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Hiking in Crèvecoeur-le-grand
... one of the last few hikes of winter, woohoo!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Hello dear Sparkfriends,

As I got ready for my hike today, looking at the blue sky through the window, I realized that there is only one month left before Spring!... Woohoo! Still, today was a great winter hike, without snow as it is all gone.

I went to Crèvecoeur-le-grand today, in the Picardie area, about 50 minutes North from where I live. I loved the impressive townhall, which is a 16th century castle...

The house below, now the local library, already existed in 1663! It is mentioned by Alexandre Dumas in his book 'The three musketeers', as 'L'auberge de l'écu'.

I don't know whether the sundial on it was already there when it was built...

There is a horse's head on a nearby house...

The one opposite is pretty as well...

... even around the corner!

But of course, the reason why I had come here today was to go on a long relaxing hike... in the countryside!

After last week's hike, I was very much hoping I wouldn't meet another stray dog today! I didn't... I met GEESE in La Houssoye!!!

Geese can be very nasty and attack people (I know someone who has a big scar on the side of her nose because she was attacked by a goose as a child!)... So when they started running towards me, screaming, I didn't insist and immediately turned back to look for help!!!

There was this farm nearby...

So I entered the courtyard and called the owner, who happened to be cooking, with the door open. She came out and followed me on the path to scare her geese away. Phew!

I wasn't sad to see the sideway cross showing the end of the village! No more geese!

Although it ended up being a very grey afternoon, I enjoyed walking through the countryside in the gentle light.

I tend to get bored walking in the woods in winter. Not that there is nothing to look at, but there is much less than in the summer... No leaves, no flowers...

No flowers? Well, there were actually some tiny yellow flowers, just blooming... I don'�t have a clue what they were. They were on a little tree (not a bush). Do you have any idea what these could be?
Edit: Found it! This is simply a dogwood (also called 'Cornelian cherry' or 'European Cornel' depending on where you live... the Latin is 'Cornus mas' and in French, we say 'cornouiller sauvage'). Here is the link to the Wikipedia article about it if you are interested:

When I left the woods, there was a small area with a bit of snow left on the side of the path... It felt colder there too, but maybe it actually felt that way because I saw the snow!

Before I embarked on the last part of my hike, I decided to make the most of the table and bench I found on the side of the path, outside a village called Catheux, and had my late lunch break! Whole bread with smoked salmon, a bit of lemon juice and Philadelphia cheese (I know, I already had one in Gerberoy a few weeks ago, it is a favorite!). At the moment, I can get away with just one bottle of water (0.6 liter = 2.6 cups) for a 4-hour hike. One of the advantages of winter, it is so nice to have less things to carry! (I have another bottle in the car too, which I can drink on the way back.)

As I was sitting there eating my sandwich, I remembered this week's assignment for the Shutterbugs' team: Look Up! This was my view...

The last part of my hike was on the 'coulée verte', a path which replaces an old railway which wasn't used anymore. It is truly beautiful, and although I didn't meet anybody, it might be busier in the summer.

As I approached Crèvecoeur-le-grand, the sun was starting to disappear behind the hills...

I am feeling great and a little exhausted in a good way tonight! I know that as soon as this blog is posted, I'll fall asleep! Have a great weekend, dear Sparkfriends, and thank you for reading!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    1005 days ago
    thanks it was lovely
    1865 days ago
    How beautiful! I have missed you so much. I think of you very often. I have a few minutes today to catch up on my very sweet and busy friend. I am enjoying it all.
    1883 days ago
    I LOVE your blogs... every one of them... and hey now I'm dreaming of that sandwich... will have to buy some smoked salmon and good bread on my way home... yum..yum..yum...
    Happy weekend sweet friend!
    1889 days ago
    emoticon I don't know anyone who has actually been attacked, but I know that the Canadian Geese here can be VERY Aggressive!! I do not often feed them because I think that is one reason they have gotten so Aggressive. People who come to the Park feed them constantly so they expect it!
    emoticon You had a Beautiful Walk, as usual!! I am not sure I could do 4 Hours, but it would sure be worth it, judging by the Pictures!!!
    1890 days ago
  • RAMONA1954
    Such a lovely winter hike. Thanks for sharing it with us. I always enjoy your adventures.
    1890 days ago
  • YIWEN39
    decidement j'adore tes blogs :-)
    (au passage, je re-subscribe ;-)
    Grosses bises
    1890 days ago
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1890 days ago
    I want to walk with you!! Lol!
    1891 days ago
  • QTEALADY20031
    Hi Claire, Sorry I found this late, have been sick the last few days, cold has settled in my chest but hopefully will feel better soon. I am not one to get colds, etc. I just love your pictures as you take your hike. I truly feel I step back in time with you. The 16th century castle is just beautiful. It is so wonderful that you share the history of your pictures. What a wonderful and memorable hike. Thank you again Claire for sharing your fantastic hikes. emoticon emoticon emoticon June
    1892 days ago
    LOVELY!!! BEAUTIFUL!!! INSPIRING!!! ENCHANTING!!! emoticon emoticon
    1893 days ago
    Such a beautiful blog, Claire! I will always love reading about your hikes and dreaming that I will someday go on one with you!
    I'm glad the farmer helped you get away from the geese. One of our first walks when my son was a newborn involved a close encounter with some territorial geese. I've disliked them very much ever since!
    Did you spend any time in the castle library? That would be a very neat place to visit!
    1893 days ago
    Même sans soleil, que c'est beau la campagne! Merci de nous faire visiter de si beaux coins de pays, semaine après semaine.
    1893 days ago
    Claire, I am so envious of all the beautiful places for you to walk. I just get swept away in your gorgeous photography. The wonderful countryside and the charming villages are just captivating. They are gorgeous in the winter, so I can only image how beautiful they will be in the Spring and Summer.
    I hope you have a wonderful week.
    Blessings, my friend.
    1893 days ago
  • BAKER1009
    Great blog Claire...thank you for sharing with us!!

