picnicking!

 

Can we just talk about how lovely France has become? It’s been in the 60s (Fahrenheit) for almost a week (minus one or two rainy moments) and almost completely sunny. Flowers are blooming and birds are chirping like they are the chorus of spring itself.
I’ve run alongside the river Erdre a couple times with sun on my face and blue water on my side. I only wish I were more in shape so that I could run longer.
I had a picnic on Sunday with Lindsey and Krista.   It was Lindsey’s idea, and for the most part Lindsey’s food. I knew there was a reason I liked her.  The park was perfect. There were meadows and meadows of daffodils popping up anywhere and everywhere in wild tufts. There were magnolia trees exploding in soft pinks and snowy whites.  There were other colorful flowers in lavenders and blues that I have no name for but I wish I did. There were waterfalls freshly flowing and swans patrolling the banks. It was magnifique.
Lindsey’s food

 

We dined on cheese, fresh bread, sparkling peach wine, and some snickerdoodles made possible by a container of creme of tartre I had smuggled back from Scotland in January. We even had a stick of wild boar sausage before a hawk swooped down and clawed it out of our hands… The carnage was unbelievable…

 

A hawk causing carnage

Not really. If this were a choose your-own-adventure we’d be screwed right about now. But luckily this is just my adventure, which was much more exciting. Although there were birds of prey circling high overhead they never landed. A much more bizarre bird-experience was when a man walked by with his two little children and his pet parakeet. The bird was in a cage, ducking and scuttling across it’s bar, trying not to get hit by the hoop swinging back in forth. The man had a perplexingly sour French expression on his face for being out in the sun taking his bird for a walk through a daffodile field.

Besides these appearances of wildlife, there were other animals of prey circling the area.
Dogs were out and about, off their leashes and  in their element. Weird little purebred alien French dogs and cuter bigger French mutts were racing around in pure bliss, celebrating their momentary freedom.  One of said little alien dogs stopped to stare at our picnick. He was luckily on a leash, otherwise I’m sure he would have torn us all to threads. Instead, his owner let him stand a few inches away from our blanket and stare up at us with his weird, disapproving eyes. This went on for a few minutes before the owner tired of who would win this staring contest and moved on.

There was another particularly rascally dog in our meadow that would pounce out of a mound of daffodils in a fit of joy every time a group of young children came by. Inevitably the French children just screamed and ran away. Every freaking time.  I don’t know what their problem was, he just wanted to play! I wanted to hug him.

I miss dogs, I miss big dogs. I wish you could rent puppies while you traveled.

Now it’s raining outside, a sometimes heavy, but always insistent sprinkle, but that’s okay. The smell of the rain mixing with the warm weather and new growth makes it smell like spring. Home in the spring is exactly where I’d like to be right now, sitting in the hills behind my parents’ house, smelling the damp earth, feeling the grass on my hands, the sun on my cheeks, hearing little animals slowly going back to their activities after my initial disturbance.

But if I can’t be there now, I’ll make the most of it here in France, which has shown me in the last week that it has its own special brand of nature and spring paradise to offer.

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