Decent proposal?

Dogwood bloom

’Tis dogwood-blooming time. If I were naming the seasons or parts of the year by plant activity, I’d call this Heyday of the Dogwood-Blossoms…something along those lines.

Flower day

Tram inside

We took the Metro underground and made a connection to an above-ground tram, which meant we had a view! We rode oh-so-quietly along the Seine downstream, picked a station to hop off, and headed toward the Bois de Boulogne—a huge park that once was a hunting preserve outside the city, much like Windsor was to London. In 1783, this was where the first Montgolfier hot-air balloon was flown untethered. In 1814, after Napoleon’s defeat, abdication, and exile to Alba, 40K British and American troops camped here, cutting down trees and otherwise intensively occupying the landscape, leaving it quite ravaged. The park was created in the 1850s. The builders installed an extensive irrigation system with pipes going everywhere. Crews planted lawns, meadows, and 420K trees (says Wikipee).


We encountered this sign above a restaurant not far from the trolley station. I thought that’s not the kind of place I want to eat…rather have the not-bones part of the fish….

Seine downstream

We crossed the Seine safely on a vehicle-busy bridge, then continued downstream.

Rehab building

We passed this building undergoing rehab, slowly. Interesting architectural details.

Fleur jaune

Here, outside the paving stones and micro-mananged enviroment on the old city, I found wildflowers! Fleur jaune.

Dunno blue

Tiny fleur bleu.

Nibbled violet

Fleur mauve.

Partial moat

We left the Bois and passed over this almost-moat and into a garden—jardin.

Conservatory jardin

The main part was a large central conservatory (the palm house, natch), and six flanking arch-topped greenhouses in two trios.

Fleur rouge

Fleurs rouge.

Fleurs blancs

Fleurs blancs.

Fleurs jaunes

Fleurs jaunes.

Jean Moréas

Then, we turned back toward the apartment. First, we passed through a poets’ corner…this is Jean Moréas (1856–1910), who was born to an Athens family and originally named Ioannis A. Papadiamantopoulos. He came to Paris to study law. I think of him as Mr. Moustache.

Champignons de Paris

Back in our neighborhood, we made a quick store stop (milk for coffee!), and I found this carefully packed box of white button mushrooms (champignons de Paris), stunningly aesthetic and appealing.

Quiche foursome

Okay, food pick—tonight’s quiche foursome. Plus salad.

Upward views, but not only upward

Peeking garden

We set off for the southeast quadrant of the city—inside the walls, of course. Somewhere central to the old city, I found this gnarly garden peeking over the second-story wall. Wonder how mossy it is inside.

Looming belltower

A bit farther, we found this looming belltower, with the “teeth” detail on the spire. If I were a better historic preservationist, I would know the real name for those zipper-teeth features.

Penitents gris

We finally reached the street of the dyers, which has a creek running alongside it. This chapel has its own footbridge for worshippers to cross into it.

Dyers waterwheel

They have left a few waterwheels intact in the creek, and they slowly turn turn turn. In the walls, we could see the sockets for the axles of missing ones. Not sure what the waterwheel power was used for; the adjacent buildings are mostly residences, with a few converted(?) into offices. Nothing looks like the workplace of dyers.

Dyers street restaurant

We lunched at the restaurant under the curved awning around the curve in the rear-ground.

Vege lunch

I had the veg lunch: hot leek puree soup, a quiche of onion with sweet potato chunks on top, and a salad with assorted veg, including raw bicolor beets.

Silver tree

From there, we went to the south city wall, crossed outside briefly, then made our way north, toward the river, staying east of the ex-pope-complex.

Outside wall river edge

We crossed outside the wall, and managed to dash across several lanes of traffic (when the traffic wasn’t there), to walk along the river. I wondered how close the water was to the city walls in medieval times.

Bridge to nowhere

We wandered west along the water, saw a free pedestrian ferry that crosses to the island, back and forth. It doesn’t look like an island because it’s a big one. We watched the ferry get caught in the swift current, and maneuver against the river’s force.

One of the tourist spots of Avignon is this bridge stub, originally built between 1177 and 1185. It was the downstream-most bridge of the river, and I imagine toll collection was a fierce business. The bridge was destroyed and rebuilt in the 1200s, and these arches are often dated to the 1340s. The bridge was abandoned in the mid-1600s. The bridge went across the island and a second branch of the Rhône, so it was much longer than it looks here. [Note dandelions flourishing in the lawn.]

Wallport up

We crossed back through the wall, re-entering the old city. As near as I can tell, nowhere along the wall can tourists access the top. The walls seem narrow, but high. Now, anyway.