    1893 days ago
  • BEWELL48
    Lovely! Such beautiful sites! The window with the lace curtain is charming! Thank you, Claire, for this wonderful blog post!
    Have a great week!
    1893 days ago
    Those buildings are just breath-taking! So elegant and amazingly well-preserved!
    I didn't know geese can be so nasty. I'm glad there was someone to chase them away.
    Spring is just around the corner, Claire! And your countryside hikes will get so much more interesting and colorful!
    Thank you for sharing these beautiful pictures with us!
    emoticon emoticon
    1893 days ago
    Hi Claire,

    Thanks for sharing yet another weekend walk with us! I love how the old buildings are used for modern purposes now....imagine working in that castle! Glad you got help with the geese and were able to continue your walk untroubled. The photos are terrific. I love the one of the rolling hill with that small stand of trees - it looks like a postcard! I hope you enjoyed your well-deserved rest afterwards.
    Have a great week.

    Hugs, Nattacia

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

    1894 days ago
    Your photos are such a treat. You reap the benefits of hiking, and we reap the benefits of looking at the beautiful landscapes and details. The photo of the window with the white curtains is breath taking. Looking forward to your next hike.
    1894 days ago
    Fantastic! A beautiful country with so much history. Your eye for beauty, photography and writing skills make your country come alive. Thank you for taking the time to share what you see.
    1894 days ago
    Thanks again for sharing your pictures. With every hike you do I can understand how people love to go to visit France. Never knew it had so much great hiking year round. I always appreciate you sharing your hikes with us. emoticon
    1894 days ago
    Thanks for another great photo blog.
    Loved the lace in the window.
    This was a nice hike, not too much snow for you to walk in
    and a bonus the flowering tree, lovely. emoticon
    1894 days ago
    Your hike was a welcome sight, as we are having a nasty snow storm as I type this - up to 10" of snow and 50+ mph wind gusts. Those geese did look like they mean business. It was clever of you to enlist help.
    I love the rolling fields - the gently curving landscape is gentle on the eyes. As always, thanks for a lovely sojourn in France.
    1894 days ago
    Yep, Spring is just round the corner and that feels good!
    The sundial is weird!
    I love the picture of the sun setting near the sign - it's beautiful!
    Did you get a good night's sleep?
    Take care,
    1894 days ago
    Ahhh! Looks great. Love those geese!
    1895 days ago
    Our local walking park circles an 8 shaped pond and wild geese congregate there. For several years the ducks and geese were ruled by a giant white goose who was noisy and the end flapping his wings and chasing anyone who passed. The city finally had to catch him and move him out of the area. Most people had started carrying sticks and canes to protect themselves.
    Still love the photos. Sister and I shared them tonight and she loved the houses...but especially the rustic paths...can't wait to get ours laid out this summer!!! Keep writing and posting. Love it!!!
    1895 days ago
    Thanks for out walk today, loved every bit. The town hall, the sundial, the trees, all of it. Even the geese, what a great photo (I would be running the other way:)).

    lovely day... emoticon
    1895 days ago
  • LINDAK25
    What a beautiful town hall. It really is spectacular! I love the curtains on the building next door. What beautiful pictures of the countryside. Ah, geese. They can be so aggressive. It was wise of you to get some help. Good for you! I can't help you with the flowers, but they are pretty. And you found some more flowers! The track looks muddy today, but how pretty everything looks. It looks as though the grass and fields are starting to get greener, too. Thanks for taking us along!
    1895 days ago
    What a great hike! Loved every bit of it. Thanks!
    1895 days ago
  • JACKIE542
    Loved everything so beautiful all the building, really loved the door with the lace curtains looked so inviting. Great job of taking a picture of the geese as you were leaving lo. They sure looked scary. Glad the owner helped and you were able to continue. Thank you hope you have a restful sleep. emoticon
    1895 days ago

