Saturday, June 29, 2013
This agricultural cooperative is located in Onzain just across the Loire from château Chaumont. It apparently was constructed in 1937 (that's the date on the front side of the taller building) in an art deco style. It's difficult to get a good angle on this building as it is very long and is partially obscured by this row of tall vegetation. The three red silos on the right also make for an interesting shot against a blue sky, but I'll save that one for another day.
Friday, June 28, 2013
This guy is one of a gazillion that inhabit local ponds and the banks of the Loire. Their distinctive sounds can be heard from quite a distance especially when they all get together to give a concert. In reality, of course, this noise is all about mating, and this is mating season. The other distinctive feature of these frogs are the large air "bubbles" in their "cheeks" they create in order to produce the mating sounds. This is all too complicated to explain, so here is a video I took that shows them in action in a little pond alongside one of my favorite bike routes near Amboise.
Thursday, June 27, 2013
I have already posted three photos at Château Chaumont (click on "Chaumont" in the list of labels on the right-hand side of this page), but none of the château itself. It is one of my favorites to visit because of its inventive gardens, extravagant stables, and beautifully restored and furnished castle. While the original château on these grounds dates back to the 10th century, this "new" version was constructed in the 15th century. One of its former residents was Catherine de Medici (wife to King Henry II).
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
Tuesday, June 25, 2013
Monday, June 24, 2013
Riding through Nantes on the bike tour reminded me of the wonderful Jules Verne museum and "factory" where they create incredible mechanized creatures in the style of Jules Verne. As promised in an earlier post, this is probably their most well-known creation. If you enlarge the photo (click on the image and make your browser full-screen), you can see people riding on this enormous elephant as it roams around the museum grounds. And if that's not enough for you, here's a video of it I found on YouTube (it's not a great video but the best I could find).
Sunday, June 23, 2013
On the last day of our bike tour we arrived at Saint Nazaire, a major shipping port on the Atlantic where the Loire meets the ocean. In the background is a huge bridge under which enormous ocean-going vessels can pass underneath. In the foreground is a classic fishing "pier"... here at low tide.
Saturday, June 22, 2013
Friday, June 21, 2013
Thursday, June 20, 2013
Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Tuesday, June 18, 2013
These flat-bottomed boats are typical of many small boats on the Loire. You should know I did not hire the guy to pose with his umbrella while doing a little fishing (although I would have!). Day 3 of the bike tour.
Monday, June 17, 2013
Another photo from the first day of the bike tour. This field of poppies next to the bike path was stunning. I just wish I could show the entire length of it. This helped to make up for all the grey skies we had for the first few days of the trip.
Sunday, June 16, 2013
For those of you who placed comments during this last week and wondered why I hadn't responded, it's because I was on a five day bike tour of the Loire valley between Amboise and the Atlantic. Fortunately, Blogger allowed me to queue up the weeks' posts in advance. Pictured here are my fellow bike tourists on the first day as we approached château d'Ussé. This is claimed to be the castle that Charles Perrault had in mind when he wrote Sleeping Beauty.
Saturday, June 15, 2013
When the weather is good...which means clear skies, warm temperatures, and light winds...these balloons are launched at sunrise and sunset in and around Amboise. I would love to take a ride someday as I imagine the ride over the Loire and its châteaux are spectacular. (Blois is a nearby city to the east and Chambord is a nearby château.)
Friday, June 14, 2013
Thursday, June 13, 2013
A "keep" or defensive tower is called a "donjon" in French. This is one of those "faux amies" (false friends) where the French word is similar to (or the same as) an English word but the meaning is not the same. Thus, a "dungeon" in English (a subterranean jail cell) is really the opposite of the French word "donjon" although pronounced similarly. Unfortunately, there are other French words that can really get an anglophone in trouble.
Wednesday, June 12, 2013
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Monday, June 10, 2013
There are all kinds of window shutters in France and they all require some maintenance (aka "tender loving care" in the States), for example those shown in my theme day post. But these are in pretty good shape and in my opinion the texture of the rough paint looks quite nice in the early morning sun.
Sunday, June 9, 2013
Saturday, June 8, 2013
Friday, June 7, 2013
Thursday, June 6, 2013
As they are every year, the chestnut tree blooms were spectacular. This one is next to the train station in Amboise. (Note the sign for SNCF, Société Nationale des Chemins de fer Français, the national railroad system.) It's interesting that the blooms can be in a variety of colors. And the trees are often planted in rows alongside roads and boulevards such as along the Champs Elysées in Paris or along entrances to châteaux.
And here is a close up of the blooms.
Wednesday, June 5, 2013
Actually, neither of these "rides" is the title reference. Rather while I was on one of my recent bike rides nearby Amboise, I found these guys grazing in the grass. All concerned enjoyed this rare Spring-like day this year.
Tuesday, June 4, 2013
Here is a snap of a section of the route I like to run several times each week. The foreground is a little path on top of the levee that protects Amboise from flooding. It connects to the bike path you see to the right that follows the left bank of the Loire river. These red coquelicots (poppies) and other wildflowers are just the inspiration I need to keep running.
Monday, June 3, 2013
Sunday, June 2, 2013
I find these old doors in the "attic" of château Chaumont to be interesting not just because of their subtle shades of color but also because I have my own door renovation projects to do on our our 19th century house. At first I thought our old doors covered in who-knows-how-many layers of old paint should just be replaced. But after spending a week stripping, sanding, and refinishing one of them, I decided I could not replace them in spite of all the work. Apparently, they thought the same thing at the château as these old doors seem to be standing by waiting for someone to come renovate them and put them back to work.
Saturday, June 1, 2013
No, this is not a post about a dentists' convention. Rather, on the first day of every month the bloggers of City Daily Photo share a common theme; today's theme "the beauty of decay" will surely have a variety of interpretations. In Amboise, these steel shutters are very typical as they provide great protection from the cold in winter and the blistering afternoon sun in summer. Unfortunately, they do require attention as they are so exposed to the elements. I try to keep up with the maintenance on ours, but since these belong to someone else, I can relax and enjoy these painterly smears of rust.
Here are other interpretations of today's theme.