Friday, September 7, 2012

François Skyvington's moped road movie #4

Episode #4 of the road movie was presented yesterday afternoon.

As usual, the program was particularly didactic... whether or not that was the intention of the producers. We learned, for example, that an old-fashioned man-powered meteorological observation station still exists in Provence.

Next, François met up with bees, kept in the wilderness on a Cévenol hillside in ancient tree-trunk hives.

You only have to lift a trunk to admire the fabulous activity of the bees.

The beekeeper explained the advantages of this ancient technique.

François (bitten by a bee in real time) appeared to be fascinated nevertheless by the beauty of Cévenol beekeeping.

Then he turned to goats. More precisely, to goat cheese.

Bisons, of course, were a different kettle of fish. This sequence was particularly didactic in the sense that an observer (like François himself) needed a little time to be reassured that these Provençal graziers of bisons must not be looked upon as nostalgic cowboys.

Their job consists of breeding and grazing bisons for meat.

From a distance, the setting evokes the Far West.

The animals are not necessarily dangerous, but they have to be respected.

François told his hosts that he had been impressed by his encounter with these beasts. After all, it's not an everyday affair, in France, to venture out onto the empty plains to take care of bisons.

The departure of François, in the setting sun, was of a lonesome cowboy style.

On the slopes of the Cévennes, he got off his faithful moped steed—like Lucky Luke on the other side of the Atlantic—and settled down to watch the last rays of the Sun.

It was too dark to see, but I imagined my son chewing nonchalantly upon a stalk of prairie grass, and looking back upon his experiences of the day.

A delightful episode, as usual.

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