17 February 2008


It's a cold morning. Minus three degrees C, about 27ºF. And my morning to take Callie out. The dog doesn't care about the cold. She just wants to go.

Can you tell that the pond is frozen over?

We walked out on the gravel road but then turned down along a wide path, between the vines and a wooded ravine. Callie loves to go down there. You walk downhill into a little glade which the tiniest stream runs through, into the ravine. This morning, that was frozen too, for the first time in a while. No mud — that was nice.

Walk down into this little glade and then over the next hill,
up a row of vines, to the paved road.

On the other side of the little glade there are more vines. We walked up a row, out toward the paved road. There I heard the sound of a motor. It turned out to be a tractor coming up the road. And then I saw two hunters.

The tractor and behind it the two hunters,
dressed in military brown and carrying rifles.

We had heard that hunting season was over at the end of January. And we were glad, because on Sundays we couldn't let Callie run free in the vineyard as long as there were hunters and hunting dogs out there.

Walking up a row of vines in wintertime

During the season, the hunters always arrived at 9:00 a.m., so we would go out at 8:00 to avoid them. This morning it was only about 8:15, but there they were. Must be a special hunt, what they call a battue. I think that means they beat the bushes to flush out the animals.

Callie and I high-tailed it for home. No need for her to tangle with hunters or hunting dogs. Or whatever game might get flushed out of the brush.


  1. I have not visited in a while, and am starting to catch up with your blog! I just loved the photos! These are sights that I never get to see, simply because even if I lived in the country, I am not an early bird!
    I was surprised to learn that you could organise hunting parties, even though it not hunting season!

  2. Yes, Claude, there are out-of-season hunting events. We have to live with that fact. Luckily, the actual hunting season seems to be getting shorter.

    Today, there was also an organized bike ride -- V.T.T. signs were posted along our road and out into the vineyard. We saw cyclists ride past our house all morning, and I for one felt a little guilty for not being out there riding with them. But then my lycra/spandex wardrobe is fairly limited, so I might have felt out of place even if I had gotten my bicycle out of the garage for this special occasion.

  3. From Claudia in Toronto.

    The vines photos, up close, are always so interesting. It's beautiful at any season. My only chance to visit a vinery. I would guess the ice on the pond is fragile.

  4. You can always find out the dates for the official season on http://www.chasseursducentre.fr/. I thought the season for most species ended on about 20 Feb ie yesterday.


  5. Our regular Sunday hunters stopped coming in at the end of January. Neighbors, including one hunter, said the season had ended at that point.

    Those schedules from the préfecture look pretty complex, and I haven't studied them in detail. But the hunts we see happening now seem to be battues, organized hunts, not the ordinary hunts we have around our hamlet and out in the vineyard in November, December, and January.


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