Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Our hamlet in the snow

Sunday's snow storm was quite an exciting event for us. We don't often see this much snow at once. Those of you who live in real winter climates won't think this is very much snow at all. What we got was wet and heavy and the shrubs and trees are bending (and in some cases, breaking) under the weight.

Our little hamlet and the Cher River valley beyond.

The snow lasted until after dark, but I think it tapered off pretty quickly. Around six pm, our lights flickered and went out. I lit up some candles and threw another couple of logs on the fire. We ate a hot bowl of soup (thank goodness for gas stoves) and sat around for a while before calling it a night. The power came back on before midnight, so the contents of our freezers were safe and we had a full tank of hot water in the morning.

Another view from farther out among the vines.

The sight was beautiful on Monday morning when I went out to walk with Callie. There was no wind, so it wasn't too cold and the snow hadn't blown out of the trees. I took a lot of photos, mostly of the same old stuff. They'll serve to jog our memories in future years when we reminisce about the Thanksgiving weekend storm of 2010.

Now you know you will be seeing snow photos for the next few days.

Monday, November 29, 2010

I wonder what's behind here

This is an iron, or steel, I don't know, gate on one of the little streets in the center of Saint-Aignan. I can see that there is a courtyard and entry to someone's house. Since I've not seen the gate open, I have no idea whether it hides a lush garden, a stone-paved courtyard, a parking space and car, or a huge pile of debris. One never knows.

Somebody's gate in Saint-Aignan.

Sunday started out like any normal day, but it got very strange. It started snowing in mid-morning. A few flurries, a curiosity. Then, by about eleven, it started snowing big flakes and began to accumulate. By three o'clock we had at least four inches on the ground and the snow was still coming down.

I de-wormed the animals, too. That was just a matter of giving each of them a little pill. Callie's pill was bigger than Bertie's, so I chopped it up and mixed it with her lunch. She normally doesn't like pills. The worm medicine became available in a chewable form for dogs abour a year ago, and Callie really liked that last time. But the receptionist at the vet's office said she stopped ordering it because nobody seemed to like it. I told her I did, because Callie liked the chewable. So maybe she'll order some more now.

I followed the doctor's advice and enrobed Bertie's pill in butter. He ate it up without any problem. I also brought him upstairs for a while on Sunday after lunch. He was ok, but it was clear he just wanted to go back down to the utility room. I figure, whatever the cat wants is ok with me. But I want him to know he can hang out in the warm house as opposed to the less warm utility room if he wants to.

I wrote most of this post on Sunday, while snow was falling. It's now 7:30 am and I'm waiting for light to take Callie out. I'll take the camera out, too, and maybe I'll get some snowy photos for tomorrow.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Scenes from winter during fall

It seems like winter has set in. But it's still November and, officially, winter is still a good three weeks away. Well, the solstice is. I'm wondering, as we all must, what this early chill and snowfall mean. A long hard winter? Or an early spring? Only waiting will reveal that.

The field at the foot of our road on Saturday morning. Behind those trees is the Cher River.

In the meantime, we are in our winter pattern. Days inside (except for walks with the dog). Afternoon and evening fires in the wood stove (and that means cleaning out the ashes every morning, chopping up a few logs, and lugging them up the stairs from woodpile). Lunches of hearty, stick-to-your-ribs kinds of foods (yesterday was macaroni and cheese, today is blanquette de dinde).

We still hold out hope that we'll have some sunny dry weather before the end of December in which to get a little more done in the yard. There are still all those leaves on the ground to deal with.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thanksgiving snow

It's unusual to have snow this early where we live. We didn't have a lot, but it stuck overnight and we woke up on Friday to these pretty sights.

The view from our kitchen window, looking easterly.

The temperatures have fallen to freezing, obviously. But they're not climbing much. We're just hovering at zero for the next few days. There are no more predictions for snow for the moment.

The view from the guest room window, looking westerly.

Most of our snow, when we get it, comes in January or February. I think the biggest single accumulation we've seen in the seven and a half years we've lived here was about five or six inches. And that was exceptional. We'll see how the rest of the year goes.

Bertie's vet visit on Friday was good. He was a very good cat and just sat on the vet's table and let himself be caressed (the vet is very gentle with animals) and then didn't even flinch when he got his vaccination. We got a confirmation of the worm diagnosis, so we're administering de-worming pills this weekend (to Callie as well, for good measure).

