Bonne Fête du 1er Mai

bluebellHut

“Bonne Fête du premier mai”, as they say here!

This is the day when France goes quiet, as everything (or almost everything) stops for the national holiday.  And so, in order to take advantage this I was up before dawn this morning to do some more nature-recording, this time in some of the “Zones Refuges” around town.  These nature reserves are too small and usually too close to traffic noise to be normally considered as suitable recording locations; and so this morning, with so few cars on the road, I was presented with what was probably a once-in-a-year opportunity.  By about 7am I had finished what I had to do (sunrise was 0622) and so I made my way home only to be greeted almost every 100 metres by an assortment of ad-hoc flower stalls – setting up for the day in order to sell their May Day bouquets of Muguet: (Lilly of the Valley): a symbol of springtime, good luck and happiness, and given as a sign of affection.  Apparently the first of May is the only time of the year when people can sell flowers on the street without having to buy a permit, and so in every direction flowers were being exchanged as well-wishes for the coming season.

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