07 March 2011

A Sunday visit and walk

Susan and Simon of Days on the Claise came by yesterday afternoon in Célestine. That's their 50-year-old Citroën traction avant — you probably already know all about it. S, S, and C live down in Preuilly-sur-Claise, a small town about an hour's drive south of Saint-Aignan.

We had a cup of coffee — they were coming from a classic car event across the river in Noyers-sur-Cher and had already been "wined and dined" over there with a crowd of other old Citroën owners. After coffee, we went out for a walk.

The Renaudière vineyard just out behind our house

Susan and Simon arrange customized tours in Célestine the Citroën for visitors to the Loire Valley region, by the way. Have a look at their blog and their Loire Valley Time Travel web site for details.

Crews have been busy pulling out dead or unhealthy
vine trunks and stacking them along the road.

Sometimes I think they feel about their beautifully restored car the way we feel about our pets. Notice that we all have alliterative names for these "companions" — Célestine the Citroën, Callie the Collie, and Bertie the Black Cat. It's funny, isn't it?

What's left of last year's crop — bare stems and raisins

We enjoyed a chat and it was Susan who suggested that we take all go for a walk out in the vineyard. We'd never been out there with S & S before, and it was about time for Callie's afternoon walk anyway. Instead of just Walt taking the dog out, all five of us went. (We left Célestine resting by the side of the road.)

On the edge of parcel of vines

As you know if you read their blog, Susan is quite knowledgeable about the local plant and animal life here in Touraine. She especially wanted to see the spots out on the edge of the vineyard where a lot of native, wild orchids (here's a link to some photos from last year) come up and flower every spring. If you type orchids in the search box at the top of the blog, you'll call up quite a few topics with photos of some of the local varieties.

Primroses in our back yard

With the mild weather we had in February and the warm afternoons we've been having this past week, the orchids are starting to push up their first green leaves. They'll send up nice wine-colored, white, or yellow blossoms in a month or two. Susan said she just wanted to take photos of the leaves, to perfect her identification skills and have a record of the orchid varieties.

It was a gorgeous afternoon, with bright sunshine and just the slightest cool breeze from the north or east. Perfect for a leisurely stroll out in the open air.

Okay, I need to go start packing my suitcase.


  1. Just as I was typing "could you send some of that sunshine over here please" - the sun came out !!

    Bon voyage, Ken, looking forward to reading all about it - no pressure !!

  2. Ken

    I am jealous of your weather. Here I am under a blanket of the white stuff- it snowed yesterday and we are experiencing blowing snow today.

    I will see some green only in April -assuming it is warm and the snow melts fast

  3. Walking Callie in "your" vineyards is one of my favorite things to do. Lewis and I have been taking lots of walks these past few days since we are taking care of dd's large poodle, Rosie, the rascal;) She is good most of the time unless she sees geese, then she runs wild.

    Our wild orchid leaves are up now- their undersides are purple, but they disappear before they bloom in the summer.

    Get packing now...

  4. Packing is always fun (not)!
    I just sent a friend a link to your 5 Tajines recipes.

  5. Does it take you a long time to pack?


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