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Looking for wild orchids above Giverny

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Thursday, May 09, 2013

Hello dear Sparkfriends,

I had thought I could do several things today, which was a Bank Holiday in France, but I was too optimistic! When I reached Monet's house in Giverny, I was told there was roughly a two hours' wait before I could get into the gardens! Two hours standing in a queue? No, sorry, that wasn't possible: I also wanted to go on a hike... and as I am feeling a bit stressed this week, a hike was top priority!

So I left the queue outside Monet's house (sorry friends!!!) and went on my hike, looking for wild orchids...

The path was very steep and the views were beautiful!

There were lots of wild flowers of all kinds...

(I thought of NORASPAT when I saw these wild cowslips, I know they are very special to her!)

But the ones I was looking for didn't take long to appear...

Here were the wild orchids! Lots and lots of them! It is the area in the Seine valley where there are the most orchids. Apparently, there are 35 varieties, but I only found those ones, the lady orchids (orchis purpurea)!

I never thought I would see so many! I had hoped to be lucky and see just one!!! It was wonderful.

I loved these purple flowers! As I look more closely at them now, I am thinking they might be wild orchids also. Would you happen to know? [These are actually Heath Speedwell/Veronica officinalis, not orchids! Thank you very much DONEGIRL!]

In the woods...

... there were lots of polygonatum multiflorum (called Solomon's seal, David's harp, Ladder-to-heaven depending on the area where you live... in French they are called Solomon's seal, 'sceau de Salomon'!).

... There were also many more orchids!

Then I was back in the meadows...

... before I took a steep path down!

There was a nice surprise, there was a view on Monet's house!

Hello Black Beauty!

That was the end of my hike... but not the end of my afternoon...

From the street, you can actually see part of Monet's gardens! Here are the pictures I took... no comment... Enjoy! :)

I promise I'll go back one day and take close ups!!! But at least it gives you an idea of part of Monet's gardens in the Spring. :) (I had already been to Monet's house and gardens several times, many years ago, and it wasn't so crowded back then... I'll come back on a week's day which isn't a Bank Holiday!)

Thank you for sharing my afternoon today! emoticon
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