Entries from May 2018

Do Foxes Wear Gloves?

May 16, 2018

foxgloves

Monet’ house at Giverny, mid-May. Click to enlarge. 

Some flower names sound really strange, like foxgloves. These tall and beautiful flowers (also called digitalis) photographed here at the top of the main alley in Claude Monet’s flower garden like the shade of the two old yews. Under the dark branches, they feel at home, as if they had just escaped from a wood. They thrive in the forests of Normandy, wherever the soil is acidic enough. 

With their spiky shape they resemble fairy hats, what leads us to the origin of their common name. According to a friend of mine, foxgloves derive from folks gloves, these folks being the fairies, of course. I don’t know if it’s true, but I like this explanation…

Cows in the Mist at Giverny

May 8, 2018

cows-giverny

Just before sunrise, a light mist arises from the meadows of Giverny and Vernon. Cows that stay outside from April to November are already eating their breakfast. Different breeds can be found in the same herd. The ones pictured here are Rouges des Prés, which means Reds of the Meadows, formerly called Maine-Anjou after a region in the Loire valley.

Three weeks ago they were brought to the field by trucks, together with the calves. The young ones had never seen anything else than the stable. They looked excited, running around like children in the schoolyard. When you watch them, you cannot help but share their joy. They have now calmed down, though their motions are still more lively than those of their mothers. 

I can see the cows through the window when I look up from the screen of the computer. They are very familiar neighbors, but one day they surprised me. Two teams were playing soccer in the football field nearby. The cows probably wondered what happened. They lined along the fence and watched. Or maybe they just wanted to know who was going to win.