Walking in the January sunshine

I have kind of made a mental note to keep a seasonal journal of what the weather is like, what gets planted and so on. I started doing this last August and lasted about a couple of months, but then life got in the way. The great Reptily Family blog keeps a record in the same way, and I like it. It’s super-organised. It also helps me make sense of what’s going on seasonally, and how things compare year-on-year. Plus, it helps to know how to do things better next year.

I also decided I would take a photo a day, to capture the weather and the mood and the moment. Kind of a photographic haiku. I like haiku. I might write one for each photo. At least, I’d intend to. Starting things is my forte, finishing them, not so. If every idea I had came to fruition, I’d need 200 of me.

Moss-covered stone-fall

Cold January Landscapes

A French Karesansui!

I did keep to week 1 of my resolutions: to take the dogs for three long walks a week. We’ve done seven hours of long walks this week. I’d forgotten today was hunting – and the forest was thick with men in 4x4s (cat-cats as they are in Morocco – or quatre-quatre if you don’t know what I’m on about!) with big dogs and guns – and although I’m always worried about a dog getting shot, I’m more worried one of the hunters will run us over in his bloody great Mitsubishi off-roader. Is there really a need??!

Saturday – New Year’s Day – was bleak and felt colder than it was. Don’t think we saw the sun that day, though I saw a flock of egrets about 50 deep! I think it got to about 4 degrees, but it felt a whole lot colder. Too cold to be outside other than for walks. We went on the bitches’ walk (really, Lac de la Biche, which is actually a puddle, but the walk is about 3 km) and got back quickly to the warmth.

La Nouvelle Année:

Solitary wanderer

and three happy dogs

Sunday – the 2nd – was a little brighter – we got bursts of sun. I’d started out on the 9 km ‘route du Gros Fayard’ but immediately took a wrong turning, ended up off the beaten track (always better walks, but with me – a huge sense of being able to get lost and die and be eaten by dogs) and walked through some absolutely wonderful woodland – the kind of woodland you imagine in  Little Red Riding Hood. Although Charles Perrault was Paris-born and bred, you can imagine the fairy stories he collected coming from people who’d grown up in places like this.

Molly swinging on a dog-swing

Molly found a ‘dog swing’ – a branch still attached – and swung up and down on it for ages. It was just the right height for her to grab, but I had visions of her being catapulted over the woods.

Today – the 3rd – I’d planned on going back to do the 9 km walk I’d planned yesterday, but to no avail. Having broken the cistern, I spent much of the afternoon fashioning a makeshift device to keep it water-free until Steve returns tomorrow. I really wanted to fix it and to fix it properly, but my will was lost the second cold water spurted in my face. So… a shorter 2 hour walk, but in glorious late-afternoon winter-cold sunshine.

Winter-blue cold skies

Wood-cutters  in the distance

Do they look up too?

I had planned on planting my leeks this week, as well as getting some begonias and petunias started, and with the temperatures predicted to rise above 5 degrees from Thursday, it seemed like a good time to do it. However, the French seem to be fairly obsessed by Lunar gardening (it’s an obsession when you can buy several magazines based on the premise…) and Rustica said it was an inauspicious time to do it. Apparently there is a solar eclipse tomorrow – cool! I don’t know how I missed the one in 2000, but I did. Maybe I was sleeping.

So… the leeks will wait for more auspicious weather.

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