nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

Archive for April 2013

bringing nature into the town

with 4 comments

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rows of trees

rows of trees and flowers along la Place de la Mairie in Saint-Hilaire-la-Palud (image from Street View)

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Day 12 1 map

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Day 12 map

map showing distance travelled (map from Google Maps)

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On my virtual bike trip on April 3, the images made me think about how we bring nature into our cities and towns (or allow it to stay!).  Sometimes, the only bit of nature is a stray weed, growing in a crack in the pavement…

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Day 12 u

streetscape in Grande Rue, Saint-Hilaire-la-Palud – actually, there is lots of greenery in other parts of the town (image from Street View)

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Sometimes, property owners try to leave trees, only to have them toppled – perhaps a wind storm blew through Saint-Hilaire-la-Palud …

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Day 12 l

toppled tree (image from Street View)

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Sometimes people bring the country into the town – all part of eating local …

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Day 12 r

this is the first time I have seen chickens in a yard in a town on my virtual bike tour (image from Street View)

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Of course, I have seen a lot of vegetable gardens in France, planted in every available corner …

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vegetable garden

vegetable garden in Saint-Hilaire-la-Palud (image from Street View)

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Best View: a small yard overflowing with greenery in Saint-Hilaire-la Palud…

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'green garden'

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Copyright  Jane Tims  2013

fields of green and marble statues

with 8 comments

fields of green

fields of green on the road to Saint-Hilaire-la-Palud (image from Street View)

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Day 12 Logbook

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Day 4-6 map

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On April 1, I biked along the road to La Rivière and Saint-Hilaire-la-Palud.  Lots of green fields and flat land …

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Day 11 h

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At an intersection, I saw a shrine, indicating the strong Catholic roots of the area.  I have seen these shrines at several locations in central France on my virtual travels.  Sometimes the shrine is a crucifix …

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Day 11 c

shrine on road to Saint-Hilaire-la-Palud (image from Street View)

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sometimes a statue of Christ …

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Day 12 x

a statue of Christ at corner near La Roche (image from Street View)

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Sometimes the shrine shows a Saint.  In Maillezais is a statue of Mary holding the body of her son Jesus in her lap, after the Crucifixion.  It is similar to the famous 15th century  statue of the Pietà by Michelangelo…

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Day 10 k 2

statue in Maillezais of Mary holding Jesus in her lap – the image is not easy to see, but Google ‘Pieta’ to see the beautiful statue by Michelangelo (image from Street View)

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Best View: entry to a field by a vine-covered building…

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'vines and stone'

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Copyright  Jane Tims  2013

Written by jane tims

April 26, 2013 at 7:20 am

a side trip to an old abbey

with 7 comments

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wall around abbey

wall around abbey in Maillezais (image from Street View)

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Day 10 1 Logbook

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Day 10 1 map

map showing distance travelled (map from Google Maps)

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On March 29, I completed my side trip to see the Abbaye St Pierre in Maillezais.  Maillezais is a charming town with the narrow streets I am growing used to…

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street in Grande Bernegoue

street in Grande Bernegoue (image from Street View)

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Not much greenery in this town – this vine looks like it is hanging on by a thread…

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vine

vine struggling to survive (image from Street View)

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The Abbey St Pierre was certainly worth the virtual side trip.  It was built in 989 AD on an island, a rocky outcrop, in the Marais Poitevin (the Poitevin Marsh).  The Benedictine Abbey and Cathedral were destroyed in 1562 during fighting between French Catholics and Protestants.

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At the entryway to the Abbey grounds is an old building, one of a few still standing on the site…

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Day 10 z5

view of entryway to Abbey (image from Street View)

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The aerial view of the grounds shows the extent of the Abbey …

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map of abbey

map of abbey – the standing cathedral ruins are the dotted area and the grey wall to the upper edge of the ‘dots’ (former cathedral pillars) (map from Google Maps)

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The ruins of the abbey form a majestic silhouette above the walls surrounding the site…

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ruins of cathedral

ruins of cathedral (image from Street View)

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Best View: the silhouette of the Abbey

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'Abbaye St-Pierre'

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Copyright  Jane Tims  2013

Written by jane tims

April 24, 2013 at 7:32 am

marigolds, roses and stone

with 9 comments

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red gate

red gate north of Grande Bernegoue (image from Street View)

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Logbook 4-5-3

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map 4-5-3

map showing distance travelled (map from Google Earth)

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On March 27, I biked through the countryside…

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rural area

rural area east of Grande Bernegoue (image from Street View)

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I stopped briefly in a small village called Grande Bernegoue…

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Grande Bernegoue

Grande Bernegoue (image from Street View)

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I passed an interesting building in Grande Bernegoue, with many of the features of old buildings in this part of France.  It’s made of stone, with a clay tile roof.  The walls have projections to support an addition that has been removed.  Empty niches may once have held beams.  Iron ‘X’s are embedded in the walls, part of a system to fortify stonework.  In this case, an old entryway has been filled in with stone.