Seabass dinner

We took a break, then went out for a hot meal. This is my plate, sea bream with assorted veg, including yellow potatoes, purple potatoes, roasted tomatoes orange and red, roasted sweet orange pepper, fresh pea shoots and alfalfa sprouts, with a bit of tasty gravy and fresh bread.

I’ve been craving veg, and I got them today!

Spring florals

Pink hyacinth

On today’s errand run, we saw clouds of white blossoms on pears and maybe apples, the larger pink-white blooms of the deciduous magnolias, multicolored tulips, daffodils, several other kinds of bulbs in bloom including hyacinths, and redbuds…love redbuds.

Thanks for the ride, B.!

Cleanup transition

Mini shrooms

I became a tornado today, that is, to the extent that I can as a gimp. My goal was to remove dust bunnies, and to remove a bunch of…stuff…that made the house work for gimpy-me, and was still hanging around.

In a tiny and personal way, it’s a new world!

Mystery data gathering

Signs in window

I saw a construction crew working in a hole in the sidewalk just outside the salon where I was getting chemistry to work in my favor. I found it curious and humorous that the workers stood their signs in the window as shown. Sometime later I got a more complete dataset on this. Turns out, the fellas (and they were all male) were “digging” down to the sewage pipes in this small commercial district.

The digging action was from a pressure-washer-type water stream, with a second pipe sucking the sludge it created from the work area. It wasn’t until I left the work area that I wondered what they’d use for fill since the clay (and it was a clay matrix) was removed and gone and in no fit state to be returned to the hole. (Or so I imagined.)

Anyway, the orange signs were to block splatter on the glass, and after the “digging,” the fellas carefully power-washed the window-glass, but they were old windows, and poorly sealed, so the water poured in around the glass. Sooooo, the sewer-fixit guys came inside with piles of clean rags, and energetically cleaned the glass and all the water that leaked inside. Kudos to the digging-crew!

Tiny mushroom forest

On a more organic front, the teeny mushrooms (I saw last year, and maybe in previous years?) are thriving during this phase of the spring-springing, but, geeze, what happened to their caps? How did they get tipped off?

Numbers science/game

Quince blossom cloud

Without planning to do so, I presently have three active activity trackers. Two kindof agree, and one reports wildly lower counts. The only category all three report is steps. My ancient Fitbit One and my iPhone report similar step-counts, but, providing I remember to carry it all the time, the iPhone will have a higher step-count than the Fitbit (attached to my underwear). The Nokia Steel HR always reports a much lower value each day, like around 20% lower than the other two.

I noticed this variation, and began to watch more closely. I’m pretty sure that if you consider footfalls “steps,” which I think the devices do, the most accurate of the three trackers is the iPhone, the one that consistently gives the highest count.

Your counts may vary.

I can wear the Nokia in the shower, and it gives me a chunk of steps for that (which does’t “fix” the discrepancy, BTW), and sometimes enquires if that time was an “activity.” It’s those rapid little steps to soap, rotate, and bend to get clean?

Interstate views

Fog I 75

We coffee’d up and got going, finding this local fog-bank somewhere inland—it’s not a marine layer!

Spanish moss festooning

After several hours, we left the Spanish Moss State (or so it seemed)…

Peanut statue

…and entered the Peanut State.

Sandhills almost in V

Then, closer to home, we saw several almost-Vs of sandhill cranes (pretty sure about that ID).

Bittersweet ultimate

Causeway bridge

Today we left causeway-world. But not before we did important things.

Macro shellface

Like playing with the macro lens.

Macro sanddollar

Including looking at an eroded sand dollar, complete with sand grains.

Four pelicans

We watched birds, including the cruising small-packs of pelicans.

There was of course lots of laughing and some tale-telling. We read, we relaxed. Life was darned pleasant.

Partial rainbow

Just as we were organizing ourselves in the parking lot to depart, a rainbow section emerged.

Sigh. And now the salt-water coast is behind us.

Only four photos, so as not to bore

Morning sun beach

We spent the day on and (mostly) near the beach. We got out early to enjoy that low-angle light, and it’s a good thing—already almost HOT by 8:30 am!

Strange dune flowers

Circling in the car behind the dunes traveling from one place to another, we found these large bloom clusters; I have no idea what they are.

Bamboo shadows

Late in the day, we found this lovely juxtaposition of light and shadow, shapes and colors.


On a late-day beach wander, we found this sea-denizen, or its fading carcass. Such striking, amazing colors!