Les Grangettes

Near the place where the Rhône flows into the Lake Léman there's a land made of marshes, channels, woods and pastures. It's a pleasant mix of natural landscape and human-made stuff, where things move at a slow pace, in spite of being just a few kilometres far from a large and fashionable town such as Montreux. For some respects it somewhat recalls a corner of Camargue, but looking around you can't be wrong: there are high mountains, this is Switzerland!

Le bord du Lac Leman à Les Grangettes.

Sony NEX-6 + Sony Zeiss Vario-Tessar T* E 16-70mm F4 ZA OSS @ 55 mm, 1/40 sec @ ƒ/8, ISO 100, hand-held.

The bed of the Rhône has been moved towards the left side of the valley in order to be better exploited and to allow a more effective control of floods; the old Rhone today is just a small creek under the woods. The most interesting stream in the area is an artificial channel, whose last part also works as a small harbour, which flows into the lake in the middle of two narrow jetties.

L'embouchure du Grand Canal à Les Grangettes.

Sony NEX-6 + Sony Zeiss Vario-Tessar T* E 16-70mm F4 ZA OSS @ 16 mm, 1/250 sec @ ƒ/8, ISO 100, hand-held.

Les Dents du Midi et le Grand Canal.

Sony NEX-6 + Sony Zeiss Vario-Tessar T* E 16-70mm F4 ZA OSS @ 70 mm, 1/50 sec @ ƒ/8, ISO 100, polariser, hand-held.

Le bord du Lac Leman à Les Grangettes.

Sony NEX-6 + Sony Zeiss Vario-Tessar T* E 16-70mm F4 ZA OSS @ 16 mm, 1/200 sec @ ƒ/8, ISO 100, hand-held.

All around there are meadows, woods, pastures and a few marshes.

Paysage à Les Grangettes.

Sony NEX-6 + Sony Zeiss Vario-Tessar T* E 16-70mm F4 ZA OSS @ 16 mm, 1/250 sec @ ƒ/8, ISO 100, hand-held.

Paysage à Les Grangettes.

Sony NEX-6 + Sony Zeiss Vario-Tessar T* E 16-70mm F4 ZA OSS @ 31 mm, 1/320 sec @ ƒ/8, ISO 100, hand-held.

A web of white roads develops for many kilometres in the area, connecting the various places together and offering to hikers and bikers many chances to wander around and enjoy the quietness of the place.

Un chemin à Les Grangettes.

Sony NEX-6 + Sony Zeiss Vario-Tessar T* E 16-70mm F4 ZA OSS @ 36 mm, 1/30 sec @ ƒ/8, ISO 100, polariser, hand-held.

Le bord du Lac Leman à Les Grangettes.

Sony NEX-6 + Sony Zeiss Vario-Tessar T* E 16-70mm F4 ZA OSS @ 16 mm, 1/160 sec @ ƒ/8, ISO 100, hand-held.

Réflexions sur l'eau.

Sony NEX-6 + Sony Zeiss Vario-Tessar T* E 16-70mm F4 ZA OSS @ 60 mm, 1/40 sec @ ƒ/8, ISO 100, hand-held.

A striking characteristic of the place is its capability to keep side-by-side wild corners and human structures such as farms, a camping, a couple of small harbours and even a gravel pit, just at the mouth of the new Rhône. Wildlife seems not to be worried about that, and you can find waterfowl practically anywhere.

Près de l'embouchure du Rhône.

Sony NEX-6 + Sony Zeiss Vario-Tessar T* E 16-70mm F4 ZA OSS @ 16 mm, 1/80 sec @ ƒ/8, ISO 100, polariser, hand-held.

Tard dans l'après midi sur le port de Villeneuve.

Sony NEX-6 + Sony Zeiss Vario-Tessar T* E 16-70mm F4 ZA OSS @ 64 mm, 1/400 sec @ ƒ/8, ISO 100, hand-held.

Véronique alpine (Veronica fruticans).

Nikon D7000 + Nikkor 300mm ƒ/4D ED-IF AF-S @ 300 mm, 1/125 sec @ ƒ/8, -0.33 EV, ISO 200, tripod, light diffuser.

