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    CLAIREINPARIS   56,834
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A very happy hike!

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Saturday, June 07, 2014

Hello dear Sparkfriends,

The weather forecast for today for the 'West of Paris' area said that it might rain. So I decided to go East! :) And it didn't rain! I went to an area I had visited a couple of times, but I had never done this specific hike. I thought about TERMITEMOM very much, as I remembered that she commented once that her parents had a house in the area.

It started outside Crouy-sur-Ourcq's station. These old stations are almost all built on the same template all around France. It was right next to the 14th century donjon, one of the beauties of the village.

I crossed Crouy-sur-Ourcq...

... and immediately after I left the village, I had already made some new friends! : ) I must say those ones were smelly, I didn't stay very long with them!

I crossed fields throughout the first part of my hike...

and discovered some crop I hadn't seen before (picture below, I know the two pictures above are barley).

Do you have any idea how these are called? (The crop behind the poppies I mean!) EDIT: My friend Francine told me this is a canola/rapeseed field! They have beautiful yellow flowers in early Spring, and in late Spring they dry and look like this! Wow, I am so glad I learnt something!!!

The little hamlet of Moisy in Montigny l'Allier was one of the highlights of today's hike (now that I think about it, I wonder if everything wasn't a highlight in today's hike though... but I think you might say that I say that all the time, hehe!).

Yes, there were some pretty houses and flowers... but THE interesting part was the Commandery of Knights Templar.

There were a number of buildings, all from the 13th century with some parts added in the 17th century: a chapel, a manor and several farm buildings/barns.

I love discovering so many signs of a rich history during my hikes!

After the Commandery, I followed the Ourcq river, and then the Ourcq canal for a while. It was so refreshing and there were lots of wild flowers too...

I left the river and walked through a marsh.

I was happy to see some wild iris, the first ones I have seen this year!

But the best was yet to come!!! As I crossed some woods...

I discovered some wild orchids I had never seen before! They are called Platanthera chlorantha. My first white wild orchids!

Another lovely discovery in the woods was this 19th century shrine, called Our Lady of the Oak Tree (no idea why, but the Virgin Mary was presented inside a trunk for some reason!).

The last discovery of today was hardly visible actually... The Manoir des Quatre Vents (Four Winds Manor). I only got a glimpse of it through the gates and the foliage! But the house nearby was very pretty! :) And the chapel too.

So... it really was a great hike! And the reason why it was so happy is that things are finally improving for my Mom and I had a big smile on my face as I walked along the paths. This week my father agreed for her to leave the dreadful nursing home she had been in for the last 8 months and to be moved to a nursing home which we really liked (I cannot believe I am saying I "really liked" a nursing home, but when you have visited quite a number of those, when there is one that is surprisingly nice and professional, I suppose you can say that you like it!). We moved my Mom there yesterday. And things are going so well, it seems extraordinary! I don't want to seem too enthusiastic, as I know this is only the beginning, but I am feeling much more optimistic that she will, at long last, be well taken care of. Thank you SO MUCH once again for all your support these last few months!

And thank you for sharing my hike today! I hope it also made you feel happy!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post:
MARKATSPARK 8/8/2015 6:25AM


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WHITEANGEL4 12/6/2014 1:45AM

    Enjoyed our journey through the countryside

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TERRIJ7 9/17/2014 7:51PM

    Your photos are always amazing!

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MILPAM3 7/5/2014 11:41PM

  lemon pie...mmmm
Thanks for your charity work.
I'm not into zodiac signs either.

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MAYBER 7/3/2014 4:48PM

    Thank you for sharing your hike and beautiful pictures
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MARYJEANSL 6/24/2014 8:16PM

  Those lovely old buildings are so wonderful - I love learning about history. And, although US history is also fascinating, our history doesn't go back nearly as far as France's. So interesting...

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SEDONACAT 6/23/2014 3:15PM

    Thank you again for sharing. My son travels to the Netherlands often on business (from Florida) and this gave me a glimpse of what he may be seeing.


