Spring Butterflies in the south of France

In late April 2006, my wife's company sent her to work two weeks in southern France. Our first son was only 10 months old at the time so I went along to look after him while my wife was at work. Carrying binoculars, a camera, and my son strapped to my chest in his carrier, I saw some common European birds and managed to photograph a few early season butterflies.

We stayed in a town on the Mediterranean called La Ciotat (above). Besides a beach, there's not a whole lot to do while trying to keep a baby asleep so I took many long walks ending up at the Parc du Mugel (2 pictures, below). It has impressive views of the sea and it's gardens and woods were inviting to birds, butterflies, and lizards. The only other spot in town that I found attractive to butterflies was an abandoned railway bed. It ran only a block long but had weedy vegetation.
Baton Blue Baton Blue Brown Argus Brown Argus
Geranium Bronze Geranium Bronze Large White Mallow Skipper
Small Copper Small Copper Small White Speckled Wood
Speckled Wood Southern White Admiral Southern White Admiral Moorish Gecko
On a couple of occasions we took day trips into the surrounding countryside. On 22 April, we drove the harrowing cliff hugging road to the nearby town of Cassis stopping along the way to enjoy the view.
Scarce Swallowtail Spanish Festoon Spanish Festoon
The next day we visited the Parc St. Pons near Gemenos. The park was overcrowded and we ended up with a parking ticket. But it was much nicer and quieter away from the picnic areas.
Brimstone or Cleopatra very worn Peacock Butterfly Peacock Butterfly very worn Large Tortoiseshell
On Apr 26 we visited Mont Ste Victoire, a mountain that Cezanne painted a number of times late in his life.
Bath White Bath White Black-eyed Blue Black-eyed Blue
Green Hairstreak Green Hairstreak Wall Brown