14 September 2012


When I went out with Callie for our morning walk yesterday, everything seemed normal and nice. It had rained overnight, so there was a pleasant dampness on the ground and in the air. There was only a light breeze.

Sunrise over the Renaudière vineyard yesterday morning

The clouds were breaking up and some blue sky was showing. Callie seemed happy, and for the first morning in a while she couldn't see the moon, which she always barks at madly.

Five (oui, cinq) hot-air balloons drifting eastward above the Cher River valley

We were a few hundred meters from house, heading out to the end of the dirt road through the vineyard, when I turned around and looked back toward the house. What did I see but four and then five hot-air balloons slowly drifting across the sky, right over the Renaudière hamlet.

A balloon right over our house...

...and a closeup of another one

Callie, of course, saw them too. If there's anything she enjoys barking at more than the moon or Bertie the black cat, it's a montgolfière. All dogs seem to exhibit the same behavior. Even though the balloons were quite a distance away, Callie went wild, running up and down the road and through the adjacent rows of vines, barking all the way.

A pretty section of the Renaudière vineyard near Saint-Aignan

I called her to me so that we could continue the walk and get away from the source of all her frenzy. She would come running toward me up the road and then remember there were balloons to be chased away. She'd turn and run back toward them and the house, raising a ruckus.

A view of yesterday's sunrise from out on the route touristique
that runs through the local vineyards

I almost gave up on the walk, but I decided to continue farther out into the vineyard anyway, figuring the balloons would soon pass behind the trees and Callie would calm down and join me. She did, finally — worn out and smiling.


  1. She wants to be up there looking down!
    My border collie loved fireworks... he'd watch them rise and give different 'woofs' according to the size of the burst... almost as though he was commenting.

  2. That is such a beautiful sight and my dog too is moon-mad, what is that! Thank you.

  3. Awwwwww, that Callie! Such a sweety! Glad to know she had some extra fun!

  4. In Kenya, elephants would go crazy when they saw hot air balloons (they looked scared). Your sunsets and sunrises are the best. Gorgeous pictures!

  5. That's interesting about the elephants and balloons, Nadege. I'm glad Callie had a smile on her face- she must have enjoyed the chase.

  6. You did it again, Ken! Another big smile on my face after reading about Callie and her balloon foes!

    What beautiful vines and skies, too!

    Encore merci!

  7. I wonder what time those ballooners started?

  8. Perhaps it's some ancestral memory of the time when dogs were plains hunters, and a big thing drifting through the sky was quite likely to be some sort of predator?


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