As far as his behavior goes, the vet said he sounded like a normal cat. No worries. If the neighbors don't like him, he said, they shouldn't pet him or otherwise encourage him. We live in the country and there are cats around, just like there are birds, badgers, and hedgehogs. Once they work out their territorial issues with the neighboring cats, and they usually do, there shouldn't be any more conflicts (and there are very few cat/cat problems now with Bertie).

We think this particular neighbor is just difficult. Everyone around us seems to confirm that. She's going to complain, no matter what. It's in her nature.

Ken and I both feel much better about Bertie and how he's doing.

Friday, November 26, 2010

The day after

Thanksgiving day was a success! We were six at the table. Our steamed Moroccan lamb was delicious. I took some photos, but they're not very interesting (or technically worthy), so I will spare you. Instead, another photo from Saint-Aignan.

Another cobbled street in Saint-Aignan.

Today we are taking Bertie to the vet to update his shots and to get some de-worming meds. His recent illness might be related to worms, or so the vet said. We're hopeful that it will be that simple. He came up to see the Thanksgiving guests for a few minutes yesterday. But with two dogs in the house, his cameo was brief.

Then last night, while Callie was resting in the den, I took Bertie up to the loft space and he sat on my legs while we watched tv for about an hour. I could tell he was enjoying being in the house and hanging out with us. Once Callie came upstairs we had to take Bert back down to his room. But I think we're making some progress.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Cobbled together

The part of Saint-Aignan that's closest to the river is, of course, the oldest part of town. There are some buildings remaining from the medieval days, but they're just a handful. I think most of the current buildings date from the nineteenth century. The streets of town have been paved and re-paved over the centuries. Since we've been here, we've noticed the town installing more and more cobblestones in the old-fashioned style.

The streets of Saint-Aignan-sur-Cher.

Just this past summer, you may recall, St.-Aignan's central place was re-paved with fresh cobbles (here's a link to my post about it). Right now it looks a little too new. I think there were issues with the way the work was done and how the stones were sealed. Some friends told us that the town may scrape or otherwise remove whatever sealant they used. Not sure how that will work out.

In this photo, the cobbles are not new and have been in place since before we arrived. The pattern looks like something from the seventies or eighties, but I really don't know when this was done. This is a residential section of town between the river and the central place.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The lazy Cher

The river looks sleepy this time of year. It's moderately full, but still slow-moving. At Saint-Aignan it splits around an island; the northern branch flows over a spillway and the southern branch is dammed to make a small reservoir for a mill that used to stand on the bridge. The mill is long gone.

The Cher at St.-Aignan, looking downriver. The spillway is just visible on the upper right.

I took this picture at the foot of the rue Maurice Berteaux which runs along what was, in medieval times, a large drainage ditch around the town. This is the point at which the ditch emptied into the river. And I'm sure the storm drains that replaced the ditch when the road was built still empty into the river at this spot. You can kind of see where that happens under the stone wall on the left side.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I went to the doctor and the doctor said

I had my semi-annual checkup on Monday. All went well. My blood work was fine, all markers good if not a little higher than last time. But he said there was no cause for concern. I lost two pounds since my last visit in June. He wants me to cut back on "le bon vin de Touraine." The good wine of our region. So, if I take him literally, I can increase my intake of wine from Bordeaux, Burgundy, or Champagne, as long as I cut back on the local stuff. Yeah, right.

The sign tells me not to walk, so I didn't.

This photo is of the church and château in Saint-Aignan. My car is parked in this lot because I needed to stop at the blood lab to get my results before I headed to the doctor's office. They send him the results separately, but I had to go and get my copy and pay my fee. I had some time in between so I walked around town a little and took some pictures.

It's cold, not above 40ºF, and it's overcast and spitting rain. It is November, after all.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Leek and bacon pizza

Leeks were on sale. Seventy-five euro cents a kilo, or about fifty American cents a pound. I used some on Sunday to make leek and bacon pizzas. First steps: cook some smokey bacon until almost done and cook some cleaned and chopped leeks in a little olive oil, white wine, salt, and pepper.

Chopped leeks sauteing in olive oil and white wine. I added few red pepper flakes, too.

I made the pizza crust on Saturday night and it rose overnight in the refrigerator. Then I rolled it out, topped it with some of the bacon and the leeks, and put it on a pizza stone in a 275ºC (525ºF) oven. There's no cheese, but I think a little parmesan might be good on these. I made two pizzas, as usual, and they made a great lunch.

A finished pizza ready to slice and eat! The little decorative strips of bacon are optional.

I used two rather large leeks (the green tops removed and frozen for soup stock later) to make two pizzas. I also used ten strips of smokey bacon (a package of 140 grams) that I baked in the oven at 150ºC (300ºF) until almost done. I find that baking bacon is much easier and neater than frying it in a pan on top of the stove. Normally I would use the smokey bacon chunks called lardons, but we had these strips on hand so I used them.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

All the leaves are brown. And yellow.

Not a great photo, but it shows the dramatic leaf drop we had with recent storms. This forsythia in the back yard has already set its buds for next spring.

Almost all the leaves are gone having fallen pretty much in one day.

After it blooms, it will get trimmed seriously back. I've let it go a bit too long.

I took my camera with me to the blood lab this morning thinking I could snap a few shots of the river in the morning fog. When I got down there I realized there was no memory card in the camera. D'oh! This tells me that I should keep an extra memory card in the car for such occasions.

Friday, November 19, 2010


That's French for rainbow. There was a pretty cool rainbow out back on Sunday morning. The sun was rising in the east and a rain system was moving in from the west.

A tree of gold at the end of the rainbow.

I wish the photo did the sight justice, but I was hurrying to get a shot before the rainbow disappeared.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

There and back again

This image sums up the weather and the mood around here right now. Leaves mostly gone. Skies leaden. Colors muted. Ground damp. And now it's getting colder. It's all to be expected, of course. It's that time of year. But there are normally a few sunny and dry days mixed in. Enough to lift the spirits and get us out into the yard a little.

Looking up at the overcast sky.

But so far we've had more of the gloomy and wet and less of the sunny and dry. I hope the whole winter doesn't go like this. It probably won't.

I've picked up The Lord of the Rings again. I read it every few years. This will make the tenth time in thirty-four years that I've read it. I always enjoy it; I find that I've not concentrated on some section or chapter the last time through and it's almost like reading it for the first time. And the story becomes richer and more complete. At least for me.

And another thing that I find curious: now that I've lived nearly eight years in France and have come to know many British people, I realize that the book, written by an Englishman, is filled with cultural references, words, and expressions the meanings of which I just couldn't grasp as a young, somewhat insulated American. A simple example of this is "elevenses," a tea time between breakfast and lunch. A custom we Americans don't have; for us, tea is a drink, not a meal. I can't imagine what I thought when those voracious hobbits were upset about missing "elevenses." I didn't understand then that it was one of the many meals of their day (after first breakfast and second breakfast, but before luncheon, of course).

It's interesting to re-read some of the books I've read as a young person. My understanding of things as a fifty year old is so very different from when I was high school age, or even in my twenties. I've recently re-read Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell. So much more meaningful now than when I was fifteen or sixteen. And a year or so ago, just for fun, I read The Last of the Mohicans by Cooper. Wow. I missed so much stuff the first time through. I should re-read more of that stuff from high school and finally figure out what I was supposed to have learned back then.

I wonder how many of my teenage classmates were lost in all that literature like I was. I was completely at sea with Shakespeare and poetry in general. I trudged through those plays and books and short stories by the likes of Arthur Miller, John Steinbeck, Thornton Wilder, Ray Bradbury, Edgar Allen Poe, and all the others. It's not that I didn't enjoy some of them, but I just couldn't get what all the fuss was about. I supposed I absorbed enough to regurgitate what my teachers expected. At least enough to get by. I dreaded having to write essays about the motivations of protagonists and antagonists and over-arching and parallel themes and how did I interpret the subtle references to, what was it again? Ugh.

I was better at math and science. Hard cold reality. Something I could grasp and hold on to. Right answers. Wrong answers. Proofs. Reason. The only nebulous things in those subjects were clouds and gasses. What a nerd.

And I liked French, too. I took French from the sixth grade through twelfth. French was fun; it was kind of like math. One giant set of formulas. All I had to do was to plug in the right variables and it worked. And it fulfilled my foreign language requirement. Do American high schools still have foreign language requirements, I wonder?

Oh, and I liked musical theater, although I had no talent for it. Still, it was fun to watch. My high school actually had an elective class called "American Musical Theater," which of course I enrolled in. Most of the students in that class were girls, the rest of us were nerds. It got one-half of one of my English credits out of the way. We took a field trip in that class to New York City to see Yul Brenner in The King and I. That experience remains one of my coolest memories (by coincidence, Brenner is buried not far from where I currently live in France). For my final paper in that class I wrote a biography of Barbra Streisand. Stop snickering.

I got another half-credit in English for a class called "Fantasy in Literature." In addition to Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, we read Tolkien in that class. And that was my first exposure to The Lord of the Rings. As usual, I was completely lost. It was a hard read for me, complex, very long, and filled with words I didn't understand. I couldn't keep up the pace. Especially during class discussions of the chapters I had yet to slog through. Still, there was something interesting there. It just took me a little more time and a few re-readings, on my own terms, to come to appreciate it. And, after thirty-four years, I'm happily reading it again. For the tenth time.

See how nicely I wrapped that up?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Mini kiwi fruit

A funny thing happened earlier this week. We noticed that our neighbors across the street were down from Blois on Sunday doing errands at their summer house. During the time they were here, we saw them picking some fruit off a large bush that we can see from our kitchen window. A few hours later, after they had returned to Blois, some other people were in our neighbors' yard picking fruit from the same tree.

A close up of mini kiwis picked from our neighbors' yard.

After the other people left, I walked over to see what they were picking. I realized right away that it was the mini kiwi that our neighbors had pointed out to us once. It's loaded with fruit right now and, if you didn't know better, you'd think they were olives. But we don't live in a climate that's good for olives and the bush doesn't look anything like an olive tree.

The neighbors' tree, laden with fruit. Our house in the background.

So I got curious as to what mini kiwis actually are. Are they really kiwis? Apparently, yes. They've been around for a long time, probably just a wild variety of the larger kiwi that's been successfully commercialized. Did you know that France is the fifth largest producer of kiwi fruit in the world? Neither did I.

A cluster of mini kiwis next to a fork for scale. See how they look like olives?

Then, on Monday, I noticed Chez Loulou post a link on Facebook to one of the articles I had found about the mini kiwi and how some producers in France are trying to commercialize it as well. Here's the article. Such a strange coincidence!

So Ken suggested that the mini kiwi would be a good subject for a blog post. I got the camera out immediately and took these photos. I also ate a few mini kiwis. Very good! They taste just like their larger cousins, only the skin is thin and smooth and edible. I'm not quite sure what to do with them except to eat them as a snack. Any ideas?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Saturday night sunset

Since summer, the point on the horizon where the sun sets has been moving steadily to the left (south) as we look westerly through the windows on the back side of the house. In another month or so, at the solstice, it will begin its swing back toward the north again. We have beautiful sunsets all during the year, but somehow November sunsets stand out. I don't know why.

Not the most spectacular sunset, but still pretty. Click to embiggen.

This was the view this past Saturday night, er, evening (getting close to afternoon, actually) as the sun set. The sun is setting these days at about a quarter past five. It will be even earlier as we approach the solstice.

Interesting fact: if you could look straight west of here right through the center of this photo, beyond the horizon, beyond the western coast of France, and across the Atlantic, the first land you would see would be the easternmost coast of Newfoundland, just south of the city of Saint John's.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Periodic Puppy Pics

Here's Mademoiselle Chose (Miss Thing) slinking among the vines out back. Actually, she's not slinking, she's just waiting for me to catch up.

The vines have lost all of their leaves now. The pruners have started their work, but not yet in this parcel.

Callie loves running across the rows of vines. She seldom runs the length of a row, preferring to cut through between the trunks, under the tendrils and leaves and wires. The first time she did this, as a puppy, she didn't know about the wires and nearly decapitated herself. She only did that once. Now she's quite an expert at maneuvering among the vines.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

I made a leek upside down pie

I've done this before. It's a tarte tatin de poireaux. It's kind of a sweet and spicy dish, made with caramel and curry. Very tasty. But this time it didn't look nice. So there are no photos of the finished dish. Just the ingredients.

Sliced leeks, ready to be made into a sweet and spicy pie.

The pie tasted fine, but it looked rather messy. The first time I made it, a little more than a year ago, it turned out great. You can see that here. But not this time. I think the problem is in the measurements. The recipe has the wrong measurements, and for some reason I knew that the first time. The second time I forgot, so I used too much cream and it came out strange.

Oh well. You win some. You lose some.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Gloomy days

The past few days have been gloomy. Dark, cloudy, rainy. And windy. I can deal with dark, cloudy, and rainy for a while before it starts to get to me. But the incessant wind, days on end, that really does it. I just want it to stop.

The view of our hamlet this morning from out in the vineyards.

I am hopeful that the forecasters have it right when they say we only have to endure the wind for two more days and that by Monday morning we should have the calm back. Two large low pressure systems have been taking their time crossing western Europe and France in particular. They're churning up warm moist air from the Mediterranean and mixing it with cool moist air from the Atlantic. Or something like that. It isn't pretty.

A longer view from farther out.

This weather keeps us inside, except for our walks with Callie twice a day. But the walks aren't all that pleasant if (a) it's raining, (b) the wind is fighting you every step of the way, and (c) the ground beneath your feet is squishy mud.

One of our cold frames got picked up by the wind and moved a few meters. Nothing broke, so it's ok. The wind isn't fierce like it was during last February's big storm. Still. I don't know if I could live in the south of France where the mistral blows for days on end. All. Year. Long.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Our town in stained glass

This is one of the stained glass windows in our town's church. It depicts the town along the Cher River as seen from the heights above. Supposedly the statue in the woods exists, but I don't know where it is. One of these days we'll have to try to find out.

A window in our town's modest church.

You can see red, yellow, and brown grape leaves on the ground to the right of the statue's base. It's obviously an autumn scene. There are some gray/blue pickets sticking up from the ground among the fallen leaves, just like in the actual vineyards up on the heights.

We're expecting friends down from Paris for lunch today. It's a holiday in France (Armistice Day) so most people have the day off from work. I'm planning raviolis for lunch. Ciao!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

One more from Chenonceau

I haven't taken any photos for over a week, so you get another view of the Château de Chenonceau from the first of November. Again, we walked along the left bank of the river on a public trail that goes right past the castle.

Notice the renaissance style windows and chimneys projecting from the roof of the logis.

This is a view of the upriver, or east, facade of the gallery (over the water) and the logis which comprises the bulk of the building. I removed the color hoping for a more detailed image of the stone.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Échafaudages au Château de Chenonceau

It is inevitable. With so many beautiful old (centuries old) buildings in every corner of France, renovations and maintenance are a fact of life. And renovations and maintenance are ongoing tasks; they do not end. Sometimes you don't notice. Sometimes you do.

Phase 3 renovations under way. Click to enchenonceate.

I'm not sure exactly when the échafaudages (scaffolding) went up here at Chenonceau. I think it was about two years ago. From what I've read, the current work is Phase Three of a three part renovation of the castle's exterior stonework and lighting. Also, the old souvenir shop was moved out of the Tour des Marques (on the left in this photo) to a newer, larger location. The entrance and ticket booths have also been expanded to handle the busloads of visitors that arrive year round.

Visiting the castle should be an even more amazing experience once all the work is complete.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Corbels at Chenonceau

In this image you can see three distinct corbelled elements on the Chenonceau castle. Corbels project from a wall to support architectural features like turrets and balconies or just a larger floor area on levels above a building's footprint.

Three good examples of corbels used in the castle's construction.

Corbels can also project into a building to form stone roofs. They can be as simple brackets or highly elaborate and carved. I thought these three distinctly different corbel styles on the same wall made for an interesting photo.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

The Cher at Chenonceau

If you read Ken's blog, you know that we walked along the river at the Château de Chenonceau on Monday with our house guests. There were a few other people, but most of the time it was just us. The river was calmly sliding by as the trees dropped leaves into the water.

Looking down river. Click to enfoliate.

This is a walk we discovered the first year we lived here. There's no charge to walk along the trail and the views of the castle are spectacular. Of course, you don't get to go inside, nor do you get to see the gardens on the right bank (the trail is on the left bank). But that doesn't matter if you've done all that before.

Golden leaves on the right bank reflected in the water.

In summer the woods are green and there are many wild flowers around. There are often kayakers paddling up and down the river under the castle. This time of year the woods are golden and the light is very different. And we didn't see a single kayak on the water.

A flotilla of autumn leaves.

