How to get lost in your own rural neighborhood

First, let me say that after a day of heavy rain, thunderstorms and blowing wind, it looked as though the day had improved enough for a walk while Tanja’s osso bucco finished working its magic in the oven; getting lost was the last thing on our minds. The sun had come out and the air was cool with a strong westerly breeze. The visibility was good. We plotted our route from our farmhouse – down the wooded trail to the south, eventually going east, coming back north and then walking west to our house. Simple enough.

Everything started out well. We turned off the road and walked south through the woodland trail we have followed before. The smells and sites of the forest after the rain were absolutely glorious Р pungent mosses, wet leaves, moss covered trees. A vineyard came into view, seemingly far from any civilization. Yours truly suggested we turn east through the vines into another section of forest we could see. Tanja admitted that this was where she got lost soon after we moved into our house, but  we could see the highway in the distance and knew if we kept it in the right perspective we would be fine.

The sun grew warmer and we took off our jackets, wandering in the eastward direction, enjoying the vines and the plum trees, both full of new green fruit.

Cluster of green baby grapes
Green baby grapes
Cluster of green baby plums on a tree
Baby plums

So how did we get lost you ask? Think too much sensory input. The highway we used as a landmark ran in a different direction than we thought. So when we thought we were going east, we were actually going south. Streams popped out of nowhere that had to be crossed or circumnavigated.

Pastoral scene of young calves in a pasture
Young calves

Every pasture in France is electrified and takes great care to enter. The cows were fine, however. They watched us coming, we who had no idea where we were, they who knew exactly where they were: where the food was.

We came across a wheat field and decided we could walk along its edge. First of all, it was massive!

Wheat field to the horizon
Wheat as far as the eye could see.

And secondly, this was some of the tallest wheat we had ever seen, over a meter tall. We found out just how tall it was when we had to detour into its loveliness to escape brambles and wild roses that covered our path.

Tanja standing in wheat up to her elbows all around
Tanja in tall wheat
Rick standing in the wheat field
Rick in wheat

Eventually we saw a landmark near our house and were able to go cross country through vineyards, sunflowers and hay fields until we reached home sweet home. At that point we were perfectly done and the osso bucco was none the worse for wear.

Our Evening Walk

It had been a beautiful day, cool and breezy, with a few clouds skittering across the sky. The lads had tunneled hot water pipes through solid rock walls Jeff had made a new shutter door to replace the rotted one in what will be our new kitchen. The pool was a crystal clear light blue reflecting the sky, too cold to swim in, but reminding us that summer arrives soon. Four pallets rested randomly on the front yard containing 4 tons of travertine for the floor of our new kitchen and salon. They had been deposited there earlier in the afternoon by the grumpy truck driver whose delivery truck was so tall it trimmed several tall trees on its way in.

With this as backdrop, we decided to take a late afternoon/early evening walk instead of our usual early morning walk. Evening light lasts until 10:00 or 10:30, so why not?

Sunflowers obediently facing the evening sun.

We headed west up the slight grade past the sunflower field, with all the

Our farmhouse

small sunflower babies dutifully facing their Ra. (They are called Tournesol in French because that is what they do.) I always wonder how they get turned around, for by the time I arise early the next morning they are already facing east. Well, they were facing west this evening, All of them.

Hot air balloon in our neighborhood
Our house as seen from the road after our evening walk

We turned around to admire our farmhouse nestled among the trees and the hayfields, then turned back through vineyards and into the woods. As bright as it was in the evening sun, the woods were dark, full of birds calling out their evening songs.

By the time we emerged from the woods, the light had changed. A hot air balloon could be seen drifting above the campagne below. We walked past a hayfield in desperate need of a mow, and after an hour came round to the front of our house, complete with our little car out front and the pallets on the lawn. As the sun sets in the west and the cool of the evening settles in, here we are attempting against all odds to upload photos to our blog to post this for you, dear friends, before we retire for the night.