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KMRJPR 6/22/2014 1:15PM

    Beautiful hike!

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JUDYAMK 6/20/2014 7:59AM

    Oh Claire I loved your hike once again. The place with a the blue door and blue window trimming is so beautiful, plus the picture of the little wandering path with the pink flowers. I also so loved the picture with the worn shutters with the lace curtains, You have blessed us all with so much in your writings and photos.Thank you Claire

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BEWELL48 6/19/2014 12:56AM

    Beautiful as always!

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SUPERSYLPH 6/18/2014 2:16PM

    I hope your mom enjoys the new nursing home she's at!

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KAREN91 6/18/2014 1:11PM

    Your hike was so beautiful that I have decided that I must put a trip to France on my list of life goals for myself. I'm so glad you have found a good place for your mom. I thought about you the other day when I was interviewing for a job at a nursing home in town. Its opening up in July and it will be a 2nd job for me. The reason I thought of you is because they were telling me about their care. It sounded really good to me. They were talking about patients getting up by themselves- that the most important thing is why are they getting up- do they need the bathroom? a snack? something to do? They have a clear box outside each room with pictures of the patient, their family or something that's meaningful to them to help them know that is their room. I was very impressed with Wiltons new nursing home so far. It made me think of you and hope that you find a good place for your mom. I hope things continue to go great at her new home. emoticon

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WARRIORGIRL121 6/18/2014 9:03AM

    Beautiful, Claire! I don't know how I missed this one before! And so good to hear about your Mom - that's wonderful! emoticon

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LOPEYP 6/15/2014 5:16AM

    I am glad that you found a new place that you like for your mother.

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ENG_TV 6/14/2014 11:58PM

    Thanks for sharing the lovely pictures. Makes me feel like I was hiking with you!

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KALEWINE 6/14/2014 11:54PM

    One day, if I'm ever in France, I want to go on one of your hikes with you.

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BOPPY_ 6/14/2014 8:21PM

    Great pics.

Thank you,

Lee emoticon

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SWEETPEA20121 6/14/2014 4:27PM


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CAPECODLIGHT 6/14/2014 7:20AM

    A happy hike, indeed! The pictures are wonderful, but your news about your mom even more so. Be proud of yourself for being the advocate (and influencer with your father) to get the care for your mom which will ease her days and safeguard her health.

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OPALMOON 6/13/2014 10:19AM

    Dear Claire,
Firstly, I am SO glad you have managed to get your mother into a different nursing home. What a huge relief that must be. I am praying that everything continues to go well.
I so enjoyed your hike and the beautiful pictures you took. The flowers, paths, incredible houses and chapels with so much history...such a lovely part of Paris!
Thanks again so much for sharing your time with us - it is such a privilege to read your blogs!
Hugs and prayers for you and your family,

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2WHEELER 6/13/2014 9:13AM

    Lovely. You have a great eye for composition.

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KENDRACARROLL 6/13/2014 2:01AM

    I am so happy to hear that things are looking up as far as your mom is concerned. Hoping that this will turn out to be the right placement. That should make everybody feel much easier.
As always, thanks so much for sharing your happy hike.

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ALIHIKES 6/13/2014 12:40AM

    Dear Claire,
I so enjoyed your hike! the flowers and the lovely countryside are so beautiful. I also am so glad that your mother is in a better situation. I am visiting my mom at her nursing home in California, she is in her final days (we had last rites with the priest yesterday). It is always a relief that to know that the staff watch over my mom and care for her. I am SO glad your mom will be getting better care!
Love from

p.s. I spent most of my time in mom's room this past week, but it is a great comfort to take a short walk through the gardens on the nursing home's property

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RENATA144 6/12/2014 11:24PM

  Ever Exquisite !!!

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FRABBIT 6/11/2014 10:52AM

  Wonderful news about your mother and thank you as always for sharing your beautiful pictures.

