Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Monday, September 28, 2015

September status report

This was taken in early September and by now these guys could already be pressed and in a big holding tank.  Compare these plump fellows with those in another vineyard in August.  I left again before finding out when the vendange (grape harvesting) is to begin in the area this year.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

chambres d'hôtes

Perched up on the hill, this chambres d'hôtes (guest house or B&B) has a commanding view of the Loire.  It's one of the many places here I'd love to stay in and see the inside.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

flat bottom boats

After seeing this summer just how low the river can get, it's clear why these were once the boat of choice for commerce for the Loire valley.

Friday, September 25, 2015

September invasion

My wife and I were driving down the road near Amboise recently when we were stopped in our tracks.  There on the side of the road were two authentic WWII US Army trucks and a jeep.  In addition, there were four "American" soldiers in full uniform (including one that clearly must have lied about his age in order to enlist).  We were sure we made a wrong turn and ended up in the 1940s.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

the enchanted chard forest

I'm sure almost no one recognizes the allusion of this title (with one notable exception).  Back in the 80's one of my favorite cook books was titled The Enchanted Broccoli Forest. Anyway, I thought these chard branches do look rather tree-like... and enchanting.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Festival of the Loire

The Festival of the Loire for 2015 begins today in Orléans (upstream from Amboise).  It continues through the 27th.  Alas, I am not in town to enjoy it this year, so here is a shot from a previous festival.

Note that today is also the autumn equinox in the Northern hemisphere and we say goodbye to summer.  (Of course, you Aussies have a very different view on this.)

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Monday, September 21, 2015

the electrical supply shop

This little shop on Amboise's main pedestrian shopping street, rue Nationale, is no longer in business.  One day I hope to learn the story of the nice man who was running the shop when we first moved here.  I was amazed to see that he was still competing with the big box stores for the sale of common electrical supplies (although he may also have been an electrician).  I'm hoping he just decided it was time to join me in retirement.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

la grasse matinée

I'm not sure this little guy was pleased that I interrupted his Saturday morning sleep in.  In France, this is called la grasse matinée, literally the fat morning (this expression reminds me of mardi gras... fat Tuesday).

Friday, September 18, 2015


After a summer's drought I thought it would be nice to post a nice rainy day shot from my archives.  (I'm still on my extended travelling binge, so I'm having to post many old photos in advance. In October, I'll get back to the "fresh" shots.)

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

colors galore

There are so many interesting colors in this scene that it just grabbed me as I walked through the gardens at Villandry.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

dedication of the renovated fountain Max Ernst

After over a year of work, the fountain and its new plaza were formally dedicated on Sunday.  The title of this work is "Aux cracheurs, aux drôles, au génie" which I will translate as "To the fire breathers, to the jokers, to the genius".  The latter may be a reference to Leonardo Da Vinci who, like Max Ernst, lived for awhile in this area.  

Here is a view of it from April 2013.

Monday, September 14, 2015

the B&B

Here's another nice B&B in Amboise.  I really like the doors.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

from the gardens of Villandry

These brilliant colors are not because of PhotoShop but are thanks to the gardens and gardeners at Château Villandry.  They were helped by a September full sun that almost overwhelmed my little camera's digital sensor.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

relaxing is where you find it

These teenagers appear to have been exhausted after seeing all the sights in Amboise and decided to take a rest on the pathway atop the levee.

Friday, September 11, 2015

the entrance

The fifth and last photo in this series taken at Château Gaillard.  This tree-lined entrance to the grounds is quite impressive.  The renovation of stone entrance gates is still underway and I hope to show you the results next year.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

wild dreadlocks

This is the fourth in the series of shots taken at Château Gaillard.  There are wildflowers, woods, and open spaces to enjoy here as you course the many pathways around the grounds.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

the ramp

This is the third in the Château Gaillard series.  This ramp connecting the terrace with the lawn has been beautifully renovated.  I really like the repetition of the black iron railing against the bright white stone.  I decided to give this shot a bit of an abstract look.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

forest ferns

Here's the second in the series of shots taken at Chpateau Gaillard.  I've not seen this type of fern before but they were abundant in the woods around the château.  It was fortunate to have captured them with their spores underneath.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Château Gaillard 2015

Today I'm starting a series of shots taken at Château Gaillard in August.  It was open this summer to the public to see all of the progress that has been made on the multi-year restoration project.
Here's how it looked at this time last year.  In this shot you can see the addition of an orangerie (like a greenhouse) underneath the terrace.  The renovation of the retaining wall is magnificent.  The brilliant white stone was almost too much for my camera.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

farewell to the sunflowers

Sunflower "season" is pretty much over but here is a shot from my archives when they were at their peak.

Friday, September 4, 2015

the dog days are over

I wonder if he was angling for a catfish.

To see this panoramic scene better, maximize your browser and then click on the photo.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

another abstract Thursday

This photo just proves that you should never put off taking a shot.  I snapped this old factory building at the end of July and a few weeks later it was totally gone.  And now a new retail store is going up in its place.  The old building wasn't maintained and was a mess for sure, but that's what made me interested in this view.  Especially the rust, the repetitions, and the little Asian conical hats on the chimneys.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

shallow waters can still hold a sky

We had a couple of rainy days' relief from the drought, but it wasn't enough to raise the river level by much. At least the heat wave has broken and we're back to more normal temperatures lately.  In the mornings, it can almost feel like fall.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

CDP Theme Day for September - "curiosities"

Curiously, these water droplets have clung to the spider's web to create a floating jewel case around her (I'm assuming a guy spider wouldn't stand for this).

Check out how the other City Daily Photo bloggers interpreted this theme here.