A plan d'eau is any fairly small artificial lake. This one is there as a recreational spot, part of the landscaping of the municipal area. It is stocked with fish and anglers use it mostly at weekends, you can just go and get a day permit from the Mairie nearby. The watercourse it is part of continues in a number of other smaller ponds on terraces down the hill to the sewage treatment works at the bottom.
and a stand of shrub-sized judas trees.
The rugosa roses produce flowers and hips for a long season.
The water's edge is kept fairly clear of reeds and reedmace, for the benefit of the anglers but also to avoid providing cover for coypu, the giant naturalised Canadian rodents that can destroy banks and spread leptospirosis. But there are a few plant species planted there: these which I can't identify,
and a gunnera which I'm never quite sure if I like, but its forms and textures, in all kinds of states, continue to intrigue me.
In front of one bench is a patch of red water lilies.
Although the verges and banks are mown and kept fairly tidy, there are plenty of places nature is allowed to play a little rough with. Among the interesting wild plants that flourish is mullein, whose prettily furry rosettes and spikes have here been ravaged by the nearly as prettily zingy-coloured mullein moth caterpillars. The moth itself is a dull grey little thing, but the larva obviously have a wild yellow and black youth among the fuzz.
There is a reasonable amount of fauna: herons, green and spotted woodpeckers, finches, tits, a nuthatch or two, I thought I saw a tree creeper once, and a lot of rabbits, since, although there is fishing, no chasseurs are allowed, as it is a public park. During the winter I'm often glad of it as a place where I won't run into them. Even so, the ducks are shy, and prefer the ponds further off where people don't go. Molly is clueless about rabbits, they often pop up right in front of her and she doesn't see them, so busy is she with her olfactory sense. However, an extraordinary wildlife sighting one may experience is of the Beast of Trédaniel, the plan d'eau cat, captured here sunning itself on a rock, and really an enormous creature, quite capable, I'm sure, of taking on a fully grown rabbit.
This is the only picture here not taken with the small camera. I find the place yields a surprising amount to look at and take in and photograph; as well as the entries on Out with Mol, quite a lot of photo posts here have been from time spent there. Yet more are sitting in folders which I've not posted. A post at Jean's had me thinking about how we tend to feel the need to only use, seasonal, up to the minute, current photos on our blogs. I like this seasonality, but also think it might be a good idea sometimes to look over and show older pictures that perhaps were passed over before. So perhaps I'll run an occasional series of back-number plan d'eau pictures.