Monday, 16 February 2009

Quand les amandiers commencent à fleurir ....

Quand les amandiers commencent à fleurir ....
When the almond trees begin to flower you know that winter's truly gone, so they say in the south. They start to flower in February. I first found one solitary blossom on the trees by the old railway near La Résidence , the same trees I'd picked almonds from the summer before last. The next one I saw a few kilometers along the road to St. Gilles. The third was a huge tree, further along the same road.

Some other images – bird signatures in the sky at sundown,

a flashy sunset

a black dog asleep in front of a farmhouse with brown shutters,

posing horses

and the last sunset, that is, the last sunset I would see in France, before going home. I'd spent the afternoon at Didier's, the photographer, then at Jean's, the artist. I still had several kilometers to go to get home to La Résidence when I took this photo and I had no lights on the bike. But la piste verte is reserved for cyclists and people on foot, and I didn't meet anyone at all. Cycling in the almost dark between the old railway and the canal, with the rustling of the reeds, and the black needles of the protective cypress trees, was magical. I came off the piste at the point where it almost joins up with a track that wanders through the vineyards – crossing over the railway line, cycling beside another canal, past the solitary almond flower and through the fields to home. There was still just enough light in the sky to see the path.

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