poetry and prose about place

sculpting land and trees

with 2 comments


sculpting trees

sculptured trees in La Grève-sur-Mignon (image from Street View)


day 4-8 logbook


Day 13 1 map

map showing distance travelled (map from Google Earth)


During my virtual travels in France, I have noticed the way nature has been modified to suit people.  We do this in North America too, pruning trees to take elaborate shapes, pulling weeds and planting domesticated plants, modifying the edges of lakes to be more ‘beach-like’, straightening watercourses, and so on.


In France, I have particularly noticed how canal-like the watercourses are in the area of La Venise Verte.  This is a result of the area’s history.  When the marshes of the Marais Poitevin were settled, people needed dry land to farm and live.  In the tenth century, there was a huge effort to dig canals and reclaim the land.  The result is the canal system I am seeing on my virtual bike ride.  The waterways are straight and their banks are steep.  Canals intersect at right angles …


perpendicular waterways

intersecting waterways (image from Street View)


Other elements of the natural landscape are also shaped by human hands.  For example, older trees are pruned to take on unnatural shapes.  This may be in order to rejuvenate older trees by encouraging new growth.  It may also be for aesthetics …


weird trees

some weirdly pruned trees near Balanger


A man was out pruning these trees as I ‘drove’ by …


Day 5 e

man working on trees near Balanger – he has removed all the sucker branches on the tree nearest the camera (image from Street View)


I saw some of the most bizarre of these pruned trees in Niort …


day 10 e5 weird trees

weird trees in Niort (image from Street View)


I have no idea which tree species these are.  they could be willow, or even olive …


Day 5 x

severely pruned tree in rural area near Irleau


Do you know which species of tree is being pruned?


Best View: pruned trees near La Grève-Sur-Mignon …


'pruned trees near La Greve'


Copyright  Jane Tims  2013

2 Responses

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  1. Those weird trees in Niort are some interesting.



    May 4, 2013 at 7:28 pm

    • Hi Denis. they are very tropical looking. I have also seen a few palm trees. Jane


      jane tims

      May 5, 2013 at 8:44 pm

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