An Autumn Walk in Provence

ventoux redbushHere are a couple of photos from my dog walk last week. Mont Ventoux dominates the landscape, as you can see. The pyracantha, which self seed here as in many parts of the world, look great in the fall. Too thorny for me to want to cultivate in the garden, but there are many along the roadsides and in disused fields. Some people use them as a property hedge, quite tall, and if pruned right they are a wall of red this time of the year, and in the spring a wall of white. Beautiful.

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Name Change, and a Little Porc

It seems like time to again change the name of the blog, since it has changed locations from Roquebrun, Herault to Mazan, Provence.  I may have spoken to some of you about France being “The Land of Non!” as that seems to be the default response when dealing with businesses, bureaucracy, etc.  Sometimes you can turn it into “Oui!” particularly if you can convince the other person that they thought of the solution.porc

For all of you who love shopping and eating in France, I’m offering this tidbit from the weekly mailing of a local supermarket (Intermarche).  In case you thought you would have trouble finding a pig’s head for your holiday table.  True, its only a half, and there are *no brains* and *no tongue* but it does come with a couple of feet.  Better get there quick before it sells out.

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Mr. Toad

toadjpgI’ve been quite remiss about updating what’s going on here, my move, the new house, etc. So instead I offer you Mr. Toad, who I discovered in my gardening shoe when cleaning up outside yesterday. Adorable.

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110 Flowerpots and a Dead Sqirrel

squirrel2 Not posted for a long time. I’ve been in a rental house in Provence for six months, and now moving to the new house(s) with Doris. These are photos of what I bought today at the vide grenier in Velleron. Aren’t you jealous …….



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The Roquebrun Hoard

roquebrun-hoardIf you’ve been to the British Museum you may have seen various “hoards” on display, often gold, dating to Roman times and later. Well, this is the Roquebrun Hoard, dating to the turn of the most recent century, found right here under my stairs down from the road! When I was cleaning things out last fall my rake hit something metal, which turned out to be a somewhat rusted cash register drawer, upside down, and under it were these coins. They are mostly French, some Spanish, a couple of English, all in the “old” pre-euro money, i.e., without value. It is evidence of some petty burglary, done when this house was uninhabited, which was probably known to the perp, as they would not otherwise have come down and stashed the evidence here. It also indicates they knew the village, and were probably residents. I’m guessing it would have been the tabac or the grocery store. They probably kept the bills, and if it was after 2000 there would have been some euro coins. Francs could still be used until 2002. That’s all I know.

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Another resident

IMG_0791Terrible photo, but you get the idea. I thought it was a stick insect, but it turns out to be the immature form of a type of Mantis (Empusa pennata). It lives in the Santa Barbara Daisy (Erigeron karvinskianus) in my garden. I’ve seen it several times, if I jiggle the bush it comes to the top and moves enough that I can see it.

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motocrotteScreen Shot 2015-10-10 at 10.36.10 AMYes, its just what you think it is. A little motorcycle with a vacuum hose that drives around and picks up dog poop. Few (French) people pick up after their dogs, especially if they live in an apartment and just let their dogs out.  They would not know where to find it. Paris has hefty fines if they catch you not picking it up. However, where the second photo was taken (Carpentras) they have come up with another way to handle it. I think its quite good, as it seems to be the ony way to get rid of it.

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