Garden

The garden is 1.2 acres and includes a formal garden, an orchard and a meadow. It reaches to the Aisne river, and offers great views on the surrounding area.

Spring. Swallows skim beneath the elm to catch insects.  In the shady thicket on the riverside, the nightingale reigns. A kingfisher shoots narrowly over the silent Aisne. From the distant ponds, one hears the bittern blowing its hornlike sighs. The great reed warbler is a loyal visitor of these ponds, so is the osprey.

Summer. The turtle dove is a constant companion as soon as the sun is out, pleasant times too for the black kite, buzzard, honey buzzard, red-backed shrike, blue heron, black stork … an occasional hoopoe can be spotted. Nights are mostly unspoiled,  moon and stars reign over sky and earth, projecting mysterious shades under the trees. Barn owl or tawny owl is around.

 

Autumn. Cranes crowd the sky at dusk, hundreds of them  commuting daily over house and garden, from the woods and meadows to their sleeping abode on Belval pond. Deer will be heard from the wood brims. They can occasionally be glimpsed on country roads near the Aisne, they are shy, only cautious walkers can chance to see them.

 

Winter. Fairy views on the surrounding meadows and forests. At dawn the fog banks are still floating over the meadows. Every morning and evening the cranes fly over. A fox prowls along the meadow pickets…

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Natural sites