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KONRAD695 6/11/2014 8:53AM

    Looks like another wonderful hike. Well done on keeping the body moving. emoticon

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WALLPER26 6/11/2014 8:12AM

    What a refreshing experience to follow you on your hike! Thanks for sharing.

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FIFIFRIZZLE 6/11/2014 6:26AM

    What a fabulous treat, dear Claire! an absolutely ravishing walk, plus the good news about your mother.I do hope she settles quickly and that means you can settle, too.

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MADAMES 6/10/2014 10:30PM

    Your blog brought a big smile to my face!

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MRSRIGS1 6/10/2014 2:19PM

    I love pretending I'm on these hikes with you! So much beauty! Thank you for sharing!

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KRILL14 6/10/2014 2:16PM

    Great news about your mother! I hope she likes it there! Wonderful blog as always.

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MILLIE5522 6/10/2014 11:54AM

    Thank you so much for this beautiful blog of your hike. I shall be going to France soon for my summer vacation and I can't wait!!! Meanwhile, your blogs have helped :) emoticon emoticon

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CHERIRIDDELL 6/10/2014 12:17AM

    Your hikes are always so gorgeous.I am pleased you have found a better place for your Mum.

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BLESSEDGRAMMA2 6/10/2014 12:11AM

    Thanks for taking me along your hiking journey,
I really enjoyed it :)
I understand your feelings about your mother and a nursing home.
We had to put my FIL in one almost 6 months ago...
Sooo sad, to say the least! :( :( :( :( :(

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AMBER461 6/9/2014 10:57PM

  Thanks for a great tour of France. Very beautiful pictures.

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RENATA144 6/9/2014 9:22PM

  1 Exquisite image after another !!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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RENATA144 6/9/2014 9:21PM

  Dearest Claire, you have outdone yourself yet again !!!! Each of your photos would be the source of a great painting. Thank you again for showing us the heavenly French countryside emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JILLAJ 6/9/2014 7:59PM

    I am so jealous of the beautiful scenery you have to hike in. Thank you for sharing all the wonderful pictures!!!

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KHALIA2 6/9/2014 4:51PM

  Thank you for such a lovely tour.

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ROSES4ME1 6/9/2014 4:46PM

    Another gorgeous hike I get to go on with you. And then the wonderful news that things are looking up for your Mom's care. Terrific news! Hope this means you can finally take some deep breaths and relax a little.

If you aren't already, you could have a career as a nature photographer. Stunning photos.

Thanks again for sharing. Made my Monday morning at work almost bearable. emoticon

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DOILIEQUEEN 6/9/2014 4:15PM

    Beautiful pictures. Thanks for sharing.

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MILPAM3 6/9/2014 4:11PM

  I think I would be wanting to see inside all those historical buildings and manor houses.

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READYRISA 6/9/2014 3:07PM


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COOLRAIN 6/9/2014 1:45PM

    Thank you so much for sharing your hikes. Your posts always make me smile. What beauty you capture. So glad to hear the good news about your mother.

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STEVENK87 6/9/2014 11:54AM


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LOVINGKATE 6/9/2014 11:25AM

  So happy about your mom moving to a new home with better care. Your mom is so lucky to have a daughter like you. I will continue to pray for you both.
Thanks so much for taking me on such a beautiful walk. I so love all your photos. Such beauty!! Thanks so much for sharing.

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DMCWJR 6/9/2014 11:10AM

  I felt like I was with you. Thanks for the invite. emoticon

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AMYSYOKO 6/9/2014 10:32AM

  thank you for taking us along on your hike. beautiful does not seem to do it justice.... but will have to do. looking forward to our next hike

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JAMIRBLAZE 6/9/2014 9:55AM

    Thank you for sharing all of these lovely pictures! I hope the new facility works out for your mom!

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JERICHO1991 6/9/2014 9:45AM

    Another beautiful hike. Thank you.

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