Today was Mother’s Day in France, so it was darned decent of Mother Nature herself to stop with the rain and start with the sun. (I’m not sure, by the way, why the United Nations can’t sort out Mother’s Day properly. For the U.S. and Canada, it’s the second Sunday in May, so Mother’s Day for my Mom in Florida was May 12. Meanwhile, Mother’s Day was celebrated way back on March 10 in the U.K., where the holiday is also known as Mothering Sunday. Just thought you’d want that clarified.)
In any case, my wife Jan and I had missed our chance for a nice bike ride yesterday, because we hadn’t left the house until the late morning — and promptly got caught in the rain just a kilometre or so from home. We were determined to take advantage of the sun today, and I’ll use this posting to show off some of our scenery.
Cycling activity in the Greater Daglan Area is definitely picking up. As Jan and I entered the main square of Daglan, a group of a dozen or so cyclists were powering through the village; I managed to get this photo of a few of them:
Although late May should be firmly at the start of the busy tourist season, our village’s Sunday market remains a bit smaller than I recall for this time of year. For today, however, there was a clear star — at the centre of the square was the vendor of plants and flowers, probably expecting a booming business on Mother’s Day. Here’s his display, with Jan on the left in her green cycling jacket, getting ready to set out:
Despite the sunshine, the temperature was still quite cool, and I was glad I was wearing my Dark Knight gear. (A Scottish visitor was introduced to us by mutual friends at the end of our ride, and he said I looked more like a Storm Trooper than anyone he’d ever met. I think it was a compliment. Sort of.) The combination of brilliant sunshine and cool air meant that it was taking a while for the morning fog to burn off, and in fact it looked to us like some clouds were hanging low in the valleys around Daglan. See what you think:
Continuing north from Daglan on the main road, we stopped at the café La Plage in Castelnaud-la-Chapelle for coffees, and then carried on, riding past the beautiful Château de Fayrac and getting as far as Château des Milandes before turning back. Once we returned to Castelnaud, we got off the main road and took the bicycle path for the remaining 10 kilometres back to Daglan.
Along the way, the path runs through a series of walnut groves, open fields, forested areas, and agricultural land. Some of the cereal crops are already quite tall, and should be ready for harvesting before long. Meanwhile, the corn that’s been planted — as in this field — is just poking out of the soil:
Finally, after what seems a slow start, the leaves are popping out on the walnut trees, as in this grove a few kilometres north of Daglan:
Another welcome sight are all the red poppies that are growing in the fields. This is a particularly nice looking display of the flowers, right beside the bike trail:
In total, our ride this morning was a bit longer than 30 kilometres. When we returned to the village, it was nearing lunch time, so Jan got busy in the kitchen while I got the charcoal going in our barbecue, and then drove out of the village to the déchetterie with a load of garbage bags and items for recycling. When I returned to Daglan at about 1 p.m., the weekly market was winding down, and many of the vendors were either gone or in the last stages of packing their trucks and vans.
Sadly, the vendor who seemed to have the most merchandise left over to be packed away in his van was the flower seller. I can only guess that the Mother’s Day business wasn’t quite as good as he’d hoped.