Forêt de Finges, Valais, Switzerland

After several days of sanding down and painting our shutters, Jude and I decided to have a day off and go for a walk down in the Rhone valley.  Sunday is pretty much a rest day in Switzerland anyway, as you are not allowed to make any undue noise (like mowing the lawn, drilling or hammering).  This is one of several ‘rules’ in Switzerland, which I may well blog about one day.

Anyway, the Forêt de Finges is a nature reserve of national importance which lies between the River Rhone and the main road from Sierre to Leuk.  It effectively marks the ‘border’ between the French and German speaking parts of Switzerland.  Our route would take us around a few small ponds which, to our surprise, were almost completely frozen.

We’d taken our binoculars in the hope of spotting a few interesting birds but, unfortunately, we didn’t see too many – just a few Coal Tits, Crested Tits, 2 Buzzards and something that looked a bit yellow!  On the plus side, we did spot a butterfly which came to rest on a bank above us.  After clambering up very carefully, I did manage to catch a reasonable photo – see pic 15.


16 thoughts on “Forêt de Finges, Valais, Switzerland

  1. Oh how I loved being along for your magnificent hike, Mike. This preserve is so lovely, the views are glorious, and all your photos are beautiful and give us a great idea of the scenes you experienced. I liked seeing the frozen ponds and your now-snowless but still frozen winter. Interesting that you cannot mow or make machine noises on Sundays. It might seem a bit stifling for you, but I think it would be so nice to not have chainsawing and construction noises all day Sunday. Many thanks.

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  2. Wonderful nature photos from your walk, Mike. I love the one of, I assume Jude, on the path. And, we were on the same wavelength shooting bark patterns this weekend. Terrific nature shots- what a place!

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  3. Lovely looking area and you’ve photographed a Brimstone! (tough little critters) Like the description of a bird that ‘looked a bit yellow’.
    Mrs H likes the idea of the peaceful Sundays and evenings, probably why the Swiss drag racers are over here at weekends in the summer!


    • That was the first butterfly we saw and I just hoped I’d get a picture. We subsequently saw 2 more – both Brimstones of course. As you say, they must be tough little characters (especially given that the reserve is in the shade until maybe 11am – hence the frozen ponds). The Swiss do have some interesting rules, like not being able to wash your car – not just on a Sunday – you have to go to a special car washing facility. And cars MUST stop at pedestrian crossings if people are waiting to cross – otherwise you can be prosecuted. (Mind you locals often check that it’s not a foreign car before they step out!) It’s all rather 70’s… which, if your’re old enough, you might look back on fondly. 🙂

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    • I’m glad you enjoyed the pics. Sometimes I feel my blog is there for people who may not be able to get to Switzerland or have difficulty walking any great distance (e.g. bad knees!) So although I started (nearly 4 years ago now!) by posting just 5 or 6 photos at random, I now always put them in sequence, so that it shows the walk from start to finish. I should have added a map at the end, but I had the pics ready to post and decided not to bother this time. Sorry about that!


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