Posts Tagged ‘Nature’

Finally!  It’s lunch time.  We’ll eat at Chalet-hôtel du Grand Ballon, (you can view this in English by clicking the box on the upper right), but first we have to make a stop at the Famille Riche store, filled aromatically and beautifully with all things honey-related.  The family raises the bees, using the honey in a variety of products.  My s-i-l gifted me with a jar of honey, almonds in honey, and a beeswax Christmas candle.  I bought several trios of honey-based soaps as gifts. If you have a minute, take a look at their website.  You’ll find beautiful things.  The almonds in honey taste wonderful on chèvre or foie gras.  You can take my word on that!  🙂

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We’d dried off a bit, had our cafè to warm us, and were off exploring.  Flying under the radar clouds, we absorbed quite a lot of beauty before stopping for lunch.  As we drove, the clouds began to lift, allowing us better views of this stunning area covered with wildflowers.

© janet m. webb

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We’ve had a lot of fun in the forests of the Vosges.  But not far away, there are mountains, the highest in this part of France.  Last year, we enjoyed the Grand Ballon.  That’s not a mis-typing of Balloon.  The name means “Great (round-topped) mountain”, “ballon” meaning a mountain with a round top. This year, we were in a different part of the mountain range.  The weather wasn’t the best, but we were prepared.

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Finally, fundamentally fabulous, fantastic French forest fungus.  Fun!  🙂

Yes, alliteration has struck again.  If you’ve been following my blog for some time, you know that where I go in France, I’m deep in the Vosges forest.  This is where we walk the dogs each day.

© janet m. webb

Although we love to hunt for (edible) mushrooms, much of what we find is, although fun to see, not edible and might even be poisonous.  Despite not being edible, fungi can be eye-catching, as I think you can tell from these photos.

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Nancy, you’ve put up a challenge I can’t resist today: “Birds.”  Since you’ve posted a hummingbird shot, I won’t.  Instead, I’ll share a photo of a belted kingfisher that I took several years ago.  On my way back from watching some fishing birds, egrets and herons, I happened to look up.  There at the end of a bare branch surrounded by green was a bird.  I had my telephoto and snapped the picture with no idea what bird it was.  For some reason, I had an idea that a kingfisher was much larger, but this little guy looks as if he has enough attitude for any bird of any size.

© janet m. webb

© janet m. webb

The road leading off the main road continues past the “driveway” to my s-i-l’s house, past another house, and into the forest where, however, it becomes a trail rather than a road.  It’s the perfect place for a walk: past piles of cut trees, ant hills, another house, alongside the meadow, flowers everywhere, ancient stones covered with moss.  Perhaps there’s a bit of Celtic magic somewhere as well.

© janet m. webb

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