today’s assignment is inventaire papillion. armed with a net, a guidebook, a sidekick, and some running legs, you will be chasing butterflies to note what species are currently around and if there are any migrating ones that have stopped by.
but first, someone’s brought in another injured bird and everybody huddles around it to have a peek. it’s a bird of prey, but as for the species, you can’t remember what they said.
for injured birds, the key is eating. if they aren’t moving, that is fine as that will heal. but sick birds who refuse to eat are the ones that there is little hope for. thankfully this little fellow was happily eating, so you know he’s probably fully recovered.
off to chasing butterflies! you and your partner have already caught and identified three.
you are right next to the ocean.
neither of you can resist temptation. the shoes come off. the net and guidebook are flung onto the sand.
after lunch, after afternoon duties, you find yourself again in front of the ocean. but for a different reason.
there is a certain pattern that never fails over at the MDF.
as long as it is sunny and hot, whoever is working the front desk will always receive a frantic phone call from the caring public.
“bonjour, vous-êtes le LPO? je vous appelle pour vous dire qu’il y a un phoque blessé à la phare de baleines. il ne bouge pas et j’ai peur qu’il meure.”
the first time… people are worried. but by the fifteenth call.. everyone’s got the response down perfectly.
“bonjour, merci pour nous informer, mais en fait ne vous inquiétez pas parce qu’on connaît bien ce phoque. chaque fois qu’il fait beau et chaud, il se trouve toujours à la phare des baleines pour profiter du soleil. donc il n’est pas blessé, il est juste en train de se reposer et s'amuser pour vous!”
and so everybody at the MDF has heard of this legendary seal.
but nobody has actually seen it.
so it starts with, “qui veut essayer de voir le phoque!? on vient de recevoir un appel il y a 30 minutes, donc il y a un chance qu’il est toujours là! on y va on y va on y va c’est partie!”
and so, everybody on their bikes – to the lighthouse!
[hello, is this the LPO? i’m calling you to tell you that there is an injured seal at la phare des baleines. he isn’t moving and i’m afraid he’ll die.]
[hello, thank you for informing us, but in fact you needn’t worry as we know this seal very well. each time that it is nice and hot outside, he finds himself there to enjoy the sun. so he is not injured, just resting and having fun for you!]
[who wants to try and see the seal!? we just got a call thirty minutes ago, so there is a chance he is still there! let’s go let’s let’s go!”]
everybody, with their binoculars, begins the search.
there is no seal to be seen. instead, everybody spots three lost volunteers down below who have taken the wrong path.
from up above, everybody teases them. “mais vous étiez oùùùùù!? vous êtes en retard et vous avez loupé le phoque! il a même fait un grand spectacle pour nous!”
the LPO team can be a cruel bunch at times. yourself included.
[but wheeeeeeere were you guys!? you guys are late and you’ve missed the seal! he even put on a grand show for us!”]
then, some impromptu slightly illegal climbing happens. the LPO team is reunited!
then. “LÀ! LÀ! LÀ! je le VOIS! LÀ! LÀ! à cote de la barrière, il est là!” exclaims someone.
everybody swings their binoculars right.
and indeed, the phoque has been sighted. in the waters, far away, and only his head surfacing every now and then, but still, it’s better than nothing, right?
so – if you find yourself at île de ré one day when it is sunny and hot, pay a little visit to la phare des baleines and you just might see the sunbathing seal.
[there! there! there! i see him! there! there! next to the barrier, he’s there!]