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A surprise encounter during my hike today!

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Hello dear Sparkfriends!

I loved the name of the village where my hike started today... Lalandelle... It made me think of 'lullaby'... I thought it was gentle and I hoped the hike would be a bit like that too. I wasn't disappointed, it was lovely... And of course, there was THE surprise too... but I'll tell you more about it later! :)

The first part of the hike was one of my favorite sceneries... pretty hilly green countryside...

Then it entered the forest, where I stayed for quite a while. But I didn't mind, because it was so peaceful and beautiful...

In some areas, there were some gorgeous ferns.

And some flowers! I think this one might be the bird's-foot trefoil (Lotus corniculatus):

And this one is a redshank (Persicaria maculosa):

This is all that is left of fireweeds/rosebay willowherbs (Epilobium angustifolium). They were so beautiful a few weeks ago! Yet, the way they dry is quite interesting, don't you think?

I really enjoyed the edge of the forest. I walked on that path for quite a while, and it felt good!

Then I went back deep into the forest. It was mostly pines at first. The smell was wonderful!

And it is when I saw THE SURPRISE!!!

At first I thought it was a deer, but it was actually a young hart (look carefully on his head)... I am not sure the English words are right though, I am not an expert in wild animals!!! [EDIT: It was a male roe deer, thank you QUILTINGB52 and NUOVAELLE!... Just checked the French translation, 'chevreuil', oh of course, it makes completely sense!]

I know for some of you, this is quite banal as you see wild animals all the time... But for me, it is great! It is the 3rd time this summer I am meeting a big wild animal (I think the first two times it was definitely a deer though), but it is the first time ever I am able to take some pictures of it. It made my day!

When he saw me, he stared at me for quite a while. I didn't move. I was quite far away (I used my powerful zoom to take the pictures, this is why some are a bit blurred as it is difficult to stay completely still)... But as soon as I moved, he ran away!

The last part of the hike was through the fields, and the light was getting that golden color it has on beautiful evenings (it was about 6pm by then).

I got back to Lalandelle just as the cows were going back to their farm for the night... The farmer was very happy I took their picture. He told me they liked to have their photo taken, it made them feel like they were stars! He seemed genuinely happy, it was cute!

I passed the school (isn't it a pretty school?), which will welcome children again from Tuesday as this is the day when most children will go back to school in France after the lllllllong summer vacation!

And that was the end of my hike! 3 hours and 45 minutes today. Pffff I'll sleep well tonight!

Thank you for all your comments and encouragements on my blog yesterday. I felt so moved you took time to comment in such a meaningful and sometimes very personal way. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.
Have a beautiful week! emoticon
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    727 days ago
    976 days ago
  • AGK3112
    Wow nice..I sure like the place where you live.. wonderful nature and lots of hiking. Hope you enjoy some more. Have wonderful Weekend
    2023 days ago
    Sharing your day with wildlife is truly a blessing, isn't it? I'm always so excited when I see deer, there are several nearby that I often see when taking a walk. But your day was amazing. Sure wish you would have had an opportunity to milk a cow though - wouldn't that be fun!!
    2023 days ago
    What a lovely surprise! So cute, too!
    I'm glad you shared it with us.
    I quite like the look of that school too.
    2023 days ago
    How beautiful!! Thanks for sharing!
    2023 days ago
    what a awesome hike
    I live in city, so I get to see lots of homes and buildings - but I am walking so it is good
    2023 days ago
  • DMF2012
    Awesome - now that's a great surprise! Thanks for sharing!
    2023 days ago
    What a wonderful blog. I felt like I was there with you sharing your hike. Your country is very beautiful and I am happy to see you taking advantage of the lovely countryside. A Spark Friend of mine referred your blog to me and I am happily subscribing to it. I can't wait to see more of your pictures and read more of your adventures. emoticon
    2024 days ago
    emoticon That was a nice surprise. We have cows in the area behind our house, one will come right up to our fence sometimes. The dog barks at it and the cats' eyes get really big, they have never been around another animal that large.
    2024 days ago
  • CHEEKY1000
    What a beautiful surprise! How lucky that you were able to get some shots of him before he took off. Love the ferns and the pictures in the forest. *sigh* I love pine forests.
    2025 days ago
  • YIWEN39
    Lalandelle is just gorgeous, or at least the area around it! And such an encounter, that's great. Funny too, as I thought, when I started reading, that you had bumped into SOMEONE ;-)
    I'm back in China now, more time on the computer, more time to enjoy your gorgeous pics!
    Take care Claire!
    2026 days ago
    2027 days ago
    Lovely Lalandelle! How delightful! I agree that the fireweeds are quite interesting when they begin to dry out! I welcome the autumn and the changes that are beginning to occur...this has been an unusually long summer this year it seems (and I love summer!)

    emoticon emoticon

    J'adore les animaux comme les vaches et les cerfs! Voir tous les deux, c'est tout a fait normale ici parce que nous habitons un foret caduc en Georgie au nord d'Atlanta.

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    What lovely paths you walked on this hike! Just a short span of time, you have walked a castle, hiked cliffs by the sea and explored the forests and the farmers' fields! I am in awe of your scenery, and I am delighted for you and the pleasure you derive from walking!!

