18 November 2012

Le soleil !

We saw the sun yesterday afternoon. The weather started changing, in other words. The fog cleared, making way for... well, rain. But between fog and rain, we got a few hours of sunlight. It was beautiful, as you can see from these pictures.

This is an ornamental cherry tree in our side yard. In March,
it will be covered in pink flowers.

I didn't go outdoors — well, not really — to take these photos. I just went out onto the front terrace. I took them on an impulse, and I'm glad I did. The yellows really popped out under the yellow light of the sunshine.

This tree is just over our fence on the north side.

I woke up this morning thinking I was going to write a post about the hibernation season here in France. I searched my blog to find that I've written several times about hibernation here in November and December: Dec. 2 and Dec. 3, 2007; Dec. 13, 2010; Nov. 24, 2011. One nice thing about a blog is that you can look back and remember that you've been through these cycles before. Besides,the colorful pictures here kind of woke me up again.

Our side yard on the left, and on the right a tree
in our neighbors' yard across the street.

When I say hibernation, I mean sleeping for 9 or 10 hours every night for weeks on end. Staying in the house most of the time, except for the daily walk with the dog. Fog and gloom. Short hours of daylight and long nights. But it's the same every year. It's hard for me to imagine life in the wintertime farther north than Saint-Aignan. Well, Paris, I guess, where it doesn't matter what the weather is or whether it's light or dark outside, because there's so much activity and artificial lighting. But out in the country, winter can get monotonous and mono-tonal.

Right now it's time to start working on that duck. By the way, the Larousse Gastronomique food and cooking encyclopedia says that « en langage gastronomique, le canard est toujours appelé caneton » — in the world of French gastronomy all domesticated ducks are called canetons (young ducks). Because that's what they are (or ought to be), the book goes on to say.


  1. Bonjour Ken,
    I’d say the “Larousse gastronomique” is blind and has never been [me neither!] to the restaurant La Tour d’Argent where a famous specialty is “Le canard à l’orange.” Following LG assertion and affirmation it should be called “Le caneton à l’orange.” I rest my case [or whatever is left of it]. LOL

    Please, keep me a slice of your terrine [de caneton forestière], I’ll be right over!

  2. The Larousse Gastronomique has two recipes for Caneton à l'orange ou à la bigarrade : poêlé ou bien braisé.

    J'ai comme une impression en lisant et en parlant de tout ça. Ce serait que la langue... évolue ! Serait-ce possible ?

    J'ai dépecé la canette-caneton-canard ce matin. J'ai mis les morceaux à mariner pour 18 heures avec des épices, du sel et du poivre. Je mettrai la terrine au four demain matin.

  3. Those colors certainly are uplifting :))

  4. Winter and hibernating has its charm too.

  5. I lived on a farm as a kid. Not much going on during the winter.


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