1 0 Tag Archives: Brittany
post icon

out and about in the springtime

I’ve been sharing plenty of nature photos lately… pictures from leisurely walks in the woods, from lazy afternoons spent wandering the gardens of Normandy or Brittany, or even those taken from the side of the road whenever I stumble upon something noteworthy traveling from point A to point B. It seems that I’ve grown much more in tune with the earth over the past several years; I’m always happy to be outside on a beautiful day learning about nature and the plants and creatures that share our planet.

One of the best purchases we’ve made over the past couple of years has been annual passes to the Parc Botanique de Haut Bretagne (Botanical Garden of Upper Brittany)… it’s quite close to our house (near the town of Fougères in Brittany), so we frequently go there to wander around for a few miles. There are some nice areas of the park to explore, and every time we go something has changed… something has grown, or matured, or been replaced. It’s peaceful, and the kids really like it. Callum especially is into plants and gardening, and can spend hours checking out the various specimins in the carnivorous plants section of the park.

We took an afternoon trip to the park yesterday, and of course I took a few pictures… and of course I’m going to share them here.

Along the garden path

Along the garden path

The river

The river, with flowering bushes along its banks

Gardens and fields

The gardens and green fields of Brittany

The Garden of the Rising Sun

An Asian-themed garden within the Parc Florale

Bamboo grove

The bamboo grove, and the fields beyond

Flowering sarracenia

The sarracenia (a type of carnivorous pitcher plant) were blooming in the carnivorous plants garden

A strange plant at the Parc Botanique

This is a strange plant that I don’t even know what it is


A new friend I found swimming in the pond… don’t worry, I put him back!

Some kids and a statue

A couple of random kids and a statue by the garden trail

And, in the spirit of sharing photos, here are a couple of yours truly in action…

On the mic

While I’m not usually much of an entertainer, I have occasionally been known to house the crowd

Out and about

Out and about with some friends in Avranches

Leave a Comment
post icon

the hiking trails of Monthault

Ruins near Monthault in BrittanyThis past Saturday was one of the nicest days we’ve seen here in northwestern France in 2013. Today is certainly not one of those days… I went for a jog this morning after dropping the kids off at school, and it was only half a degree from freezing. Brr! Though I guess I shouldn’t complain… I hear my friends and family back in Ontario have been seeing snow.

Considering how nice a day it was outside on Saturday, we as a family decided to take a trip to the hills of Monthault in Brittany, quite near where we live. There are some really nice hiking trails near the town, including one that leads to an amazing megalithic site. A friend has hiked there, and she told me that to her, it felt like a place of great power. I definitely wanted to see that.

The hiking trail we took was called “Les Buttes de Monthault” – The Mounds of Monthault. We parked our car near the trails and headed up the hill. We had a great family walk, but I’m sorry to say that I must have taken a wrong turn somewhere, because after a nice long trek we ended up arriving back at the village of Monthault having wound up on a completely different trail… something about the colors of Monthault? I have no idea how that happened, but I certainly didn’t see any interesting mounds out there! On the plus side, we had a great time hiking up and down the hilly trails. The countryside in this region is quite beautiful.

Amelia was my stalwart hiking partner for the entire walk. She talked my ear off the entire time! She has become quite a creative young lady with the stories that she can spin, one after the other.

At any rate, it was a lovely day, and I’m looking forward to the return of the springtime weather we had over the weekend! Maybe when the sun comes back out I’ll try once more to find those ancient rocks…

Amelia on the trail

Amelia, my hiking partner, strikes a pose

The countryside near Monthault

the countryside surrounding the village of Monthault

The church in Monthault

The church in Monthault – I love the steeple!

A strange insect on my leg

This strange bee-fly hybrid insect that I don’t even know what it is landed on my leg; I should probably look it up and try to figure out what it was and if it was out to get me

Leave a Comment
post icon

trees in Fougères

today was a pretty nice (albeit somewhat chilly) day, so we spent the afternoon at the forest of Fougères in the eastern part of Brittany. The forest is quite large, and within it there is a good-sized lake with a beach for the kids to play at and a short pier where people gather to fish. Around the lake is a hiking trail with exercise posts set up at intervals beside the path (as I mentioned in a previous post, this is quite common in France).

Trees in Fougères

Trees in the forest of Fougères

Moss on the trees

Moss on the trees

Shetland pony meets Shetland sheepdog

Shetland pony meets Shetland sheepdog

now we’re at home; it’s evening, and the kids are working on their crafts. Meanwhile, we’ve got the wood stove going to keep the place warm. And that’s the news for today.

Leave a Comment
post icon

a walk through the woods

It’s the middle of February, and the rainy, gloomy days typical of winter here in northwest France are winding down. Yesterday was a beautiful day – clear skies, not too cold, and not raining – so we went for a walk in the woods in a park called the Vallée Humide de Bois-Ainaux. It is a forested wetland in the northeast of Brittany (Ille-et-Vilaine) with a variety of different natural sites to see and educational areas for the children to play with and explore. It’s a great place to visit on a clear, cool day, and we were the only people in the park throughout the entire afternoon. Of course I had my iPhone with me, so naturally I took a bunch of pictures.

I’m going to start with a picture of me, as I notice I don’t post many pictures of myself on my own blog!

Brian Crawford

Me walking through the woods in Brittany on a not-quite-spring day

And here is a picture of Amelia and me… after I got Yvonne to take a picture of me, Amelia wanted one of the two of us in the same place.

Amelia and Brian

Amelia and I hanging out in the woods

Here is Callum by a pond in the middle of the forest. Inside the pond were thousands of frog eggs (frogspawn), ready to turn into tadpoles.

A pond full of frog eggs

A pond full of frog eggs in the middle of the forest

The kids found some big boulders in one part of the woods, so they did a little climbing.

Climbing boulders

Climbing some boulders in the woods

And finally, here is a picture of our Shetland Sheepdog, Lilou. We kept her off her leash for most of the walk, and she was very well-behaved… at one point we thought she was going to jump into the frog pond, but fortunately she came to her senses and decided against it. Nice work! Otherwise she ran around, sniffed stuff, and let out a lot of energy.

Lilou the Shetland Sheepdog

Lilou, our tri-color Shetland Sheepdog

Leave a Comment