I suspect that in winter, the views are also interesting. One day, should we have a clear, sunny, dry day this winter, I should make it a point to go over there with the camera and check it out. I bet it would also be pretty in snow, but driving over there in snow and trudging along a slippery river bank trail may not be the greatest idea.

And just one more.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Do you know the way?

This is a directional sign at the main intersection in Faverolles-sur-Cher. The largest nearby town is Montrichard, just a few kilometers away. Beneath that is the sign that points to the mairie (town hall). The other places are just little hamlets here and there (mostly there).

A typical directional sign in small French towns.

There are also indications for une aire de pique-nique (a picnic area) and two (count 'em!) parking areas.

Friday, November 05, 2010


Seen in the street near the main intersection in Faverolles-sur-Cher: these access covers to the domestic water supply. Several branches must intersect with the main at this point. The markings show positions for "F" for fermé (closed) and "O" for ouvert (open).

"Eau" means water.

What I don't know is if that means turning the thing makes the cover come off or if it turns the water off and on. Any ideas?

Thursday, November 04, 2010

L'église à Faverolles

Just another small town church, this one in Faverolles-sur-Cher. It, too, was locked so we didn't get to see inside, but the outside was interesting enough. These small churches are built on simple plans and seem to have been added to, patched, and renovated over time.

The gothic style back end of the church at Faverolles. Click to massify.

Often the chairs or pews inside these churches have nameplates on them, dedicated (and likely paid for) by local families that date back generations. The churches are used for weddings and funerals, and depending on if there is a church official in town, the celebration of mass.

Some details of the building's exterior. What seems to be an addition is roofed in clay tiles.

Of course, all the big Catholic holidays are covered, like Easter, Christmas, and a few others. But often these small churches don't have someone to do a weekly mass. I understand that some church officials rotate from town to town during the year so that there is a regular if not frequent service in the small towns for the older people who can't get around easily.

The church's main roof and steeple are covered in ardoise (slate).

These churches are also used occasionally for concerts and other cultural events. I've been to a couple of classical music concerts in a very small church up on the Loire River in past years.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010


Faverolles is another of the small towns down the road from ours on the left bank of the Cher River. The town is of similar size to ours with a population of about 1,100 people. Like St.-Julien-de-Chédon, Faverolles is up on the river bank close to the vineyards (our town center is down in the valley close to the river).

Faverolles' town center has this little sign and wine press in a park near the town hall.

The center of town is pretty much just an intersection. But there is a town hall, a church and cemetery, a little park, and some older and some newer houses. There's not a lot of action in town and there are no stores or bakeries. All that happens elsewhere.

A glimpse into Faverolles' cemetery. Fresh mums abound.

We parked the car and walked around a bit. Ken and our friends wandered among the graves inside the cemetery while I strolled around the church and the main intersection of town. There were a few cars in and out of town, mostly stopping at the cemetery, and I saw two people on foot.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010


This is a tiny town just down the road from us, one that we pass by all the time. In seven and a half years, however, we've never pulled off the by-pass to look at the actual town. Until yesterday. Having guests at the house is a great excuse to do some exploring!

The church's steeple (not seen here) is topped with a wrought iron cross and this rooster.

The town is tiny; just a small collection of houses among vineyards on the heights above the river. There is no commerce. If there ever was, it's now all moved closer to the main road or across the river to Montrichard. But there is this tiny church. It wasn't open on Monday, so we didn't get to see inside.

The main facade of the church above the entry porch.

The entry porch of the church is under a three-arched arcade that is either relatively new or recently renovated. The bright newness of the stone clashed a bit with the older and different stones of the main building. I didn't like the way my photos of that came out, so you don't get to see them here.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Apples at Indian Ladder Farms

Continuing with some of the photos from my trip to upstate New York a year ago. This is part of the store at Indian Ladder Farms. ILF is essentially an apple orchard where you can pick your own apples or buy them by the bushel. They grow and sell all manner of fall crops in addition to apples: squash, corn, pumpkins. And they have a cider press and a bakery.

Apples for sale at Indian Ladder Farms, Altamont, New York.

Everything is good there and I like to visit whenever I'm back home in autumn. The McIntosh apples are my favorite. And I love fresh apple cider. They make great donuts, plain and cinnamon-sugar. And pies. Oh, the pies! It's just one of those local places that celebrates local produce. And I love that.