Farms & pastures

A portion of the land is used for agriculture as well as for breeding cattle. Here and there you can hear the sound of the bells attached around the necks of the cows - just to remind you are in Switzerland, in case you temporarily lose sight of the mountains.

Fermes à Les Grangettes.

Sony NEX-6 + Sony Zeiss Vario-Tessar T* E 16-70mm F4 ZA OSS @ 16 mm, 1/50 sec @ ƒ/8, ISO 100, hand-held.

Ferme à Les Grangettes.

Sony NEX-6 + Sony Zeiss Vario-Tessar T* E 16-70mm F4 ZA OSS @ 46 mm, 1/50 sec @ ƒ/8, ISO 100, hand-held.

La petite maison au bord de la forêt.

Sony NEX-6 + Sony Zeiss Vario-Tessar T* E 16-70mm F4 ZA OSS @ 26 mm, 1/250 sec @ ƒ/8, ISO 100, hand-held.

Pâturage à Les Grangettes.

Sony NEX-6 + Sony Zeiss Vario-Tessar T* E 16-70mm F4 ZA OSS @ 30 mm, 1/50 sec @ ƒ/8, ISO 100, hand-held.

Ferme à Les Grangettes.

Sony NEX-6 + Sony Zeiss Vario-Tessar T* E 16-70mm F4 ZA OSS @ 70 mm, 1/100 sec @ ƒ/8, ISO 100, hand-held.

Pâturage à Les Grangettes.

Sony NEX-6 + Sony Zeiss Vario-Tessar T* E 16-70mm F4 ZA OSS @ 45 mm, 1/50 sec @ ƒ/8, ISO 100, hand-held.

Ancienne ferme à Les Grangettes.

Sony NEX-6 + Sony Zeiss Vario-Tessar T* E 16-70mm F4 ZA OSS @ 37 mm, 1/250 sec @ ƒ/8, ISO 100, hand-held.

Birds

The Grand Canal, the shores of the lake and the jetties are the perfect place to see birds, mainly waterfowl. Different species of ducks, such as mallards, tufted ducks, mergansers, red-crested pochards can be observed and photographed at a very close distance, without the need of a hide.

Fuligule morillon (Aythya fuligula).

Nikon D7000 + Nikkor 300mm ƒ/4D ED-IF AF-S @ 300 mm, 1/400 sec @ ƒ/8, -1.33 EV, ISO 180, hand-held.

Fuligule morillon (Aythya fuligula).

Nikon D7000 + Nikkor 300mm ƒ/4D ED-IF AF-S @ 300 mm, 1/640 sec @ ƒ/8, -1.00 EV, ISO 320, hand-held.

Grèbes huppés à la parade (Podiceps cristatus).

Nikon D7000 + Nikkor 300mm ƒ/4D ED-IF AF-S @ 300 mm, 1/640 sec @ ƒ/8, -1.00 EV, ISO 450, hand-held.

Birds are so relaxed that they build their nest in plain sight, and you can literally walk by a mute swan incubating its eggs.

Sur le nid.

Nikon D7000 + Nikkor 300mm ƒ/4D ED-IF AF-S @ 300 mm, 1/1000 sec @ ƒ/8, -1.00 EV, ISO 320, hand-held.

Also birds of prey are quite frequent, black kites in particular can be seen everywhere and in large quantities.

Milan noir (Milvus migrans).

Nikon D7000 + Nikkor 300mm ƒ/4D ED-IF AF-S @ 300 mm, 1/800 sec @ ƒ/8, -1.33 EV, ISO 160, hand-held.

Mergansers are my nemesis, as in spite of their frequent presence around the lake I've never been able to take a good, close range photo of them. Even this year I had to settle for an “environmental” shot. Still hoping the next year I'll be more lucky.

Le vol de la harle (Mergus merganser).

Nikon D7000 + Nikkor 300mm ƒ/4D ED-IF AF-S @ 300 mm, 1/640 sec @ ƒ/8, -1.00 EV, ISO 160, hand-held.