Kristin's in the States, the sun's out, and there are farms to be investigated. We're off.
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.
Anxious for opportunities to add to our collection of Jura farms in the winter, we've got up a clever scheme to score six new farms in one go, and here's the sunny day to do it in. What with a collection of tribulations through much of the winter, we're only just getting started on our winter's hiking, and -- as you see -- the winter has nearly left us behind. That's a lovely farm called La Conriéry (1073m) with a Fuji zoom, and we'll get a closer look in about ten minutes.
We've started off from the route principal between Arzier and St Cergue near a place called La Fréterette, 14 March 2010, and now we're beginning our day with a pair of cute farms nearly side-by-side: our first one is Les Agozats (1080m) on a pasture that's half snow and half swamp at this point.
Glancing over at La Conriéry with our Fujizoom as we go. We're devastated or at least annoyed that we forgot to recharge our Fuji battery after our trip to Rome, and with six farms still to be snapped over a long afternoon, it's already showing a pale red light.
Les Agozats, with not much snow left on this south-facing side of it
Les Agozats, our first good score for today
Looking northeastward across the front. Five farms to go.
That's one down -- now we're on our way across to La Conriéry in earnest, beautiful from this angle. We're darting efficiently from one farm to the next, because we were here yesterday, planning it all out, when we'd forgotten to bring along the camera at all.
The south side of La Conriéry -- we're circumambulating the building to get the best photo-angles.
From the east side
Looking back at La Conriéry as we march northwards up the hill towards our next destination. Two down!
Pré Nouveau (1125m) -- the 'new meadow', whatever that means, or meant long ago -- we're on a nearby ridge looking northwards and now we'll go on down and get a few close-ups.
There are fabulous views in every direction -- the cows that live here in the summer must count their blessings.
We're only about 500m above the Ruins of Oujon, down the hill southeastward to the right, the Carthusian monastery that presumably thrived out here in what then must have been a kind of wilderness, founded in 1146 and filled with hopeful prayer and monkish fun until the Protestant dissolution of the monasteries in the 1540s. I stopped by there yesterday (without a camera) and it was beautiful under the snow -- here's a look at it without snow.
We're passing by Pré Nouveau and headed next for farm number 4 on the agenda, Combe au Roc, which we can almost see on the far side of the valley.
Pré Nouveau from the east
Circumambulating the building (and now looking into the sun)
There are ski and snowshoe tracks everywhere here -- we're not far from St Cergue, a small-scale winter resort that promotes snowshoeing vigorously.
Down into the little valley from Pré Nouveau
Our little Fuji is groaning unelectrically, and this is the last photo we got out of it as the battery died completely. 'After the first death, there is no other.'
Except sometimes. Camera batteries don't like to be out of electricity, and they also don't like to be cold. So -- Fuji redivivus! -- we're coaxing a few last photos out of it by hiking along with the camera stuffed down our shorts.
So we've missed the Combe au Roc but we're coming up on Les Bioles now, at 1196m. This is taken from the route des montagnes that leads up from the village of Arzier to the farm of Le Vermeilley on the cross-country ski route.
Les Bioles (circumambulating the building)
From the west. Now we're plodding off to see if we can get a few more shots out of the Fuji at Mont Roux
This is the track that leads up the mountain towards the Vermeilley farm and Monts Pelé and Sâla on the Jura ridgeline.
But now we've turned off onto a small road that leads a kilometre or so (in chilly shadow) towards Mont Roux.
That's Mont Roux (1258m) -- Fuji keeps blanking out, and then snapping off a quick shot every three or four tries.
Mont Roux in the sunlight, 14 March 2010
The front of it, facing out over Lake Geneva to the southeast
The back of it. We've made a big circle through the hills so far, and now we're going to plunge straight down the forest for getting home with.
A last grateful look at Mont Roux as we immerse ourselves in forests for half an hour or so
Seventeen tries for this photo -- nearly every time the Fuji flashed a red battery icon and turned itself off. But not this time. That's Les Agozats again, this time from the back end of it, and our VW is waiting out on that far ridgeline, so that's it for today.
Les Agozats, Les Bioles, La Conriéry, Mont Roux, Pré Nouveau