What happens in the spring ?

13 mars 2017,

2017, 13th march

The awakening of marshes… by Sophie, salt worker in Guérande.

"In Winter, the salt marshes were filled with water in order to fully fill them, thus protecting them from frost and storms. Now it’s time to drain and clean them to prepare the new 2017 season!

Therefore the major activity of salt workers at this time of the year consists on maintaining the “fares” (evaporation basins): this is called “the casing”.

For this purpose, they use two instruments; the “boutoué”, a tool with a long wooden handle to remove the mud, and the “lousse à ponter” to rebuild clay bridges on which they walk on.

The refilling will happen at the end of March or early April

Because of the weather conditions, each year is different from the other: rain and temperatures regulate the marshes rhythm. For instance, because this winter 2016-2017 has been particularly rainy, the water ‘salt concentration remained higher than usual.

This year, probably because of the cold of January, the “Green macroalgae Enteromorpha” (which is used in Guerande Cosmetics) is rather late. For now, there is little vegetation.

The salicornia will appear later.

Currently, the wildlife can walk in peace on the marshes, and leave numerous tracks in the clay during the night (boars, foxes, badgers, rabbits…).

We also observe the flights of migratory birds which return to the nesting areas: to this day, the geese we see during the Winter, continue their way to their native Siberia, while the beautiful bluetet returns to cheer the banks with its characteristic varied singing.

See you soon !" 

Sophie, salt worker in Guérande.

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