This week's throwback Thursday takes us back eight years, with a post from 22 March 2009.
What a glorious week we have had, weather-wise! It has been pretty well sunshine all the way, with cold nights, and mid-day temperatures pushing 20°C.
On Tuesday we bundled into the car – dogs and all – and took the drive down to Millau to see the viaduct. Including comfort stops, the trip took about four hours. Both dogs took it very well – Flash sees the back of the car as a safe place to sleep, and Ulysse just loves car journeys. I took him out for a trip in the MX-5 recently. He had a short leash attached to the seat belt mechanism, so couldn’t get out, which meant we were able to go out for a twenty-minute drive with the top down. He loved it. I have to say, though, that the hat didn’t stay on for long!Meanwhile, the drive was uneventful, and we arrived at the viaduct in the right number of pieces. I have spoken about the viaduct before so I shan’t go into it again, but there is lots of information in its Wikipedia entry [link], and here is a picture of some fat bloke with his dog, both trying to look slimmer than they are, and both failing. Oh yes, and the viaduct is in the background!The viewing point, at road level, gives some tremendous views of the area, as you can see here,although it is a bit of a hike to the top. In deference to her years, we allowed Grandma to stay behind in the car park whilst we went up to the top and, to give an idea of the climb, took this picture from about a quarter of the way up.After we left the viaduct, we went into Millau for a spot of lunch. Millau is a place we have visited a few times now, and we have enjoyed every visit. We have always been impressed by the way the trees along the roads are trained to give good leaf cover in summer, without becoming a problem beyond the road. They also give good framing for any street photographs.After Millau we went off the find the vultures in the Gorges de la Jonte, to give me a chance to try out my new toy – all the photographs so far I had taken on my pocket camera. The route was not all that well signposted, as all the direction boards were leading to the Gorges du Tarn, but we knew that it was close to, and just north of the latter, so followed those signs until we found the turnoff we wanted.
We were looking for the Belvédère des Vautours (vulture lookout), which is an excellent place from which to see the birds, as well as being an important conservation and information centre. Sadly, they don’t open until the end of March, so we reeled off a few photographs from their car park. I had forgotten to put my tripod in the car, so took the shots hand-held at an effective focal length of 750mm. The way they turned out is a testimony to the anti-shake technology that Sony acquired from Konica/Minolta and built into the body of their Alpha range.
A couple of vulture shots,
I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that the woodland management had produced large piles of pine that I believe is destined for the furniture and DIY markets. Whilst walking Ulysse during the week it was clear that the great pick-up had started.I have to say, though, that in the week since I took that picture, no more work has taken place.
What has happened is that Ulysse has made a new friend. Pierre’s young Spaniel puppy has found a way in (hardly surprising, Ulysse has found many ways out), and she and Ulysse play together very well. Until, that is, Ulysse has decided he has had enough whereupon he, being a gentlemen, runs and hides rather than becoming aggressive. He saves his aggression for rodents! You wouldn’t want to be a rodent when Ulysse is on watch.Ulysse disappears off sometimes and comes back absolutely filthy. I think there may be something in Jean-Marc’s pond. Jean-Marc did tell me that he had some animals in his pond a couple of years ago, and his description suggests it was coypu – Ulysse’s preferred prey!
Now you may think, looking at this next photograph, that the wee fellow has been eating too many sausages.However, he is not elongated, merely trying to hide from a spaniel who doesn’t want to be hidden from! This is the scene before the hiding started, and which looks nice and calm, although there was a great deal of running and excited yapping involved.Finally, as they say on the news at ten, we have to be fair. It seems to us not right that Ulysse should be the only lap dog in the establishment, so here is Flash, doing his impression of a lap dog.