Alpine Garden Society

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Meeting January 15 2015 French Pyrenees

David Morris, a member of the North Lancashire Group of the Alpine Garden Society presented his lecture entitled ‘The French Pyrenees’ By profession, David is an ecologist with the RSPB and a leader of Natural History expeditions to see and photograph the flora and birds of the European mountains.
 
David had visited the French Pyrenees on several occasions mostly in June for the spring flowers and also in September for the autumn flora. The tours are based in Gedre (1100m) , a Pyrenean village providing easy access to the finest cirques, hanging valleys and abundant hay meadows, many of which are within the Pyrenees National Park. The isolated mountain range of the Pyrenees creates a unique weather system and this is reflected in the special flora with many endemic species. David illustrated the lecture with superb photographs of the plants of the alpine screes and widespread meadow species to be found in the Val D’Ossoue, Val de Troumouse and the Heas valley.
 
Pyrenean landscapes included the Cirque de Gavarnie and the track to the Breche de Roland. The Cirque D’Estoube at 1819m was also visited. David showed images of many orchids, the endemic Pyrenean Saxifrage and drifts of the English Iris carpeting the lower slopes in the Valle de Poucy Aspe.  The plants of the hay meadows attract many butterflies with  excellent photographs of these and also of the Lammergeier, Griffin Vulture and Marmot. His photographs were taken using a Nikon D300S with a Nikkor 105mm f/2.8 Macro lens for the flowers and  Sigma 500mm f/4 for the birds.
 
After questions a hearty Vote of Thanks was proposed by Frank Hoyle.
 
Next meeting 7.30.p.m. February 15th 2015 at Greaves Methodist Church, Lancaster when John Dower will speak on Miniature Gardens.

JF & SC
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