Friday, February 19, 2010

Prima rosa

Yesterday, the snow had completely disappeared, and the sun was shining over Choranche. I wandered up the slopes, with Sophia, to take advantage of the glorious weather. Everywhere, small rocks, detached by the thaw, had rolled onto the road. I ran into Pierrot, the municipal employee, who was busy removing these rocks. At the level of Bob's house (which he would like to sell this summer), I took this photo of all that remains of the fireplace of the ancient stone farmhouse (a twin of my place), which the Nazis had burned down in July 1944.

For weeks, I've got into the habit of stretching myself out in front of my fireplace... watching TV and warming my toes, which are great pastimes on winter evenings, when the world outside is white and chilly. Looking at the decaying red bricks, some of which are charred black around the edges, I imagined that generations of farming families had probably huddled there on cold evenings, after eating their vegetable soup accompanied by a hunk of coarse bread and a glass of the nasty brew they called wine (which had replaced the noble wine that had been eliminated from Choranche by the phylloxera pest around 1860).

During the night, light rain started to fall, and the muddy ground around Gamone now squelches as if I were wearing rubber boots and walking on seaweeds.

Looking back on the last few months, I realize how fortunate I was to have had the roof restored and the ramp laid during a couple of short sunny breaks. In fact, there could be nothing better for the ramp than the treatment of snow and rain to which it has been subjected, which is compacting it ideally. No vehicle will touch the ramp, of course, before it has dried out and been covered in gravel.

This morning, from my bedroom window, I discovered with joy a tiny splash of yellow. In spite of the rain, I rushed outside with my Nikon (protected by an umbrella) to take the following photo:

The first primrose of 2010 at Gamone! Spring is just around the corner.

1 comment:

  1. "Thy smiles I note, sweet early Flower,
    That peeping from thy rustic bower
    The festive news to earth dost bring,
    A fragrant messenger of Spring.

    (Samuel Taylor Coleridge, "To A Primrose")