nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

Posts Tagged ‘canal

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

canal by boat

with 12 comments

~

boat trip

a side trip on the river (image by Street View)

~

Logbook side trip on canal

~

On March 15,  in order to return to my main route, I took a boat trip along a canal.  This area of central France is very wet, dominated by the wetland known as the Marais Poitevin.  The waterways are known as La Venise Verte.  Land has been reclaimed from the wetland to create a labyrinth of waterways and dry land.

~

boat trip map

my side trip, including a trip by boat (map from Google Earth)

~

At the bridge in Le Gué de Magné, I put myself and my bike into one of the barges along the river and took a trip along the waterway…

~

boats along the shore

boats along the shore (image from Street View)

~

The boat trip was a relaxing virtual vacation from all the biking I have been doing.  In reality, I ‘simulated’ the boat trip by sitting down for 20 minutes with a book of Monet’s waterlily paintings…

~

boat trip

view along the canal from the bridge (image by Street View)

~

It reminded me of a real trip I took on a barge at the Upper Canada Village in Ontario last fall…

~

barge trip, Upper Canada Village, 2012

barge trip, Upper Canada Village, 2012 … barge was hauled along the river using horse power!

~

The biking portion of the trip was along the Route de la Garette…

~

water along the Route de la Garette

the Route de la Garette, showing water as a major feature of the landscape

~

I loved the view of this old barn and the rustic gates of the farm…

~

old barn

old farm (image from Street View)

~

'reeds and reflection'

~

Copyright  Jane Tims  2013

Written by jane tims

April 1, 2013 at 7:48 am

%d bloggers like this: