Saturday, September 15, 2012

Westering, as ever was this season.

The bags aren't packed, but the maps and e-mails with directions are printed, it's only a couple of days and we could quite easily really go in the clothes we stand up in, and Molly doesn't stand up in any clothes save her collar.

As long as said clothes are not too brightly coloured.  Because we are going to spend an afternoon at Fauconnerie Bretagne, and the falcons, and the hawks and the owls, don't like bright colours. They don't like dogs either, so Molly must have a good walk around the lake at Huelgoat and wait for us in the car.  This outing is in aid of Tom's birthday, a half-decade one so worthy of a special treat.  In fact falconry is something which has long held a fascination for me, and when, by a train of memories and curious Googling I discovered an English couple had set up this centre in Finistere, I was pleasantly surprised at how easily Tom was persuaded that it was just what he wanted to do too, once he understood that there were owls involved and that he didn't have to feed them live mice.

So he gets to carry them about and feed them dead mice, and I get to come as a guest and take their photos, which suits me just fine.  And Huelgoat, which has never been far away but where we have never bothered to visit because we tend to go to the seaside when we go abroad in Brittany, appears even to be something of an aesthetic and cultural oasis, with renowned art galleries, shops and restaurants as well as the lake and the rock forms and the Arthurian associations and the woods where Victor Segalen was found mysteriously dead with a copy of Hamlet open beside him, so the story goes. We're spending a couple of nights there, then looking in on our friends at Kerbiriou before we come home.

So, God-willing-weather-permitting, I should be back in a few days with, I hope, rapturous pictures of raptors.  In the meanwhile, here are some kissing pumpkins.


The orange potimarron type, on the left, are mostly ready already, and we have harvested three and turned them into curry and soup, and very good they were too.  Their seed brothers, the bluey-greyish-green lumpy ones an example of which you see here, and which are more like the one I saved the seeds from, are only just ripening.  The whopping great cartoonish rouge vif d'Etampes are only just turning orange, and certainly won't be good eating yet, but at least one of them has been bagged to be turned into a vegetable Kool Drum, so they have a noble destiny.

Must away to bed to head west on the morrow.  See you soon.

11 comments:

Bruce Taylor, a.k.a. Catalyst said...

I can't wait to see your photos.

Dale said...

:-) Sounds grand!

Roderick Robinson said...

Aha, a shared passion. Raptors. For my sixty-fifth my infants arranged a behind-the-scenes at Whipsnade and I got to support a Harris hawk on my (gloved) wrist. As I did so another family group was passing by and the paterfamilias asked: "How did you get to do that?" My daughter said: "By ringing up the zoo and begging." The pf turned to his wife: "That's what I want for my birthday."

Peregrine even more splendid. Tell Tom to look at their eyes: huge, brilliant and ever on the go. Guess what I've decided to come back as. Happy b. Tom. May you be transported briefly to another world.

Anonymous said...

What a lovely autumn adventure. Makes me happy to think of you traipsing about taking photos and admiring falcons. XO, alison

Rouchswalwe said...

Oh! This calls for a special Prost! Lebe hoch, Tom! Live high as the wings of the raptors can take you.

marja-leena said...

Perhaps you are back now so hope it was a wonderful birthday for Tom, and fun for you, especially the photography. Looking forward to another lovely report with some rapturous pictures.

Lucy said...

Back now after a wonderful time, still sifting photos but will post soon!

Setu said...

I almost bumped into you... I was at Huelgoat on Monday morning (I had to get exhibition posters there) ;-) I was a bit misty at that time.

Lucy said...

Setu, how funny, we were walking the chaos and then eating brioche at the salon de thé in the square on Monday morning! Of course we wouldn't have known you, but it's not inconceivable if you had seen us you might have recognised us... We liked the town very much, though it was crowded with VTTers when we arrived, then getting a bit out of seasonish so quite a few of the shops and galleries were closed. I think we'll go back.

Setu said...

Yes, it is quite funny! "Le monde est petit". On my way back from the "mairie", at about 9;30, since I had some time before going to Locmaria-Berrien, where I was only due at 10, I parked my car near the lake and walked a few steps because I wanted to take a picture of "Jack Kerouac's plaque" (on the dam, not far from the chaos entrance). On my way back to the car, II remember passing 3 people (1 man with a white beard and 2 ladies with spectacles, all of them with blue waterproofs or jumpers) that were heading for the chaos.

zephyr said...

i do love those kissing pumpkins!