One of my greatest pleasures consists of simply gazing out over the circus of Choranche from a first-floor window of my house at Gamone. Whenever I detect some special magic in the view, I take a photo. This one, for example, is a Bastille Day symphony of clouds rising over the eastern horizon:
This morning, down in front of the house, Fitzroy detected the presence of an alien visitor:
The blue balloon and its attached card had been sent into the air by a girl named Clémence, on the eve of Bastille Day, from an agricultural village up near Lyon. I mailed the card back to her, as requested, so that her village would have a record of this flight of one of its balloons. I imagined myself as Neil Armstrong on 20 July 1969, radioing back to Earth: "Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed."