Dawn Walk to the Calvaire at the Crossroads

 The early light of misty autumn mornings is so beautiful here in Normandy. It creates drama in the sky that changes minute by minute, it bounces off clouds2 November dawn haras du gazon IMG_0184

1a An impressionist painting of a sky at dawn IMG_0183

and it reflects colour and shapes in the smooth dark surface of our lake at the Haras du Gazon which itself could be the inspiration for any number of impressionist paintings. 

3 IMG_0186x3


4 frosty dawn at the lake x5 IMG_0188

 I wanted to see the dawn at the ‘calvaire’ at the crossroads, so had to hurry over the field and head towards the lane lined with tall oak trees.

7 Oak avenue 2  IMG_0201

 The cows and calves are in the big level field to the right but I only had time to glance at them briefly

6 Cattle at dawn through the hedge IMG_0195

 By now the sun was quite high in the sky and the way ahead was bathed in a soft, bright glow.

8 Walk to the calvaire IMG_0204

The crucifixes or ‘calvaires’ that mark many crossroads of country lanes in Normandy have a long tradition. Each parish would compete with one another to commission the most moving symbol of the Christian faith. Many were destroyed at the time of the French Revolution, but some were hidden from the government agents sent to destroy them and then replaced in the second half of the 19th century.

9 Crossroads at dawn a 2 IMG_0206

 Facing the light brought out the drama of this symbol of the Christian Passion. Then, turning to go home, with the sun now behind me, the scene returned to a less remarkable but still lovely morning glow.

10 Calvaire at dawnIMG_0210

 11 Calvaire in the sunshine IMG_0211

The Oaks and beech trees are the stand outs in their autumn colours, so especially intense for a short while at the beginning and end of each short day.

12a Tree when walking back IMG_0213

13 Beech tree walking back IMG_0217

Having so much to look at made me late home for breakfast – and having to face the reproachful looks of our farm cat Benny who appears sporadically on windowsills.

14 Benny waiting on windowsill IMG_0219

 Torn between wanting a wild existence and the comforts of a warm house, he dips into domestic life only briefly but expects me to be available as and when to let him in and out as he wishes. There was a further unwelcome delay while I took a minute to take his photograph…

15 Benny outside window x 2 IMG_0223