Wednesday, April 30, 2014

le pigeonnier

Les pigeonniers, also called dovecotes in English, are often found on farms and old estates.  As the names imply, these are shelters for pigeons or doves who enter and exit by small openings such as the rectangular ones here just under the roof.  The owners would collect the eggs and as well as the birds themselves for food.

The big job of renovating this old pigeonnier and converting it into human living space is currently being done by two American friends of mine.  The owners who have a larger home nearby plan to use it as guest quarters as well as for their own use.  All of the stone and timber framing in the structure will ensure that it will be a real show piece when finished.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Foire d'Amboise

Every April, the Fair of Amboise brings a few days reminiscent of the classic American state fair.  For the kids, there are wild rides, junk food, loud music, and arcade games.  For the adults, there are a wide variety of merchants hawking their wares, plus lots of interesting local and not so local foods and wines.  And of course there is the fireworks display over the Loire to close it out.

Monday, April 28, 2014

determined beauty

This delicate little flower (around 1 inch / 2.5 cm) was determined to survive in spite of hanging on precariously to the side of the stone levee.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Saturday, April 26, 2014

protected species

I'd say these guys are pretty safe.  I enjoy seeing the iris since I grew up with many of them in our yard in Tennessee. It's like having old friends come to visit once a year.

Friday, April 25, 2014

for Muybridge

I couldn't decide which of these shots to use, so I thought, what the heck, use 'em all.  It's difficult to get anywhere near the egrets here so I was lucky that he didn't spot me up on top of the levee.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

coucher du soleil en rose

I figured I better post this March sunset on the Loire before the statute of limitations runs out.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

the path

This little path leads from the levee down to the water's edge.  You'll probably have to enlarge this to see who's waiting at the end.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

the market hall

This embellishment sits atop an old market hall that today is on the grounds of Clos Lucé.  This building of iron was designed by the company of Gustave Eiffel... yes, that Eiffel.

Monday, April 21, 2014

rue Nationale

Rue Nationale is the Main street of Amboise.  During most of the day it is blocked from traffic and is a pedestrian street lined with shops and restaurants.  From this vantage point, one can see the chapelle St-Hubert on the grounds of the château.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

three tulips and a daffodil

(The name of my next movie.)  Anyway, even though these jewels are gone now, I just had to post one more wave of color on this Easter Sunday.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

catching rays

The flowers on top of the levee had better catch the sun's rays while they can.  The leaves will soon be out and they'll be in the shade.

Friday, April 18, 2014

reflecting on spring

It's really been a nice spring this year... unlike last year's.  This view appeared on this glass-faced building in Amboise on a recent sunny day.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

the cherry tree stump

It was sad to see this cherry tree go but I was amazed to see the vivid color and pattern that was left exposed.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

time is running out

To me this old factory clock reminds me of a certain 1980's movie ("Back to the Future").  This was taken on my recent tour of  old factories in Amboise.  It's a little sad to see these once interesting sites slowly disintegrating, but at least they haven't been totally destroyed in the name of urban renewal.  So perhaps there remains hope that it's future will yet be taken back to the past by being restored and re-purposed.

Here is an old image of the factory (l'usine Pathault-Leclaire) that I believe produced tobacco products.  You can see the clock just to the left of the big smoke stack which is now gone.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

the flower bed

This is one of many flower beds planted by the town of Amboise.

Monday, April 14, 2014

the walnut oil mill - l'huilerie

I recently took a tour around an old industrial neighborhood of Amboise.  While most of the businesses and factories have long since been closed, to my astonishment there is still one family business still making making walnut oil the old way... since 1834... with an old mill stone from 1783 (you can just barely see that date on the right side of the mill stone above) !   And below is a close up detail of an amazing old cast iron press that itself was made in Amboise to extract the oil.

A volunteer from a local association conducted the afternoon's tour of the neighborhood which also included a personally guided tour of the walnut oil mill by the current family manager.  The wonderful smell of the freshly ground and roasted walnuts just poured out onto the street in front of this little factory.  Here is a link to a longer description  (in French) of this little business.

I'll be showing more photos from this fascinating afternoon.  In fact, the old speed limit sign I posted on Saturday is on the grounds of a former factory nearby.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Eglise Notre-Dame

Eglise Notre-Dame-du-bout-des-ponts sits cuddled up next to the levee on the right bank of the Loire.  Note the "11 D" marking on the opening... that indicates stairway number "11 droite" ("right" in French).  The stairways allow you to walk down to the base of the levee on the river side.  Here is the church from another angle.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

slow down...

It's the weekend !  This very old speed limit sign is on an old industrial site in Amboise.  The years have really made it fade... and note the moss on top of the wooden post.

Friday, April 11, 2014

the tiled roof

Needless to say I find tile roofs fascinating.  One of those rare things that I think get better with age.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

pottery at Clos Lucé

There is an old water wheel on the grounds of Clos Lucé that was left by a now defunct factory adjacent.  The mechanics have been restored to now show how water power was harnessed for factory use.  Today, one can find this display of pottery next to it.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

the towers

This home (I assume) is just across the street from the château in Amboise.  I am so jealous as I would love to have a house with soaring towers.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

the good witch

Recently, carnival was celebrated in Amboise.  This is where the school kids accompanied by adult bands and dancers parade through the streets.  Confetti by the ton is thrown throughout the route.  After it was mostly over, I came upon this good witch putting her broom to use not by flying on it but rather by sweeping up confetti.  It was the perfect day for celebrating... it was a lot warmer than last year when the kids had to wear heavy coats under their costumes.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Cheverny window

This window looks out onto the front lawn of the Château de Cherveny.  Here are some previously posted photos from this beautiful place.

Sunday, April 6, 2014


Oh it was a beautiful day in the neighborhood yesterday, and the flowers planted by the town of Amboise were in full swing.  Last year, it wasn't until May as you can see here (and you can also read why Amboise is a "ville fleurie").

Saturday, April 5, 2014

the protector of the Manoir Saint Thomas

This fellow sits atop the roof of a hotel in "downtown" Amboise.  Hopefully he's not scaring off potential clients.

I read online that the site dates back to the 12th century as a priory.  The exterior walls have just been cleaned up and it really looks fabulous in the bright sunshine.  Here is a little wider view of his perch:

Friday, April 4, 2014

la pagode - a last look before spring

Here is another angle of the pagoda in Amboise... that's it at the end of the road.  Even though the sun was out on this day in March, there was practically no green or any other color.  So I went for the black and white treatment again.  Don't worry, there are more colorful spring colors to come.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

gated entry

Here's another beautiful home in Amboise tucked away behind high walls and a gated entry.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

the cherry tree posing as a hawthorn

Update to the original post.  This is actually a cherry tree.

According to my tree book this looks to be a hawthorn.  In any case, it seems to be very happy that spring has arrived in Amboise.  Here is a wider view:

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

City Daily Photo theme day for April - "triangles"

This fish should have paid more attention to the sign.

Poisson d'Avril tout le monde !  Happy April first !

For an explanation of these expressions, you can look here.  And for you non-Europeans, the sign is the international road sign for Danger!  Since I am studying now to get my French driver's license, these triangular signs are seared into my consciousness. See how the other City Daily Photo bloggers interpreted the theme for this month here.

The fish in the photo is enormous, at least 4 feet / 1.2 meters in length.  I believe it to be a type of catfish (probably a Wels catfish in English, Silure glane in French).  A fisherman caught it on the island just in front of the town of Amboise.