    :) Evelyn

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    2027 days ago
  • QTEALADY20031
    Your areas to hike are just beautiful. What a peaceful setting, to hike like this around here I would have to end up on someone's farm and then I would be on private property. Although along our interstate we can see many deers in the woods, that is state ground. I love the pictures of the roe deer, in the one where he is looking at you, he is probably thinking, she sure looks different and is wondering who you are in his space. lol Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful hike and the beautiful pictures. This week will go fast! Have a wonderful one! emoticon emoticon June
    2027 days ago

    Comment edited on: 9/4/2012 10:18:46 AM
  • ACTIVE_AT_60
    Thanks for sharing - awesome photos.
    2028 days ago
    Beautiful area! Thanks for sharing the pictures!
    2028 days ago
    You have such beautiful areas to hike and no matter where you go I always love them! The forest area looks so shady. I love hiking in the forest too. And although I see deer frequently around here, even in town quite a bit, I still get excited by the sight of them each and every time, so I understand your excitement and the hart. It never becomes commonplace or boring to me. In fact I see them more in town than I do out hiking. It is so hard so often to get the pics of the wild animals because they do run away so quickly, so Im always excited too when I can get one.
    Thanks for sharing with us again. Have a wonderful day today!
    2028 days ago
    Lovely hike, as usual ,Thanks for sharing.
    The school house is just beatiful
    Quite a treat meeting the Deer.
    You too shall have a great week. emoticon
    2028 days ago
    The deer is so beautiful. I love to see them - they are such graceful animals. Just be careful not to get too close. The picture of the fields (the third one) could easily be our farm. It is amazing how much it looks like our fields. And, I find the way the hay bales are stacked is very interesting. The farmers here stack them a bit differently. But, whatever works - just so the cows get to eat, right??
    The school is lovely!! I would love to work in a school like that.
    You are so blessed with so many beautiful places to hike. I hope you are able to get a few in this week since you love to hike and it makes you happy.
    Have a wonderful week!!
    2028 days ago
    This blog made me smile a lot. I love your excitement over seeing the roe deer. I get excited about that kind of thing, too. I see squirrels and birds all of the time, and deer fairly often, but anything else is exciting. It also made me laugh that the farmer was so pleased that you took pictures of his cows. You're very good at making people joyful, Claire!
    I hope that all that hiking and fresh air helped you to get a fantastic night of sleep!
    2028 days ago
    Wow Claire what a beautiful hike again today - thanks for sharing with us again - I loved the surprise - and the cows. The farmer soundsike a real character with a sense of humor. Have a great week. Cheers emoticon
    2028 days ago
  • MILLIE5522
    Thank you so much for taking us on your hike today...even a virtual walk is a joy! Your surprise was wonderful. My husband & I were lucky, a couple of years back, to come across a whole herd of deer. There were at least 20 of them but they didn't make a sound, even when they ran off!

    2028 days ago
    Your surprise animal was actually a male roe deer, a Eurasian kind of deer - in Greek it's called "zarkadi". You can tell by its short antlers and the reddish body with a grey face. You were very lucky to actually take pictures of it! They can be really fast at disappearing! Only once have I been able to meet one out in the open and the forest around my village is actually full of them. They are lovely animals! Rumor says that when they are shot by hunters they are the only mammals who actually cry and hunters say that they have seen their tears! Just the thought of it makes me want to cry. No need to mention that their population is already getting sparse and soon they'll be in danger of extinction.
    A beautiful hike again! Thanks for sharing your beautiful pictures!
    2028 days ago
    Wow! If I had places close to my home that were as beautiful as yours I would hike every day emoticon
    2029 days ago
  • SHARON10002
    What lovely pictures of your hike, and such a peaceful and beautiful countryside. I hope you are enjoying your weekend.
    emoticon for taking the time to capture all of this beauty to share with us!
    2029 days ago
    What a wonderful surprise - having a bit of the "wild side" of nature, crossing your path! Am wondering if it might have been a Roe Deer - I know that they are smaller in stature.

    2029 days ago
    Such a pretty hike!! I loved those stacked hay bales. We think they're cool looking even when the are left strewn over the fields in the rolls over here! That is a cute little deer...those antlers are sure different than the ones we see over here. From what Wikipedia says a Hart is a deer but a male over 5 years old. Never knew that! A female is a Hind. Nice that you got a photo of him! We scared a huge deer up in the woods a few weeks ago! He heard me talking to Bob, who was falling behind, taking photos and he took off, crashing through the trees. Made me jump-because I didn't know what was making that noise!! Could have been a bear or wild pig!!!
    Love those forest walks-so peaceful and sometimes you get to see wildlife! emoticon emoticon
    2029 days ago

    Comment edited on: 9/2/2012 9:58:41 PM
    Wow, what a gorgeous hike! And I love that you saw a wild animal. I don't see many out here in the city. Very cool!
    2029 days ago
    LOVE the fireweed. Looks like barbed wire almost. Interesting.

    I tried looking up hart too. But it sure looks close enough to a deer! Beautiful animal. LOVE the picture where he's looking right @ you. Like he's daring you to come closer!

