We had two celebrations of Independence this year. One for the 4th of July and the other is the 14th of July (Fêtes d'indépendance here is called the Fête Nationale).
We had a nice dinner, talked leisurely over some Crémant and then went to watch the fireworks ( feu d'artifice).
The show ended in splendor, and people went back to the plaza for an evening of conviviality.
Keith and I left for home just before midnight. Too old to party all night long!
A note on french holidays, when the holiday is on a Tuesday or Thursday, the Monday or Friday are called "pont" days, or a "bridge" for a long weekend. So the 14th this year landed on Tuesday and many took Monday off for a long 4 day weekend. Same as the US, but it has a name here.
The next day, Sunday, we decided to go out for a picnic. With no destination in mind, we wandered through the countryside. The sunflowers were in bloom.
|Taken through the windshield..Keith does not always stop to|
indulge me and my photos...well perhaps we would never
get anywhere if he did!!
|There he is...we have bread, cheese, salami, fresh tomatoes|
cucumbers and cantaloupe (of course water and wine too).
Yesterday morning there was some rain, but not even an 1/2 inch! Not enough to change anything.
|Our front yard!! A little sad..and it crunches too when|
I walk on it. We lost one bush, hoping not to loose
more of the bushes or our trees!
The last few days it has cooled down. Temperatures are back to normal, warm days, and down to about 60-65 at night. Finally can sleep again.
This month I met Chris (our english friend) on the west coast of France. She came through the Eurotunnel with car, and I arrived by train. We headed about 1 hour south for the Baie de Somme.
We stayed at St Valery sur Somme. The Baie is known for its birds. I had arranged a guided tour of the park Marquenterre at 9am Saturday. I am going to bore you with photos I took of our 2 day visit. It is truly a remarkable place to visit. Will have to go again another time.
There were so many birds, over 400 photos to plow through, but I will not put more than 15 photos here. Note that these were taken with a telephoto perched on my walking stick or the small cut out of the bird blind!
|View of one part of the Park Marquenterre|
|Starting our hike with our guide at Marquenterre|
|Pied avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta)|
|Pied avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta)|
|So many to birds...|
|These are Hansen horses, a breed special to the Baie|
It was bred from a french horse and the fjord horse of Norway
|Grande Aigrette ,Egret (Ardea alba) at the park|
|This may be Aigrette garzette (Egretta garzetta)|
Taken from my bedroom window on the bay
at St Valery -note black beak
|Geese -Oies cendrées ( Anser anser)|
|Great blue heron- too bad the sun was so strong|
it really washed out the color of the bird,
and he was really a long distance away...note the duck too
|Storks- always thought of them in the north east of France in the|
Alsace.. White stork : Cigogne Blanche
|White stork : Cigogne Blanche|
|White stork with baby in nest and Spatule Blanche(Common spoonbill)|
|B&B Boisfontain in St Valery..pretty old rue|
no cars allowed on this very old passage
|old boat...been there a long time!|
|tide is out|
|And it looks like rain! at Amiens|
|Face of Mary at Amiens|
|The crying angel- Amiens|
|This is a statue from the cave at Mercier. It was made|
to advertise Mercier Champagne...but note the
scantily clad female...it caused a "scandel" and she
was put in the caves hidden away from the public!!!
Keith? He is doing his own tour this week and next. This week he is riding his bike (with all his camping equipment) to the Semaine Federal. What is the Semaine Federal? It is a week schedule in a different region of France each year exclusively for bike riding ( I guess I could go and there is some hiking, but I will be ___&é#_ if I will sleep in a tent). About 10,000 riders come from around the world to ride at this event. This year it is at Albi ( department of the Tarn). He might write a journal when he returns.
That is all for this month.
INGREDIENTS ( for 2 or 3 )
- about 3 cups cherry tomatoes -fresh from the garden
- handful of basil
- 1/4 c cream
- 1/4 - 1/3 olive oil
- 1/2 c parmesan cheese
- Grate the cheese
- Cut one half of the cherry tomatoes in half or quarters
- Put other half of cherry tomatoes in blender with oil
- Blend until smooth
- add cream and blend
- add salt to taste
- Boil pasta (I used angel hair)
- Toss pasta with cold sauce, cheese and fresh basil
- EAT AND ENJOY