There are many places I like to explore in France. Among them is a wonderful preserved area in the Camargue Gardoise. When I prepare my bag on Friday evening to immerse myself into this impressive landscape at dawn, I have my CL Companion 10x30 with me. Compact & lightweight, this pair of binoculars brings me experiences that go far beyond mere observation. Let me tell you about one of these days with the CL Companion.
I feel the first rays of sun, I am alone in the middle of the ponds. Everything reminds me of an African painting, bursting with orange colors.
My camera in one hand, my binoculars around my neck, I observe a Pink flamingo in full flight that appears black against the light.
The lights don't allow me to photograph wildlife yet, so my binoculars offer me close-up views while remaining motionless and contemplative.
When the day has finally dawned, I believe to hear the song of a bird that became rare in these ponds. I put my binoculars to my eyes, and there - surprise - the Bearded Reedling jumps from reed to reed. What a wonderful sighting.
It is a real pleasure to be able to observe all these fascinating animals without disturbing them. It is true that, without my binoculars, I would be forced to stalk much more.
Our course starts. As an “animatrice nature” I try to show people the incredible beauty of nature up close and make them aware of the importance of nature and species conservation. We often feel the irrepressible desire to look at all the birds passing by. A Eurasian Hoopoe lands on a charred tree in a remarkable mimicry, and the CL Companion allows me to identify the bird quickly.
It's time to go for a little walk together in order to put the theory into practice. Today, I have a 9 year old trainee and others in their 30s.
I see the animal that I secretly dreamt of showing them. It is a perfect example to make them aware of the decline of species. Unfortunately, it is pretty far away, and if we approach, this reptile will most certainly flee. So we move forward slowly and I lend my binoculars to the little girl, who shudders to see a freshwater turtle in its natural environment. Her eyes widen, mouth open… I ask her, if she sees this magnificent European pond turtle? She nods with a tear in her eye.
I head back home after a simply wonderful day, happy to have made my group aware of the beauty of nature and wildlife. It goes without saying that without my CL Companion 10x30 it would not have been possible for me to feel this intimacy with wildlife and especially to share all these wonderful sightings with other people. For me, sharing my observations with my companions is one of the most beautiful parts of it.
Sandra Bérenice Michel was born in Côte d'Ivoire, moved to France when she was 6 years old, and has been out in nature as much as possible from an early age. She is a passionate nature photographer and filmmaker. As an “animatrice nature & photographe”, she presents the director of wildlife documentaries and raises awareness of the importance of nature and species conservation.