The heart of France in the autumn: gold, splashes of red and orange, shimmering bronze, and lushly green.
I'd never seen it like this before. You see, autumn is perhaps the most fleeting of all seasons and in a region that has a propensity for gray drizzle in the autumn/winter/spring we had to hit the weather just right too. And oh were we lucky when we went to visit the French grandparents in the Berry region. Two glorious days of clear sunlight and gentle temperatures plus the peak of a particularly colorful season! So, caution, this is a whole bundle of photos because it was just too hard to stop.
What a perfect time for Albert's first outing. Now, we may be the overprotective 'parents' with the harness and the leash but we don't know his history and we were only visiting for a few days, not enough for him to really get to know the lay of the land. And, darn! There are fields and forest every where and it's hunting season! So, he wore his harness and leash, and, you know what?, he was totally cool with it! Is he really a cat?
I love this one (R. took it), he's totally embarrassed by me, I'm sure. And all he was really interested in was eating grass. Chickens? nope. Other cats? nope. Climbing? nope. Grass please.
(another photo by R.)
November 1st, being All Saints Day, is the day that families in France traditionally visit the cemetery to tidy up and leave chrysanthemums, so we took a stroll over. Visiting with R.'s grandfather, you hear the story of not only the whole family, but the whole village! He was the mayor for 25 years and knows everyone. It's wonderful and I wish I always had the video recording.
It was the late afternoon so little lizards were warming themselves on the cemetery wall.
We took one day to drive around and just soak in all the wonderful color! We bought walnut and hazelnut oil from the nearby mill where they roast the nuts and grind them in a tiny room using the same techniques and stone wheel that they always have. We stopped in Chavignol to get authentic little goat cheese that are only made there. This is the heart of Sancerre wine country and vineyards crawl up every slope, visible over rooflines, and spilling into the valleys. So, later in the week there will be vineyard photos because there is just too much to see for just one post!