    What a beautiful hike. Thanks for sharing it.

    2029 days ago
    It's a unicorn!
    2029 days ago
    Love the blog, always looking forward to your pics emoticon
    2029 days ago
  • HOLLYM48
    Wonderful pictures and what a beautiful little animal to see so close. I look forward to your hikes and all the beautiful photo's that you take. It is much like being right there! Hope you had a wonderful weekend. emoticon
    2029 days ago
    Thanks for sharing the pictures - I love them, esp the one of the little deer-like animal. I've never heard of a 'hart' but will try to see if I can find something.

    I saw some animals the other morning when I was hiking with a friend - usually I'm with a larger group so the animals are long gone by the time we arrive but this time we walked up and startled a young coyote who ran off too fast for me to get pictures then a little later we woke up a deer family from their nap. I did get pictures of them and 'one of these days' will have time to upload and blog about some of my recent adventures.

    Thanks again for sharing - I'm staying inside to get caught up with work this weekend and boohoohoo! You probably know how sad it makes me but I don't dare go out or I'll never get everything done that really NEEDS to be done!
    2029 days ago
    I love the close up of the fire weed! I have a pair of scrimshaw earrings from Alaska with the fire weed etched on them. I get lots of compliments on them. Your little surprise was a cutie. I've never heard of a hart and a Google search turned up lots of "hart" stuff but no cute animals! In my book he'd be labeled a deer with pointy antlers! I wish we had some of the lovely paths locally where I could hike like you do. I do have a deer family though that comes daily to drink from my fountain in front of the house...when the birds aren't using it for a bathtub! My little pocket of nature!
    2029 days ago

    2029 days ago
    Thank you!!!! Thank you!!!! Thank you!!!!
    2029 days ago
    Another lovely adventure to read. When I log on, I visit here first to see if you have a new story and photos to share. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2029 days ago
    I love when you share your hikes with us - its just like I was there!!
    2029 days ago
    What a fabulous surprise!! I'm suprised it stayed still so long. Just goes to show you have a pure heart as it sensed no danger from you.

    As always the pictures are a marvel. Maybe one day you'll have a show of your photos called "A Walk in the Woods" or something infinitely more witty.
    2029 days ago
  • JENNA54
    Amazing photos Claire, and how truly lovely to see the hart. A very special hike indeed. Thanks for sharing, I love your blogs, and your photos are exceptional.
    2029 days ago
    You must hike very quietly to have seen the hart. He is beautiful, and in the last picture he is looking right at you, as if wondering, "okay... is this other animal friendly, or should I run?". Love the picture of the dry flower. I've never seen anything quite like it.

    How long do school children have for their summer holiday in France? InCanada it's from the last week of June until the first or second week of September. In some areas, where young people work in the harvest, school may even start one or two weeks later than that.

    Have a wonderful week,
    2029 days ago
    How fun, I'm glad you had your little surprise visitor! I think those are the things that have us looking eagerly around the next turn in the road. What is hidden from view and waiting for us to discover?

    I am sewing today and I have my little naughty computer down here. I can't do much with it but I can happily get on the internet and look at things anyway!

    I hope you had a great weekend, we have one more day off. Tomorrow is Labor Day and no one at our house has to work or go to school. We plan on going visiting tomorrow to my in laws.

    Even though it isn't hot today my dear husband said yesterday, "lets close up the house and turn on the air so you can breathe better" So I feel so much better and slept better too.
    2029 days ago
    What beautiful forest! Well, it was ALMOST a unicorn, except with two horns instead of one. He was lovely and what a nice surprise. I loved the pictures of the cows crossing too though. Thank you once again for bringing us along!

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2029 days ago
    Today I especially enjoyed the photos of the cows. Brought back memories of walking with my grandfather to bring up the cows in the evenings for milking. I never got good at hand milking though I tried to help. He always gave me the most patient cows of the herd that never gave me any trouble. I still remember their names. A fun memory!
    2029 days ago
    That was a wonderful photo blog. I love ferns too. Your coming upon that hart reminded me of when I came upon a fox. Oh he saw me first, and ran, but interestingly he ran to a spot in a backyard and, rather out in the open, just sat himself down and watched me walk. It was quite a treat. He wasn't all that far away, but far enough to make us both fairly comfortable I guess. I decided not to stare at him so I don't know if he stayed put while I went by. It was early morning then. I saw him another time when it was quite late at night, but we were driving.
    Anyhoo, I love photo blogs. You did a great job on yours.
    2029 days ago
  • JACKIE542
    Beautiful and peaceful hike. What a great surprise, I keep seeing creatures when I go out now, not a beautiful hart. I hope I see one soon. Thanks for taking us along. I hope you have many more wonderful surprises. emoticon emoticon
    2029 days ago

    Comment edited on: 9/2/2012 6:34:28 PM
    It is difficult to imagine how gorgeous and peaceful your hike must have been!

    Thank you so much for sharing the lovely pictures as you went along your way. It was like you were taking me along with you!

    Your blog was beautiful, and I truly appreciate it!

    Best wishes!

    2029 days ago
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