the last couple of times I walked along the Yvette, I was extra alert. Instead of nutria I saw regular rats. My new theory is that feeding the ducks and nutria attracts rats, and that’s why the city put up traps.

Instead of nutria, I saw what I thought was a coot (Blesshuhn), but googling it now, I realise it’s a moorhen (Teichuhn).

common moorhen

This chick has crazy big feet

common moorhen pecking on the ground

On this picture you can see the red beak with yellow tip

On my way back from the supermarket I spotted the nutria again. It wasn’t in its usual place, but a little further upstream, munching on a fallen tree. NB: I’d take a house like that, with a garden backing onto the Yvette, ducks hanging out and nutrias visiting
nutria sitting on a fallen tree branch in the creek

nice place to live for ducks, people and nutria

close up of the nutria on the fallen tree

In the evening, Gergö and I went blackberrying again. Again, we didn’t find many ripe ones. I guess the birds are too quick for me. Instead we found a kiwi bush growing over a fence. And we saw the wild parrots Gergös friend was telling us about.

parrots sitting in a tree in the dusk
parrots sitting in a tree in the dusk

I think my next post has to be Parisian street art, to make up for all this nature talk ;-)