Five Miles in the Snow


We went out for a walk early this morning and walked five miles in the snow. We headed south on the levee for a change of scenery.


Cranes glided through the snow.
Entrance to the enchanted bosque.
Laurie at the entrance to the enchanted bosque.
Laurie walked in to see what spirits might be lurking about in the snow.
She came out and signaled all safe. The spirits were taking a snow day.

Castor canadensis


You can read more about what the Bestiary† from the middle of the 13th Century had to say about beavers at


†Image from Bestiary MS Bodley 764. Page 43. “Bestiary being an English version of the Bodleian Library, Oxford M.S. Bodley 764 with all the original miniatures reproduced in Facsimile. Translated and introduced by Richard Barber. The Boydell Press. Woodrifge. 1999”

France Day 7 Aix Art in the Rain


We left the house at 9:00 am in pouring rain, walked around Aix all day in the pouring rain, visited a museum, a couple of artists, a bridge, a garden, a spa built over old Roman baths, photographed Death at a wedding, and got food and coffee in the pouring rain. We went to a Mass with confirmation of adults by the Archbishop at the Aix Cathedral the evening, and finally got home at 11:00 pm, cold and wet. The photos are in order of the day, with the exception of the Tapestry Museum where I couldn’t take photos.

The tapestries were of scenes from Don Quijote, and they had a show of photographs by Roland Leboye, a French photographer who has taken Cartier Bresson’s “the decisive moment” to the extreme! Leboye’s street photography was wonderful and often very funny.

The giant insects are by a local artist from Aix.

The piles of paper and paper skull are part of a Paper Art installation we ran across by chance, and the arch Laurie is standing under is at the end of the courtyard were the Paper Art was.

We stayed in the tapestry museum until around noon, so by the time we got done looking at the insects and paper art, we got some food and hung out and ate and drank coffee until it was time to go to the art installation to meet the artist.

We got to the studio and installation of artwork by Nicole Catannéo about 2:15, met Nicole and Laurie discussed art and life with her and another older woman, in French, for over an hour. Nicole has quite a story as she had an illness when she was in her 40’s which left her partially paralyzed, and then her husband died when she was in her 50’s. She got herself together and went to art classes, and now creates wonderful paintings.  She and Laurie really hit it off.

After the studio, we got another coffee for some warmth and energy, and headed toward the gardens at the northwestern edge of Aix. We walked through the modern shopping area on the western side of Aix, but when we got to the planted bridge, we were too far west and had to backtrack. We finally got to the gardens and found a bathroom on the grounds which had one of the “hole in the floor” fixtures. The garden was formal with mostly grass, but it had a nice rose garden behind the main garden. It also has a mansion with a museum, but they were closing when we got up to it. The mansion has a interesting entrance.

We stopped by a spa the is built over some old Roman baths to see what it cost to do the spa and get a message — about 100€ for both and 60€ for a 30 minute message.

On our way back to the center of Aix to find some food before we went to Mass, we walked by the cathedral and there was a VW and an Audi decorated for a wedding. Sophie told me that the Saturday before Pentecost was a big day for weddings in Aix, and we saw cars from 3 different weddings. While we waited for the bride and groom to come out, death walked by the VW.

After getting a bite to eat, we got to the cathedral at 7:30, an hour before the service to get good seats. We ended up siting more in the middle because the seats in front were occupied by the folks being confirmed, which looked to be well over 100 people plus their parents, bothers, sisters, husbands, wives; whoever was presenting them to the priest and Archbishop. The service was good, and the music was fantastic with the pipe organ and choral music. Laurie and I saw Matilda, the Brasilian who told us about it after the service, and we shook hands with the Archbishop on the way out. The boy in the last photo was cutting up during most of the service with a couple other boys. He looked quite shocked when the Archbishop stopped, put his hand on the boy’s shoulder, and blessed him at the end of the service.