20 March 2008

"Call me Roger"

A friend in California, when she read yesterday that I was trying to find out the name of that big conifer in the yard, said she thought its name was Roger. Ha ha ha.

Yesterday I spent some time taking pictures of tiny flowers
(diameter 2.5 cm/1 in.) along the road out in the vineyard.

Seriously, I posted my pictures and some links to yesterday's post showing the tree, needles, and cones on a forum called www.aujardin.org and got quite a few responses. One person said Cedrus deodara (Himalayan Cedar), but I'm not convinced.

Another said Cedrus libani, Cedar of Lebanon, but that didn't convince me either, comparing my pictures to pictures I found on the Internet and in my Taylor's Guide. And then in a comment, Sietske, who lives in Lebanon, said she didn't think it was a Cedar of Lebanon either.

I won't even try to identify all these little flowers.
I used my Panasonic Lumix TZ3 to take the pix.

Over the course of an afternoon of reading about all these evergreen trees, I found a picture of a variety of Cedrus libani called stenocoma (or stenacoma) — Turkish Cedar — and I thought that was it. Here's the picture I found on the Web and here's the picture of our tree. They look very similar, I think.

Now another person on the Au Jardin forum says the Himalayan Cedar and the Turkish Cedar are both very rare in France. They are more common in the Eastern and Midwestern U.S. states, where the winter weather is much colder and they are hardy. He says he thinks our tree might be Cedrus libani subspecies Atlantica, which is called the Atlas Cedar and comes from the Atlas Mountains in Morocco.

These are really tiny — each flower is about ¼ in. across.

I don't think it's an Atlas Cedar either. It doesn't have the right cones. It definitely has Lebanon Cedar needles, however, judging from all the Internet pictures I've found.

Oh well, some trees and animals are just determined to remain mysterious. I am going to post my question on one other forum and see what opinions and information I might get there. I guess at the same time I'll post a picture there of the other two big conifers in our yard and see if those can be identified too.

Fall and spring colors all at the same time, in a neighbor's hedge

All the buzz around Saint-Aignan and the northern half of France right now is about the snow that is predicted to fall this weekend, which is Easter. Easter is very early this year. Today is the first day of spring, too, but you'd never know it.

Yesterday afternoon when I went out to walk with the dog and take pictures, I got caught in a brief shower of sleet. Ice pellets were bouncing off the lenses of my glasses. When I got home, Walt said he had seen snowflakes out the living room windows. He had a roaring fire going in the wood stove.

The cloud that dropped sleet on me came down out of the north.

The temperature is down to freezing this morning. Clouds are supposed to roll in from the north again this afternoon. There may be light snow tonight, and it is supposed to continue on and off until Monday night! Bonjour le printemps ! If we do get any snow, it will be the first time since the beginning of the winter. We probably won't get anything more than a very cold rain...


  1. The daisy at the top is English Daisy (aka Lawn Daisy or Common Daisy) Bellis perennis. The glossy yellow flower is Lesser Celandine Ranunculus ficaria, related to buttercups and always one of the very first spring flowers. The bush with the tiny white flowers is some sort of Viburnum, probably strongly and sweetly scented, maybe V farreri. The bush with the serrated edged leaves and yellow flowers - also scented - is Mahonia.
    I agree with you about what your tree is not. I might have an answer for you after Easter. Do you know the humungeous Cedar of Lebanon in the courtyard of the Musée des Beaux Arts in Tours?

  2. No, I don't know that tree in Tours. Are the big trees around the château de Chaumont-sur-Loire cedars of Lebanon?

  3. The daisy is called a pâquerette in French.

  4. I don't know the name of the flower but those are definitely some nice photos. I especially like the first flower and the cloud picture.


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