Tuesday, September 15, 2009
The shooting season started here on Sunday. As far as I can make out, here in rural France the shooting season means you are allowed to shoot any type of wild bird or animal. It's also different from the UK in that the places where you are not allowed to shoot are stated rather than the places where you are. One can have a fence round a garden if it is definitely a garden but otherwise the land is 'agricultural' land and is deemed open for shooting. You are not allowed to shoot within a certain distance of houses (I don't know what this is but don't think it is all that far) and you're not allowed to shoot towards a house (phew!)
Sunday mornings are transformed once the season has started. Maybe the women still go to church, but the men seem to spend their Sunday mornings out shooting. We have three acres of rough grassland here, so in theory we can be on anyone's route on their shooting expedition so on Saturday Paulette in the café reminded us to keep an eye on how far Charlie went roaming on Sunday morning. Luckily he is not much of a roaming sort of a dog.
In the last few days we've had this partridge wandering round the yard. When we're inside he'll come quite close to the house but gets spooked if I get too close with the camera. Since we haven't seen him before, it sort of suggests he's taking refuge and doesn't know people would be allowed to shoot him here too. He's a fine-looking bird. It wouldn't stop me eating partridge if offered it, though.