Paris – part I

Monets trädgård - Bron  baksida

We have just returned from a few days trip to Paris, hoping to finally meet the real spring. But no way, 8, 9 degrees and constant rain most of the time. Fortunately though we had one day of decent weather and we decided to visite the impressionist painter Claude Monet’s garden in Giveny.

We took an early train to Vernon 80 km outside Paris and then walked 5 km along an ancient railroad to the village Giveny and then another couple of kilometers through the village to the garden. Having to wait in line for an hour to get in almost made us give up though and go back to Paris.

 

We strolled through the Flower garden with its flower beds resplendent like a color palette.

 

and then on to the Water garden with the water lily pond and Japanese bridge where the sunlight trickled through the flowering wisteria. Surrounded by the overwhelming greenery and stunning water reflections it almost gave us a feeling of walkning inside a Monet painting.

 

To be continued…….

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The ice break-up

A couple of weeks spent in our cottage up north with poor connectivity on the Internet have contributed to a break in Writing, but now we are back on track again.

Just in time for Megs’ birthday last week the ice on our lake finally broke-up. After four days of “labor”, like a protracted childbirth, the lake was “reborn” again.

An ice break-up can be rather dramatic sometimes, but not this year. The ice, black and sherbet-like, just broke apart in large flakes that slowly drifted around for a while before they sank to the bottom.

Ice break-up May

Ice breaking up

As soon as there was the slightest shred of open water the seabirds came flying in one after another as airplanes heading for landing at any major airport.

First he gooseanders…

Gooseander May

Gooseanders 2 May

then the goldeneyes…

Goldeneye couple May

and the loon.

Loon May

On the morning of the fourth day, nearly all the ice had disappeared.

Ice free lake

That same evening Roffe decided to launch the canoe and like a trapper he paddled away towards the last remnants of the ice.

The trapper

This Woody Woodpecker does like the ancient Romans, eats lying at “the table”. Cute!

May Day

May Day and Roffe had headed north to our summer cottage for a couple of days, while I brought the bike out of the basement, inflated the tires and along with my friends Kajsa and Ronald set off for the annual spring trip to the Vada Church. In all a ride of about 30 kilometers.

Horses

We rode along bumpy and dusty gravel roads, past farms and pastures with beautiful horses.

Kajsa and Ronald biking

Mission completed, we have reached the Vada Church…

Vada church

…and made us well-deserved of a lunch in the sun at the church wall.

By the church wall

The Vada Church was probably built in the late twelfth century and is named after an ancient ford (ford, or wade = vada in Swedish) over the then very important fairway Långhundraleden that runs from the Baltic Sea to the then capital of Uppsala (currently Old Uppsala).

Inside church

Along the road we also found spring’s first pasque flowers, a rather rare plant in our area and protected by law.

pasque flower 3

 

pasque flower