The Pyrenees are a great place to hike but as they are comparatively underdeveloped, there are still places where the flora and fauna can live in comparative calm. Having said that…
Canelle, the last remaining female brown bear of the Pyrenees was killed by a hunter on the 1st of November 2004 – she was with her cub at the time. Others brown bears are being introduced from Slovenia but the long term future of the Pyrenean bears looks doubtful.
Marmots were wiped out from the Pyrenees during the Pleistocene period, around 11,000 years ago. They were reintroduced in 1948 but with greater success in 1969. These furry doormats on legs are a fairly common sight in the Pyrenees. Listen out for their warning whistle which will help you locate them.
Lizards are poikilothermic which means they need the heat from the sun to maintain their body warmth. Luckily this one has studied biology and is sitting on a warm rock, enjoying the autumn sunshine. I have a webpage on lizards if you like that sort of thing.
Watch out for this cow. She is all cute smiles when you take her picture but then pesters you for baksheesh all day. Being painted purple probably damaged her psychologically.
Is this a quirk of nature or were the foresters in a romantic mood twenty years ago?
Springtime is a wonderful time of year to visit the Pyrenees. There is still plenty of snow in the mountains but it is often warm enough to wear shorts – and to admire some very beautiful flowers. In this case, blue ones.
The tasty brebis cheese is produced from ewe’s milk. While hiking in the Pyrenees near the Spanish border, I saw a shepherd complete with crook in one hand – and a mobile phone in the other.
A slowworm. Not a snake, but a lizard that has no legs (just to annoy Martin).
This North-facing cliff is the reason that the Col d’Aubisque is closed from November until May. Snow builds up on the road and under pressure forms a big chunk of ice, blocking the road for months when all the other roads are snow free. This is a frequent route for the Tour de France – did Bradley Wiggins have a problem with those sheep…
Perhaps more clearly visible on the larger picture (click on any image to enlarge it – click again and it will get even bigger). A very large fish lives in Spain and sometimes you are able to see him as he pops up to eat an insect (or perhaps a hunter) or two.
Yes, I know I look cute and no, you can’t have my horns to use as coat hooks.
More very beautiful flowers. In this case, yellow ones. Just in case you are seriously into flora of the Pyrenees, you should visit Pierre Lacour’s excellent website.
This wild animal was spotted not far from Lac D’Isabe. The world’s top taxonomists are studying the creature to find its closest known relative.
More of the Pyrenees?
Breche de Roland
Flora and Fauna
2 day hike in Pyrenees
chemin de la mâture
Gorges de Kakouetta
Lescun in Summer
Or other things French?
Parce Que Je T’aime (a novel)
Cycling to Gavarnie
Cycling South West coast of France
Cycling Western Pyrenees
Cycling to Tourmalet
Food in France
An optimistic view of France