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old stone building

old stone building (image from Street View)

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I stopped ‘for the night’ at a stable beside the road.  There seemed to be no one about…

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stable

stable (image from Street View)

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but a closer look showed me I was not alone…

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horse in back of stable

beside the stable, to the right, is a big black draft horse (image enlarged from Street View)

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Best View: roses and marigolds in bloom in Grande Bernegoue…

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'roses in Grande Bernegoue'

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Copyright  Jane Tims  2013

Written by jane tims

April 22, 2013 at 7:24 am

don’t open your door too quickly!

with 8 comments

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willow and river

houses along the river (image from Street View)

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Logbook 4-5-2

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map 4-5-2

map showing distance travelled (map from Google Maps)

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On March 25, I biked again along the Sèvre Niortaise.  The houses are so close to the road!  Opening a door or shutters too quickly would be a bad idea!…

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birds

look closely to see the metal birds on the walls of the house, used as decorations (image from Street View)

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Damvix is a charming town with an old church and narrow streets…

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Damvix

narrow street in Damvix (image from Street View)

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Outside Damvix, I encountered another quick change of seasons.  As I approached a corner it was January and the fields were plowed, ready for planting…

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winter field

winter field (image from Street View)

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By the time I had gone another two meters, It was fall!  The corn had been planted and it was ripening in the field…  (Street View had photographed the blooming in April, 2010 and then recommenced in winter, January 2011) …

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fall field

fall field with corn (image from Street View)

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Near the end of my trip, I saw this stone tower on the side of the road…

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stone tower

stone tower along road (image from Street View)

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Best View: a house in Damvix with a painted yellow sidewalk and lime green trim…

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'street in Damvix'

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Copyright  Jane Tims  2013

Written by jane tims

April 19, 2013 at 7:23 am

stopping to fish

with 6 comments

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fence along the road

cows along the road outside Arcais (image from Street View)

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Day 7 1 logbook~

Day 7 1 map

map showing distance travelled (map from Google Maps)

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The first part of my trip continued through the old town of Arçais.  If ever there was a town I wanted to linger in…

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street in Arcais

old stone walls along street in Arcais (image from Street View)

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Arçais is an old town, but it also had a recreational area where you could rent a boat, have a cool drink and stay a few days…

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riverside recreation area

recreation area in Arcais (image from Street View)

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Beyond Arçais was a riverside road, with small groups of five or six closely-spaced older houses at intervals…

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connected houses along the river

groups of connected houses along the river (image from street View)

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Of course, I stopped to talk to a fisherman I saw along the way…

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fisherman along the river

fisherman along the river (image from Street View)

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Fisherman: ‘Bonjour!  Est-ce que vous voulez rester ici et pêchez avec moi?  J’ai une autre canne à pêche!’ (Hi.  Would you like to stay and fish with me? I have another fishing rod.)

Jane: ‘Mais, est-ce que vous avez un autre moulinet?’ (But, do you have another fishing reel?)

Fisherman: ‘Bien sûr!’ (Of course!)

Jane: ‘Mais, est-ce que vous avez une autre ligne de pêche?’  (But, do you have another fishing line?)

Fisherman: ‘Certainnement!’ (Of course!)

Jane: ‘ Est-ce que vous avez des autres hameçons?’ (Do you have other fish hooks?)

Fisherman: ‘Oui, j’ai trois autres hameçons.’  (Yes, I have three other fish hooks.)

Jane: ‘Mais, est-ce qu’il y ont des poissons?’ (But, are there any fish?)

Fisherman: ‘Non, il n’ont pas des poissons aujourd’hui.  Mais, vous savez, les poissons ne sont pas l’objectif de pêcher!!!!’  (No, there aren’t any fish today.  But, you know, fish are not the main purpose of fishing!!!)

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Best View:  a quaint lane in Arçais and a house with purple and blue shutters…

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'alleyway in Arcais'

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Copyright  Jane Tims  2013

Written by jane tims

April 17, 2013 at 7:16 am

old stone town

with 12 comments

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old Arcais

old Arcais (image from Street View)

~Logbook 4-5~

day 4-5 map

map showing distance travelled (map from Google Earth)

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The first part of my trip was through the countryside near Sainte-Sabine.  The houses in this area are generally more modern and smaller than those I saw further to the east…

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small house

smaller, one-story houses line the country road … notice the shadow of the Street View camera (image from Street View)

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Arçais is an old town, with stone buildings and narrow streets…

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street in Arcais

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I found another house to buy, a charming two-story with a tiny front yard and an old gate – it may need a new roof…

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a house for sale

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Best View:  yellow flowering bush in Arçais…

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'shrub in yellow bloom'

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Copyright  Jane Tims  2013

Written by jane tims

April 15, 2013 at 7:26 am

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