Sunday, May 25, 2014

Is it going to be Route 32 or more from France!? How to decide!?!

post #191
      Deciding which topic to share today is taking way too much time.  I have returned from my trip, as of last night, and I am blaming travel fatique for my not being able to decide which choice to make.  I want to do both.  I am excited about my new photos, but also I can't wait to get back out on Route 32 to take even more photos.  (And then there are the milkweed plants in our field which have grown, well, like weeds since I have been gone.)       BUT as I write myself through this decision, I am thinking the flowers in the gardens in France and England, the train stations I passed through, and the views from the Vosges mountains will have to wait.  I don't want to lose the thread of that road and a community whose future is up for grabs.

       Once again, I find a parking place and take several photos from one location:

         This building will surely be gone.  It was once a store.  Darlene remembers being bought a pair of shoes here when she was young!

       Then I turned around to look across the road to see the other side of things, including this sign on a fence, the cows, and the lay of the land:
Route 32, facing toward where I am headed

        Continuing to move to my left , still with my back to the former store:

       Nearby, I had taken this side road, just to see what is close to Route 32.

     A few photos from this road that look back toward Route 32, along which are all the buildings in the next three photos:

also here on the woods side -- the early blooming sarvis tree blossoms -- our sign of spring

     To finish today's chapter of this story, a morning mist along Route 32:

      I will try to find this place again this week and take a photo of what it looks like with GREEN LEAVES now that summer is almost here.  Stay tuned -- and drive safely no matter what road you may be taking.

please note: I have recently added two photos to last week's post, about an afternoon walk in France.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

a brief side road - during six days in France

post #190
        I expected to wait until finishing the Route 32 photos before sharing my current trip, but I just can't.  I am eager instead to show at least a few of the photos from where I have been this past week.  I set off to visit my stepmother, who is British and lives in the Cotswolds, but I also had wanted to go again to France where I was an exchange student in high school, for a year.  I have been close to the family I lived with ever since -- which means for over 50 years.  I took a lot of trains from here in England to get to several places in France, but I love trains so it was a big treat -- a lot of work to figure it all out but nonetheless a treat.  It helps that I still speak fluent French, rusty though my vocabulary may be.  
        Now that I am back in England and have been reunited with my laptop, here are snaps I took during a wonderful walk in the country outside Mulhouse, in eastern France.  Maud, my French "sister," knows the hikes near her home very well.  I loved that we headed out to where she knew we would see some STORKS.  And we did!  Mulhouse is in Alsace which has always been famous for storks and for their nests perched high on some building.
      It was a beautiful few hours.  I hope the photos share my delight being with Maud in a new place on a lovely Saturday afternoon.

       This is the front door of Maud's house.  We drove not far from here to get to the area where she often hikes:

        We parked here, near a church and cemetery which face the Vosges Mountains nearby and the Black Forest in Germany across the plain of the Rhine River:

     We were soon walking along a system of dirt roads for the farmers in the area, surrounded by a variety of crops, mostly corn but including vineyards.  I have taken these photos to show to my neighbors back home who also farm.

woodpile art!
   We soon saw this apartment house with a nest -- and a family of storks!

 Another one in the area took off and flew over head before landing:

       There were other kinds of animals as well belonging to these farmers - or maybe a single farmer.  For me, it felt like a surprise around every corner.

bee hives

 Then, on the way back:

   J'ai de la chance, n'est-ce pas?  [I am fortunate, don't you think?]

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Route 32, farther along, with redbuds

post #189

      I continue (for this third post) on Route 32, this time with blue skies and the redbuds in early bloom.  I love the redbuds, scrub tree though they may be!  They are nature's rosy, showy harbinger of the coming spring.  While I was trying to make most of the photos along Route 32 before the leaves on the trees came out -- in order to show the lay of the land more effectively -- I was grateful for the excuse to be out and about with the beauty of these trees.
      The first photos on today's post were made in the vicinity of a place where I was able to park my car, which is otherwise known as "my camera bag on wheels."

              TWO PHOTOS TO THE RIGHT:

            TWO TO THE LEFT:


        It bears mentioning that this road runs mostly along a ridge. This makes for many good photo opportunities. However it also means that any major road construction impacts the health of the land around it. Runoff and debris can reach streams, just like what happens with coal mining.  There are wooded areas below this road that are known to be pristine and irreplaceable. They aren't so easily seen, but their loss would have a longterm impact on the natural environment that we human beings ignore at our peril.  What is the trade off for making a big road so that tourists can come to provide income to our area and the harming of the richness that the tourists would come to see?  Why does it always feel like we'd rather not worry about what we can't easily see or understand? After all, "we all live downstream" and we need to care for our one life and our one world.

      Anyway, next is another place where I could pull off the main road.  The photo shows a driveway on the left, and election signs:

     Route 32:
     and looking up the side road (Cold Springs Road):

        Moving farther east (and parking) along Route 32:

        These last two photos are along a straight stretch!  But notice the road sign indicating a curve ahead....  Feels like life.  Smooth going for awhile, then some curves.  Might as well enjoy some beauty along the way, noticing and appreciating what is actually around us instead of rushing through and passing it all by.

Please note:  I am going to be without my laptop for the next 8 days, so my next post will be delayed two days, until Tuesday the 20th.  Wish me luck being separated from my photos....