Friday, October 31, 2014

the swing tree revisited

Here's a recent shot of a tree I first posted in May of last year before it leafed out (see it here).  In this edition, a couple of bike riders appeared on the scene at just the right time.

If you appreciate the idea of returning to the same scene in all seasons and in all kinds of weather then you'll really enjoy this slideshow by one of my fellow City Daily Photo bloggers in Sweden.  He has posted about 400 shots of the same wonderful old tree over nearly a decade.  It's a fascinating study by a very talented photographer.

And finally, lest anyone thinks I forgot that it's Halloween, here's another revisit of a shot I posted earlier this year that I think captures the spirit.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

le four

Given the weather report in France for the next few days, I thought this might be an appropriate choice for today.  Forecasts are calling for temperatures as high as 23°C/73°F in Amboise over the next few days.  Far from oven temperatures, it should be just perfect for cycling or doing anything outdoors.  The photo of this fabulous iron oven was taken in the kitchen at château Chenonceau.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

château de Barre

I discovered this château on a recent bike ride.  All I could find out on the internet is that it was built in the 18th century and is privately owned.  As a result, this is the only angle I could get of it.  The main entrance is apparently behind a high wall on the other side.  But that's OK as I find this tower quite interesting.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

la Butte de César

This little hill in the middle of an open field lies in the center of an area of human settlements dating back to Neolithic times (3000 years BC according to one source).  While I have read that it was occupied during Gallo-Roman times, I cannot find any explanation as to why it is known as la Butte de César (mound of Caesar).  Maybe one of my local readers can educate us.  By the way, this site is adjacent to the grounds of the château at Amboise.

Monday, October 27, 2014

le champ de sorgho

This field of sorghum was one of many I saw on a recent bike ride to the east of Amboise.  Here is a closeup of this crop from an earlier post.  The wave of color on this bright sunny day was fantastic.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

la mante religieuse

While we were waiting to catch the train, this pious lady walked by us on the platform fence... probably on her way to church.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

le raisin d'amérique

I have seen this plant often along the bike trails around Amboise.  As the name implies, it is not native to Europe but arrived here from North America (the French word raisin is a grape, while raisin sec is the English raisin).  Alas, in France, the plant is considered invasive.  When consumed in significant amounts, it can be fatal to many animals.  In any case, I think the bright red stems and purple-black berries make for interesting photos.

In the South of the US, this plant is called Polk Salad, or Poke Sallet, and is eaten after having been boiled multiple times to remove (most of) the toxins.  It became known to the rest of the States after being popularized by the hit tune Polk Salad Annie in 1969 (see it performed here).  There are Poke Sallet festivals held to this day in many southern states.

Bon weekend !

Thursday, October 23, 2014


There are very few trees here that show any red in the fall, so we have to rely on all the wonderful climbing vines.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014


Riding on a new bike route (for me) last weekend, I discovered these nice curves of vineyard, hedge, grass, and roadway.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

les courges

This pile of gourds shows some of the many varieties they grow at château Chenonceau.

Monday, October 20, 2014

the sunflowers have left the building

...because the show is over.  But even so, I liked the way the sun reflected off their stalks.

And here they were still "onstage" in July:

Sunday, October 19, 2014

église Notre Dame revisited

This side of the church was nicely renovated this year.  I was struck by the red of the door and the blue and white of the sky on this beautiful afternoon this week.  An earlier post showed a close up of the high water marks of historic Amboise floods (just to the left of the door which is now much redder); take a look here.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

well worn

But not worn out.  The sun hitting this from the extreme left really made the old grain stand out.

Friday, October 17, 2014

another view of the tunnel

I first posted a photo of this tunnel looking in the other direction, out towards the Loire (see it here).  The light at the end of the tunnel in this photo is where there is a spillway from the Amasse river.  When heavy rains arrive, the excess water spills over and takes a shortcut to the Loire and thus avoids flooding downtown Amboise.  The tunnel is 700 meters in length (almost half a mile)!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

they're baa-aaack !

After a year of restoration work, three of the sculptures have been returned to the fountain designed by Max Ernst (view a post before the work began here).  There is more work to be done but it was great to have these old friends back in the 'hood.  Below are some other shots.

Have you ever seen a bigger crane on a truck?

The "top guy" being taken down before the renovations:

The "little guy", before and after:

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Sunday, October 12, 2014

meanwhile back at the foot of the bridge

If you don't recognize this, or if it looks vaguely familiar, you might want to look at my first post from this angle here.

Friday, October 10, 2014

a tiny island on the banks of the Loire

Little islands come and go frequently as the water level of the Loire surges up and back down according to recent rainfall.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

pebble beach

On Monday, the water level of the Loire was quite low exposing this large area of sand and small rocks worn smooth by years of water washing over them.  In the background are the Leclerc bridge and the château.  It will be a different scene by weekend after five days of rain when I expect this will be mostly if not entirely under water again.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

the cyclist

A silhouette of a cyclist waiting for his riding buddies on the levee.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

comin' around the bend

One more photo from the Orléans to Amboise bike ride.  That corn is long gone by now.  And for this week, it seems also those blue skies.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Qui a mis le fou dans les Foulées Amboisiennes ?

Ca serait moi ! *

Every October the town of Amboise hosts les Foulées Amboisiennes (strides of the Amboisians) a day of foot racing at distances of  1 KM and 2 KM for the kids, and (this year) 9 KM and 17 KM for the adults.  I believe there were over 900 participants this year.  In any case, yesterday was a lot of fun and the first race in which I've participated in France (the 9 KM).

* This is a little play on the French words fou (crazy) and foulées (strides).  "Who put the craziness (fou) in the foot race (foulées)?  That would be me."

The winners (ça ne serait pas moi!) overall and in different age categories received these nice trophies... and bottles of local wine of course (not the kids though).

My race support team (my wife) caught me in flight. I guess I was going too fast.

Here's the post for last year's race for which I was too late to sign up.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Friday, October 3, 2014

Gertrude and Heathcliff

This couple was perched on a neighbor's TV antennae (yes they still exist) and were discussing who knows what.  In any case, it brought to mind a comedy routine from my younger days.  If you'd like to see an example, take a look here and it's about 30 seconds from the beginning.  (If you're from my generation, you may have a difficult time stopping it.)  Bon weekend !

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

City Daily Photo theme day - "movement"

And they're off !

The first of every month is theme day for the bloggers of City Daily Photo and today the theme is "movement".  Click here to see how the others interpreted it.