Out of a fairy world

Built in the woods, these impressive, fairy-like moth nests contain hundreds of caterpillars in pupation. I could not identify which butterfly or moth species creates such sophisticated constructions, so suggestions are very welcome!

Location: Aichig, Germany

Elegant Sparkly Beetle

Elegant sparkly beetle encountered near the shore of a small pond in the Bavarian countryside. I was unfortunately unable to identify this friendly and beautiful insect, so suggestions are very welcome!

Location: Bayreuth, Germany

A fuzzy bumblebee

Despite their stout, clumsy look, bumblebees can fly at an impressive speed of up to 54 km/h. These friendly insects are however often assaulted by parasitic mites, which are to them what ticks are to us. By attaching to the bees’ fuzzy bodies, they soon overload them to the point that they cannot fly anymore and eventually kill them.

If you come across a bumblebee covered in mites, you can help: check out this interesting article which explains a simple way to ridden bumblebees of these nasty arthropods.

Location: Paris, France

Wasp snack

This ambitious, hard-working little ant thought it could bring a trophy back to the colony all on its own. Impressively, it managed to drag the much larger, freshsly dead insect on an incredibly long distance. Imagine just how much weight we could carry around if only we had the strength and determination of an ant!

Location: Bayreuth, Germany

A first-time exploration of the Mercantour from the town of Roubion (French Alps)

Mercantour - Roubion and surroundings

The Mercantour (core and peripheral area). The area discussed in the present article is contained in the black square.

Created in 1979, the Parc National du Mercantour boasts a unique mixture of nature and culture on its 685 sq km alpine territory made up of six distinctive valleys dominated by mountain tops over 3,000 m. Though omniscient and diverse, the local wilderness has long coexisted with men whose early presence in the area is attested by the scattered remnants of former human activities (rock engravings, chapels, defensive fortifications ruins, military blockhaus, old sheep/cow pens…) and a multitude of hamlets remarkably erected on the steepest slopes of the park’s buffer zone (1,465 sq km). Built in a stair-like fashion amid the lush vegetation, the traditional rock houses give the impression of having literally grown out of the mountain stone. Visitors shall feel amazed at the sighting of such surreal constructions and a little frightened when accessing some of these unconventional dwellings via curvy one-lane roads.


View from the end of the road leading to Roubion. Credit: Yalakom

An archetype of such picturesque villages is Roubion. Perched at an altitude of 1,336 m in the Vallée de la Tinée, this charming medieval town of 125 inhabitants makes for an ideal base for those wishing to explore the multiple facets of the Mercantour. Roubion will introduce visitors to the local lifestyle, past and present, while providing easy access to the park’s core area via the hiking trails that run through its narrow, cobbled streets. Refreshing source water feeds Continue reading