Sunday, October 19, 2014

la Chasse d'Automne...

"Ne fait pas de bruit quand vous mangez."

Indian Summer ~ Rambouillet

I couldn't have said it better.  The kids were making far too much noise over lunch.  *Smack*  *Smack*  *Smack*

Jude and I were on a Fall Chasse.  I wanted to take a few photos of birds and Rambouillet was our destination.  The reason is that the canals in front of the Presidential Chateau have several man-made islands that have "Gone Wild."  Trees and birds and, in the water, fish all live here.  In abundance.  From our first visit I'd spied a few birds I'd never seen before and wanted to revisit with my Big Bird Lens.

Indian Summer ~ Rambouillet

Fall here in France has been absolutely glorious.

Earlier I'd taken Mother Nature to task giving us a rotten July and August.  Nothing like the cold and damp to make a Mess of Summer.  We were in a sour mood and it looks like Mother Nature has finally taken pity on us.

As an aside, we stay in Paris during the summer because it seems simply too insane to vacation elbow to elbow with tout Paris on les vacances.  Prices are quite steep and, as we found in St Malo, not all villages worth visiting have decently stocked grocery stores.  Bad restaurants?  There are far too many of them.  Some stacked on one on top of another, all vying for your Euros.  Good food that you can prepare yourself by visiting a supermarket or a local marche?  Jamais de la vie!  Soaking the locals as National Sport.  So we try hard not to join the Summer Migration into the paysage.

Indian Summer ~ Rambouillet

Instead, we prefer to take smaller trips when the locals are busy raising kids, sending them to school, and while they're working hard to keep the French economy afloat.  Starting in mid-September and continuing through to the Winter Holidays the price of lodging and food drops like the stock market on a bad day.  With the season of snow comes prices that again rise steeply in celebration of Pere Noël.

On the day we visited Rambouillet for the Fall Chasse we were to see temperatures of 76 degrees F and crystal clear blue skies.  This can't be October, can it?  Thank you Mother Nature.  We'll take whatever we can get.  I can easily operate my camera and Big Bird Lens under these kinds of conditions.

Indian Summer ~ Rambouillet

The trees were turning a golden yellow and the birds were having a Good Time.  Looking carefully at the way the light shimmered off the water I quickly realized how the Impressionists had come to love these kinds of places.  Everywhere we looked it was like being in an Impressionist Painting.  I shot a few images of common birds I'd seen before only because the water around the bird was so beautiful.

Jude and I sat on a bench and ate our lunch and fed a couple of overly common Coots.  Aside from a few joggers (yes, that knee-bone destroying American Habit has indeed landed in France) and two or three old people (like us) out for a stroll we had the park completely to ourselves.  This is why we like to travel in September and October.  So often no one else is around and we can more fully enjoy things.  We think it's the perfect way to travel.

Indian Summer ~ Rambouillet

As a small flock of birds floated by I saw I needed to give them a Stern Talking To.  My questions to them started with "Can I see your papers, svp?"  To be quickly followed by "Did you loose your way?"  "Do you realize this is NOT Canada?"  "You're not living off French Social Security, are you?"  "You realize that immigration is difficult, right?"  I hadn't expected to see Canadian Geese living in France in such numbers.

By mid-afternoon we were feeling it was time to head back.  We'd shared a wonderful lunch on a most beautiful Fall day.  I'd photographed a few birds against an Impressionist's Dream.  Jude had drawn a couple lovely scenes in her journal.  We'd walked around the canals.  In front of the Presidential Chateau we'd sat in the sun to work on our bronzage.  We'd had enough fun for one day.

Indian Summer ~ Rambouillet

As we were leaving Jude asked if we could take one last look at something.  It was then we heard a woman say "Ne fait pas de bruit quand vous mangez."  She was right.  The kids were *smacking* their lips.  They were a very noisy, uncultured, and mal-élevé lot.

Jude and I talked with the woman and her husband.  We learned a little about life in Rambouillet.  We were quick to understand it would be too quiet for us.  We need the kinds of things Paris offers to keep us entertained.  Yet, a Day In The Country had revitalized our Spirits and Souls. 

The woman was there in the peaceful park doing her duty to Keep Things Alive.  She had been tossing bread into a pond.  Perhaps as many as a 100 surprisingly large carp were coming to the surface.  As les poissons ate they made quite a racket.  *Smack* *Smack* *Smack*

Indian Summer ~ Rambouillet

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