Ferpècle glacier hole

Mrs Twinkle has a hole in her bucket, but we have a hole in our glacier, which no amount of straw could fill !  I’m not sure how or when it appeared, but I went to check on it today and I think it’s slowly collapsing into itself.  You would think that a sink-hole might have appeared underneath, for the ice to fall into.  But my theory is that something stopped the central base of the glacier moving forward and this allowed the ice at the edges to curl around in front.  The angle of the hole is also pointing forwards, not upwards, so this also seems to suggest that the bottom of the hole has stopped moving while the top keeps going.  If you have any other ideas, please let me know.

Combat de Génissons

Today, Les Haudères hosted the annual Combat de Génissons, or cow fighting competition between the heifers in the valley.  To an outsider, like me, it can look a bit brutal as the cows circle each other, sometimes pawing the ground, before pushing and shoving each other, with their horns perilously close to the opposition’s eyes.  But it’s a natural, instinctive thing that they do, to assert their dominance, and I’ve never (in 5 years of watching these combats) ever seen any of the animals injured in any way.  It also seems to be a bit of social occasion, to meet up with friends and have a drink.  Though the owner of the winning cow is a very proud farmer indeed !

Birds on the feeder

I’ve been inspired by a program on UK TV the other night to try out some time lapse photography. (More of that to come in a future blog maybe…)  This led me to discover the Interval Timing function on my (Nikon D5300) SLR camera.  I’ve therefore had some fun over the past few days taking pictures of the many birds that come to the bird feeder in our garden.  Well, I say I took some photographs, effectively it was the camera that took them and I just put it on a tripod and set the timer.

Note that the pictures below have all been cropped from the original images.  My particular favourite is the Nuthatch, which is a rare visitor to Evolène at this time of year.  It’s noted for its ability to descend trees head first.


Formentera is only about 19 km long and, as mentioned in my post yesterday, it’s noted for it’s sandy beaches.  Perhaps we were just lucky but, even in October, we had temperatures in the 20’s (degrees C) .  However I’ve never known a place where the clouds would change so dramatically.  One minute there would be a line of menacing dark clouds and about 20 minutes later, there would be no clouds at all – and vice versa of course !

Just in case anyone seeing this post is considering visiting the island, you should also be aware that nude sunbathing is allowed on most of its beaches.  I guess this is a legacy from the hippy era.

Ibiza Town

Throughout July and August Jude was working full time and, as you may have read, we had a few visitors in September.  So for the past week we’ve been on a beach holiday in Formentera.  For the uninitiated, like me before we booked, Formentera is a relatively small island to the south of Ibiza in the Mediterranean.  Amongst other things, it’s renowned across Europe for its many pristine, white sandy beaches. (More of that later…)

Our flights to Ibiza didn’t arrive in time to catch the last ferry to the island, so we spent our first night in Ibiza town, in a ’boutique’ hotel (see picture of our bedroom) right next to the harbour.  If there’s one thing that Jude loves more than the sea and sand, it’s boats !  As you can see, we were treated to some of the largest ‘superyachts’ ever built.

Arolla Valley Walk

By happy coincidence, Jan and I have the same make and model of camera, (which is a Panasonic / Lumix DMC-TZ35 by the way).  So today I’ve decided to use a few of her pictures. (Thanks Jan). The walk was from Arolla, along and across the river Borgne, to La Gouille.

Cloudy Thyon ridge walk

When we woke this morning we couldn’t even see the village, let alone the other side of the valley, due to the low cloud. But the forecast was for it to dissipate, so we set off to do one of our favourite walks – along the Thyon ridge.  On a fine day the views are superb, but the evaporating clouds simply added to the magic of the walk.