A neighbour stopped on the lane, hailed us, husband cleaning his boots, me holding dog on his lead. Asked had we seen the water down in the town. We’re cut off, it seems. Roads in all flooded and the quays in the town under water. The loop of the Garonne enclosing its flat plain of farmland is an unbroken sea.
He stopped and chatted about the world outside, a middle-aged man, old-fashioned, high-waisted trousers with darts, waistcoat, white shirt and flat cap. Could have been my grandfather stepped out of an old photo. He even had a stick. All that was missing was the ass. Watch the sky for the geese, he said. Then you’ll be sure the spring is here.
flood waters recede
leaving comfry to flower
in purple peace
A propos of nothing really, I just wanted to put this here for artists, art-lovers and anyone interested in contemporary painting. Lucie Geffré is from Bordeaux (like me and Odilon Redon) and I think her work is pretty fantastic.
Tis the season, so here’s a festive decoration from outside the barn door
and one from inside the barn door in the kitchen
House hunkers down. The folk that pad and trot around its walls the night have gone. Only the birds, ever-hungry, ever-cheerful chatter, fluttering from tree to tree and into the porch after seed and other necessities. A deer family ambles through the willows by the stream. Dawn sun streams gold, a glimpse of heaven before its flow slows and ceases. Cloud thickens.
days slip deeper
into the heart of the cold
east wind sighs winter
December dawn in crimson
spreading colour waves
belling thrush and robin songs into the west
where embers of sun-fire smoulder.
Dawn yesterday. I’ve never seen such an intense crimson sky. Deepest in the east, and in the west a mass of orange cloud hung where the sun sank the evening before.
We rarely see a vapour trail here, very occasionally one on the lower western horizon. But from time to time we do get military jets as there’s a big base 100kms south of us. This morning the sun was back, and the sky to the south was covered in loopy ribbons that can only be jet trails.
They start in the east
make a great knot due south
and veer off south west in squiggles like snail trails.
Looks suspiciously like the military having fun at the tax payers’ expense…
For the dverse prompt, a local snippet.
Not much happens in our town. Looking back through the regional paper for the last week or so, it looks as if nothing happened at all. I do get FB notifications though from the wild life refuge just outside the town, in a nature reserve, out of bounds to the general public unless on an errand of mercy. Lots of good things happen there. Centre-de-soins-de-la-faune-sauvage-de-Tonneins-
P.S. If you look at the site, the most recent post is about the release of a buse variable, a common buzzard. The FB translation has chosen the other meaning of buse — a nozzle. You have to laugh.
Quiet and slow flows the world these days, but the men with guns still stalk the lazy fields, the wooded pools of the flood plain and its blue sky-gazing ponds, keeping the countryside safe from deer and pigeons. Quiet and slow, and in the river bend where no one walks, not even armed, is where the healing works. Here in the quiet, we take our foundlings, babies bereft, broken or off course, weak, wounded or too weary to care, and in the quiet on the river bend, on this domain, out of bounds of gun and dogs, pieces of life are patched up, wild lives reclaimed. So many small victories beneath the hail.
after the floods
and winter frosts the daffodils
green and blue
through the mist
with tree pillars
holding up the sky
On Saturday night, for the first time in this neighbourhood, probably because of the Covid restrictions regarding taking holidays, there was a big family gathering about half a mile along the lane. We heard the music, French yéyé from the 1960s and 70s, before our evening dog walk took us past the house, where we saw the cars in the driveway, the floodlit tables outside, with dozens of people from tiny tots to grandparents.
Later, from half a mile away, we heard them singing. The entertainment climaxed around midnight with Bella Ciao, the whole song, and a rousing final chorus that set the dogs off, reminding us that we live in a département where a sizeable percentage of the population claims Italian origins.
owls listen bemused
minnow-moths shoal in the light
It’s our wedding anniversary today and the weather is finally starting to settle down. We took a picnic out, all the way to… the plum tree.
and we had our first pan bagnat of the year
Finbar was tied up just in case he decided to run off, but I think those days are over. He’s getting very sensible in his old age.
Trixie didn’t move from the chair she’s appropriated.
Ninnie got as far as the doormat.
It’s a good thing we don’t crave excitement.
Haymaking was put off for three weeks which is what I wanted, to let all the wildflowers finish and set seed first. The hay is now all raked into an interesting geometrical pattern like a Neolithic temple site, waiting for the baler to come.
This is the west meadow looking south
East meadow looking west. The red and white tape is to cordon off an area where saplings are planted.
The south section looking up towards the house.
The part I like best, the bottoms where the willows are, a section about 20 metres by 200 metres that isn’t mown and is just left to its own devices.