Thursday, March 22, 2012

A little orchard

Down the hill to the north of the house is a hiking trail called une randonnée. These are marked trails that wind their way all around France. There is a network of grandes randonnées (long-distance national trails) that intersect with many petites randonnées (smaller networks of local trails). The one near us a part of Grande Randonnée 41, which goes from the city of Tours down to the Le Mont-Dore in the Puy-de-Dôme. That's a long trail!

A little well-tended orchard of about twenty trees, apples and plums, I think.

The trails are usually pretty well maintained and are well marked so that hikers can follow them easily. We've walked a tiny part of the trail from where it crosses our road into Saint-Aignan and also in the other direction to Mareuil-sur-Cher, each walk about two and a half kilometers (one way), but that's as far as we've gone.

When we get to the bottom of the hill we can either turn right, which Callie and I normally do, and follow the trail for a while in one direction, or turn left, which Callie and Ken often do, and follow the trail in the other.

Callie waits for me at the bottom of the hill to see which way I'm going to turn. She almost always wants to go left but, like I said, I normally go right. The other day I went left. Callie was happy.

There's a little orchard along the way on the left-branch of the trail. It's a small plot of land on the edge of a field and whoever owns it tends it well. He plows the ground around the trees to keep the weeds down. I've seen him pruning the trees a time or two. And I've seen him out picking fruit.

There are several little orchards like this one around where we live. I don't know if they're owned by the same guy or other people. I like that they exist on the edges of the woods; the natural and the tended thrive side by side.


  1. I prefer Susan's method of orchard
    maintenance. Just careful mowing so
    that wildflowers, orchids and insects
    have a favorable environment in which
    to thrive.


  2. Tours to Mont-Dore, that sounds like a nice walk. The first part, from Tours to Mareuil sur Arnon (how many Mareuil are there?) looks like it covers some very pleasant terrain and not steep or difficult.

  3. I so enjoy your guided tours of the countryside of France Walt. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Walt, these trails sound glorious and I love how they wind their way through the countryside. And these are all over France?

  5. There is a lesson there Walt. Left is good, right is bad.


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