Ferpècle valley walk, Val d’Hérens, Switzerland

Yesterday I decided to take a wander up the Ferpècle valley to see how much snow there was and to check on the progress of the tadpoles in the small pond. The road up to the small reservoir had been cleared so that was very easy going, but from there to the pond, the snow was still at least 30cm or 1ft thick. Luckily, I didn’t have to walk far to get to the pond, which was still iced over. (See pic 10). I’ll return in a week or two when the ice has melted to see if anything is swimming around.

On my return, I had a quick look at the small reservoir, to see how full it was and I was slightly taken aback. The level of the reservoir had obviously dropped leaving huge cracks in what would have been the frozen top. It was like something from the Antarctic (but on a much smaller scale obviously).

There was also a bit of a surprise as I walked up the road as there had obviously been an avalanche to the right of the road. It had completely filled the gully or ravine between the road and the far rockface. The river had somehow managed to work it’s way through as water was still flowing lower down. (See pics 5 & 6).

As you know I’m always on the look out for different or very special butterflies and I have seen quite a few Camberwell Beauties this year already, but I’ve not managed to capture one on camera. So it was very pleasing to find one merrily flitting down the side of the road and posing nicely for me to take several photographs. (See pic 24 for the best of them).

12 thoughts on “Ferpècle valley walk, Val d’Hérens, Switzerland

    • Yes, it has an interesting ‘wrinkle’ to the edge of its wings, which I’ve not seen on any others (or at least not noticed before). I’m sure the edges were a little more lemony than the picture shows, but the sun was so bright, I don’t think the camera could cope with the contrast! I read that they do migrate to the south of England, so let’s hope they make it to East Anglia! 🤞🤞

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    • I’m afraid the lemony/yellow edge looks a bit washed out due to the bright sunlight. (It’s a huge contrast to the dark, mainly brown, main part of the wings, so it’s difficult for my little camera to pick up I’m afraid – and you don’t have time to fiddle around with any settings!) But, yes, it is certainly well named!

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  1. Another majestic hike through the Alps, and thoroughly enjoyed, Mike. I like reading of your observations and discoveries, and then settling into the slide show. Fantastic photos, vistas, and phenomena. The avalanche results were interesting to me, the butterflies so elegant and unusual, espec. the stunning Camberwell, and the cracked ice was fascinating. Thanks so much for taking us along on this adventurous hike.

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    • As always Jet, you’re very welcome and it’s my pleasure. I’m foregoing a walk tomorrow and Saturday though in favour of a professional bike race – the Tour de Romandie, which just happens to be going along the Rhone valley and then up our valley on Saturday. Post and pics to come in due course… 😊

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