Guard Dogs and Tadpoles

One of our regular valley floor walks follows the river Aveyron to the north-east of Chamonix, as far as the furthest bridge and back along the other bank.  The rapids are fed by the melting ice from Mer de Glace, the largest European glacier. 

At regular intervals along the river are warnings to the public not to venture near the river bed, as the water level can rapidly change when water is released from the dam further upstream.  When that happens the current through the rapids is so powerful that small rocks the size of a fist are spat into the air.  Despite the warnings of the danger being in French, German, English and Italian, many people wandering on the riverbed or sunbathing on the rocks appear to believe that they are immortal. 

Or perhaps just plain stupid.

At the upper end of the valley is a small subsistence farm, with herd of goats and their accompanying guard dogs.   Their enclosure fencing is moved most days and it meanders up and down the valley, the goats consuming anything that is edible.

Initially the huge guard dogs used to growl and snarl if we got too close, but now they ignore us.  Apparently they have got accustomed to both our smell and voices and no longer view us as a threat to their charges.

 Near the farm is a small pool beside the road, host to a multitude of tiny tadpoles. They must have ‘hatched’ out in the last few days.  It will be interesting to follow their life cycle.

 And guarding the farm is a sleepy old Basset hound that has seen better days.

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