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Our first full year of Obama disappointments
Kristin's visiting and we're both rheuming and snorting like ancient lawnmower engines. Crisp, clear mountain air will do more for us than cold remedies can!
February jaunts, 2009-2010
Taking advantage of sunny days when we can
You may not find this terribly rewarding unless you're included here, so this is a good time for casual and random browsers to turn back before they get too caught up in the sweep and majesty of the proceedings and can't let go.
We're on old forestry roads above Grand Fuey (1142m) on the road to Marchairuz -- a brilliant sunny day, and a bad case of the sniffles. (7 February 2010)
We've been dithering about this afternoon up the darkish forest to this horizontal path at 1310m leading out into the welcome sunlight.
Out of the forest and past the stone wall into a World of Sun. And out into a frigid wind coming down from the north.
The long meadows of La Foirausaz, plenty of sun and a brutal bise, the wind from the north. We're facing north now, bad idea.
A longing glance back southwestward into the windless forest
A glance up at the front part of Mont de Bière Devant on the horizon and another attack of the sniffles, with sneezing.
This cannot go on, not with the sniffles already. We'll have a last look into the wind from the north, and then ...
. . . flee southward.
Down into the forest we go, with the wind shaking up the treetops beautifully
The forest is called the Pré à l'Ane. Pré is a meadow, âne is a donkey. Your guess is as good as mine.
Popped down out of the forest and a last sunny sniffling walk up the Biére road to the trailhead at Grand Fuey.
A grey day this time, both still sniffling, we're setting off to walk along the foot of the mountains from Gingins and circumambulate the Abbey of Bonmont. 14 February 2010.
Signal de Bougy
A week later, the restaurant at the Signal de Bougy, a nature/recreation park for children overlooking Lake Geneva, 20 February 2010. We've come today to walk around a bit and view some more of the woodsculptures of the incredible Paul Monney.
Paul Monney's sculptures can be found all around the region, in public parks like this and carved out of tree stumps up on inaccessible mountain forestry roads.
Paul Monney's tribute to the balloonist Auguste Piccard. I'm a great fan of Mr Monney's works and I've made an unauthorized page of photos of whatever I've run across in my perambulations.
Gazing out from the Signal de Bougy park over Lake Geneva (Lac Léman)
Over at the far end of the Signal de Bougy, an "adventure park". When Marlowe was a wee lass and I lived in nearby Gimel, we came to the Signal de Bougy frequently to play on the traditional jungle gym playground amusements. None of this was here to divert us back in those days.
Kids' amusements seem to get more and more improbable as the years pass.
Fun for all ages . . . except mine, I think.
That's my house. On the right. My neighbor God lives on the left. 21 February 2010, Kristin, Joe, Teny, and my owngoodself are walking out the bottom end of Bassins, Switzerland, to make a loop down the hill and back up the headwaters of the river Serine again.
Bassins on a fine day
And again; it's a very nice village for living in.
The path is starting downhill now, towards the Bassins suburb of La Cézille, where the ham restaurant Le Moulin tempts everyone who drives past it except Vegans.
Kristin and Teny, walking along and mainly catching up on recent events
The path down from Bassins towards La Cézille
Lake Geneva in the distance, and the jet d'eau waterspout turned on. The ravine down to the right was created and maintained by our local river through the combe, which disappointingly is called the Rivière de la Combe. Soon it will join the Serine and finally get a name on it.
La Rivière, right, joins the Serine here at the sawmill between La Cézille and the village of Begnins.
So now we're turning back up the ravine of the Serine to make a loop. 21 February.
A merrily burbling Serine, not like the depressing gloom of a few weeks ago.
The combe of the Serine
Near the top of the combe, if we can ford the mighty Serine we'll be up on the Bassins pastures again.
Coming home to Bassins, where we're going to mix up a bonne fondue this evening and get fat.
Kristin's gone back to gainful employment in les Etats Unis, it's early March 2010, and we've been polishing up the neglected old snowshoes to get back out on the hoof.
It's a very cold day, by our standards, and we're just wandering around in the forest of Grande Rolat to get back into the swing of snowshoe things.
We're wearing gloves today, it must be cold. See the Very Dark Sunglasses? (Gucci, from the flea market in Rome) -- new eyes in there, we've got to take good care of them.
A long afternoon blissfully wandering round in the forest, but it's getting late, so we've popped out onto the straightforward Combe des Amburnex to catch the express route back to the car.
This is virtually a swamp in the summer but it's holding up very well today. We're looking back southwestward at the farm of Les Amburnex, because there's a howling north wind coming down the combe and we don't want to turn round and get moving again. But we probably can't put it off forever.
Up a side valley off Les Amburnex, that's the Joux de Bière farm
Joux de Bière (1344m), and now it's just through the forest and over the ridge to rejoin Dieter the VW, get the car-heater going, break out a chilled libation, and hurry back over the Jura ridgeline in time to pick up the BBC News at the top of the hour from Geneva, in English.
Back to the Serine
It's late March, and raining, but we want to see the Serine again.
We're scuttling out the low end of Bassins and plunging down into the ravine of our Rivière.
The aptly-named Rivière, below La Cézille
The scierie, or sawmill, where the Rivière joints the Serine. Uphill now.
The upper valley of the Serine, 27 March 2010
The Holy Rock of Granfer
Up the valley we go -- less snow now, much more mud
Topping out at the end of the day on the meadows below Bassins, with the farmer and his dog going down to check out some of the farm issues.
and suggestions are welcome if positive, resented if negative, .
All rights reserved, all wrongs avenged. Posted 23 March 2010, revised 24 October 2014.