Thursday, December 24, 2020

tonight Santa arrives by hot air balloon


This is a local yard display.  In France hot air balloons are called montgolfières (in honor of the brothers of the first working balloons in the 1780's).

Monday, December 21, 2020

December Solstice 2020


Today Amboise will have only 8 and 1/2 hours of sun whereas on the Summer Solstice we have about 16 hours of sun.  These extremes are because we are above Maine in latitude.  Even so, the weather here is milder than in the States year-round, thanks to the Gulf Stream.

Saturday, November 7, 2020

looking back


I really enjoy looking at the trees in their fall colors.  But I never had one look back before.

Saturday, October 31, 2020

la Toussaint 2020


It's the eve of la Toussaint in France and tomorrow the Catholic church celebrates all of the hallowed saints.  Hmmm.  This sounds familiar.

(And, yes, this is the flip side of the shot in my previous post.)

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

le 14 juillet 2020

What is often called "Bastille Day" in the US, is simply called the 14th of July in France.  It's a national holiday and compares to the 4th of July in the US with parades, picnics, music, and of course, fireworks.  Alas, this year the latter has been cancelled throughout France due to pandemic restrictions. Paris will have them but watching from nearby (the Eiffel Tower vicinity) will be forbidden so they'll generally be seen on TV.  If you want to learn more about this holiday, take a look here.  Today's photo was taken last year.

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

now that's more like it

The lock-down is over.  School is out.  The tourists are back.  Finally.  Compare this scene to that of my earlier post on April 28:

Friday, July 3, 2020

the stone sky

Or maybe it's just the stone path at the base of the levee as seen from its top.  Every winter the vegetation dries up and seems to disappear from the levee's sides.  And by summer the wildflowers are back in control.

Saturday, May 23, 2020

the Friday market reopens

It's quite the contrast to the pre-pandemic market.  Now the stands are separated by 25 feet and each has a waiting line marked on the pavement with indicators for proper distancing.  So there are fewer vendors and fewer customers.  Masks are required for all.  But this local icon of commerce and culture is back.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

too early for grapes

I'm guessing these are actually a type of mahonia that I spied a few days ago right down the street.

Friday, May 15, 2020

4 of a kind

... or maybe an outside straight.  In any case, the early morning light was on these plane trees was a winner.

Friday, May 8, 2020

75th anniversary of VE day

Seventy-five years ago today, Victory in Europe was declared by the Allies. In France, it is known as Fête de la Victoire. Recently, I spied this jeep parked on a street here in Amboise and saved it for this occasion.

Friday, May 1, 2020

What do May flowers bring?

Well, apparently spiders (for us of a certain age, the answer to this childhood riddle is "Pilgrims").

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Place Debré Sunday afternoon

After all these years of wishing those pesky tourists would get out of my lens, I'm now missing them.  Here is the town's central plaza that would normally be jammed with people strolling, cyclists, kids running about, street musicians, outside diners at the restaurants, vendors, and even photographers. They'll be back.

Friday, April 24, 2020

the Cinderella rose

The first one of the season at our house.  And like her namesake, this rose knows how to pose.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

high season

And we are highly seasoned with that wonder smell of wisteria in the air all around town.

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

smooth sailing

As someone who has in the past tried to get up close and personal with the birds, I can say they inherently know more about social distancing than us humans.  Thank goodness for telephoto lenses (and video-conferencing).

Saturday, March 28, 2020

thriving in isolation

This poppy on the banks of the Loire is several months ahead of its time.  And it was the only one in the vicinity (or anywhere else as far as I know).  By June they should be everywhere but this one confirms my hope that they are on the way.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

la rive droite

I'm sure you've heard of the rive gauche in Paris, the left bank.  This is the rive droite in Amboise, the right bank.  The direction is relative to going downstream BTW.  Anyway, these homes have a typical architecture for this region.  Plus these have the additional benefit of having the best view of the château in town.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

I vote for amusement

From Wikipedia: "...yellow is the color people most often associate with amusement, gentleness, humor, and spontaneity, but also with duplicity, envy, jealousy, avarice, and, in the U.S., cowardice."

Friday, March 20, 2020

silent Spring

Silence not from pesticides this time, but from a pandemic. It's the first day of Spring in France (although the States beat us to it by five hours, so it was Spring there yesterday).  The streets of Amboise are eerily empty and the only sounds to be heard are those from the birds.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

the path to good health

This is a favorite stretch along my usual running route.  It's not only easy on the feet (like an old cinder track) but also easy on the eyes.

Saturday, March 14, 2020

time to hunker down

Time to stay home and read that book you've been wanting to dig into. Stream a movie. Play with the kids...and grandkids. Relax while you can.