    Comment edited on: 2/16/2013 10:48:52 PM
  • KAREN91
    I always love your hikes! Even if I never get to France I'll always have your great pictures to look at. Thanks for the blogs, the pictures and being such a great spark friend. I hope you have a great week. How far did you walk? All our snow is gone too except for small patches of dirty snow here and there. The snow you saw looked nice and clean! I loved hearing about the place that was in a book, you always know so much about the places you photograph.
    1895 days ago
  • HOLLYM48
    Thanks for taking us along once again on your beautiful hikes. I always look forward to seeing yet another area in France close to Paris as you venture out on another hike. That is interesting about those unfriendly geese. Here they come close to people because so many people feed them but I am not crazy about them. So glad you were able to find the owner and they were able to be shoo'd away.
    Beautiful pics of the buildings and the woods.
    I too am so excited for Spring to be right around the corner. I know that my little dog would like to get out and go for walks again but for now the ground is just to cold for her little feet.
    Thanks as always for posting another beautiful blog!
    emoticon emoticon emoticon

    1895 days ago
    Thank you for the hike. I love the castle, & I just love the photo of the field with the trees in a distant. Claire I never ate salmon in a sandwich. I always grill mine. I must try that with the cream cheese.
    I have something knew I am trying & it sure keeps me fuller longer

    1 6 oz. container of nonfat Greek yogurt
    1 cup of frozen fruit ( blueberry, strawberry, raspberry etc ) just 1 cup of your choice
    1 cup of cold water
    1 sliced banana
    2 tablespoons of chia seeds
    a few sprinkles of cinnamon
    put it in blender & put on whip
    taste so good & it is ice cold that will be a good drink in the heat of the summer. I drink 2 a day & I feel more fuller, & I am not snacking on carb's. The chia seeds swell & that is what keeps me fuller.
    Take care & have a wonderful Sunday & a good week
    1895 days ago
  • DNRAE1
    Lovely hike. You have earned your rest. Enjoyed the lace curtained window! I love pictures of doors and windows. They make my imagination work.
    1895 days ago
  • DOODIE59
    You will sleep the sleep of the blessed. Out walking in the fresh air all day, then falling asleep because you earned the rest ... priceless:) Have a most wonderful weekend:)
    1895 days ago
    Hi Claire. Enjoyed hiking with you again. Thank
    you for the amazing commentary and photos.
    I'm glad the the owner was able to chase away
    the geese. Those flowers are early and that means
    Spring is around the corner. I hope you had a good
    sleep. I can't wait for your next hike. Take care.
    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1895 days ago
    I so enjoy the emoticon hikes!
    1895 days ago
    What a beautiful hike you had. I think an advantage to hiking in the winter is that you can see further into the woods. I laughed at your story about the geese. I am happy that the owner was there to chase them away from you. I can't wait to see where we go on our next hike! emoticon
    1895 days ago
    What exquisite architecture! The buldings are just gorgeous. I am glad that the farm house owner was there to get the geese under control. PHEW!

    Oh my goodness, your lunch sounds spectacular and what scenery! Thank you . . . as always . . . for sharing your delightful hike.

    Hard to believe Spring is a month away, eh! Hurray!!! HUGS!
    1895 days ago
  • NAN041
    A wonderful hike..
    even tho the geese were scarey!
    Many thanks dear friend, Nan
    1895 days ago
    I always love your blogs so much. The beautiful countryside and the huge impressive castles and very old old buildings are so interesting. Glad you got away from the geese! Enjoy your rest now!
    1895 days ago
    1895 days ago
    Another beautiful hike! Don't you wish you could just peak into some of the houses? Glad there was someone around to scare off the geese. They are really nasty. Swans too. I remember once, at the Halifax Public Gardens when I was a little child, being chased by one of the swans.

    Looking out the windows here, it's difficult to believe that spring is only a month away. We had more snow overnight, and freezing rain at some point, so that cleaning off the car before I went for groceries was a really nasty job. It will be at least a month... probably more... before there are any blossoms here. If I were to go to a wooded area similar to where you were today, there would be 2 of 3 feet of snow to plow through.

    Thanks for sharing your hike and pictures with us. My favourites today would be the lace-curtained window, the ancient sundial and the muddy pathway through the woods with the trees and fallen leaves.

    By the way, your coulee verte would be called "rails to trails" here. We are turning many unused railway right-of-ways into trails for hiking, cycling and snowmobiling.

    Glad you had such a good hike, enjoy the rest of your week-end,

    1895 days ago
    Simply "delightful" your blogs.

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1895 days ago
    1895 days ago
    Once again beautiful pictures. I went for a run in the white fluffy snow which I love, but I can't wait for spring. Winter is my favorite season, but I have to say I am over it already this year.

    Enjoy your week and thank you for sharing your pics.
    1895 days ago
    Great Pictures! You must have had a very good time!
    1895 days ago
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