Its been a while, over two weeks since I posted. Busy in the house doing renovations and just getting on with summer. I have managed to get out and about lately though. Once to the Chaudefour Valley, in dubious weather and another locally, walking from a village called St Just Pres des Brioude.

The Chaudefour Valley is I think my favourite place around here. It is just a stunning place. Waterfalls, fantastic volcanic rock formations, a sparkling spring. And normally views all round. This time however the cloud was low and the wind high. So I opted for some exploring around the base of the glacial valley.

Crete du Coq in the clouds
Crete du Coq in the clouds

The whole area is a nature reserve, so no cars, bikes, dogs or crowds. Even more so on a day when it is drizzly. But not a problem when seeking some space. And the water just adds to the waterfalls anyway.

Chaudefour Valley waterfall
Chaudefour Valley waterfall

Last week, it was a different track to follow. Through a mix of farmland, woodland and abandoned objects. 13 miles around old mills, fields and villages. With good weather and only mushroom hunters looking on suspiciously as I passed. They don’t want anyone to know their secret places. The French seem to have a penchant for leaving cars to die where they drop. Hence my banner at the moment, and the following photo, found as I walked.

Rusting cars in the French countryside
Rusting cars in the French countryside

I have found myself struggling to write at the moment, and am not sure of the reasons. I keep trying but find it unsatisfying when I am unhappy with the results. This piece is from the walk above, it is still in progress. May never go further, it is just part of writing to break the deadlock.

Wind Sound
The sound of a waterfall is a tree in the wind,
the terraced hillside crumbling, returning slowly,
like the ruin of a car sitting on the boundary
between field and woods, rusting, overgrown,
browning into history, its Parisian numberplate,
painted by hand.
A valley drops deep on rain scoured tracks
into a woody bog hollow, where a collapsed mill waits.
Looking for salvation through empty windows,
a small hidden view shows inconspicuous detail
that a summit sweeps out wide.
Blue flowers and breeze blown corn rattle.
Blue sky cirrus drifts, sunlight makes hay.

All over there are guides and help pages about writer’s block, I shall be trying out many of the ideas over the next couple of weeks to try to get back on track.

Just one last mountain picture though, since this weeks picture theme was mountains. This is from Puy d’Angle, below the Puy de Sancy. Taken This February while walking with friends.

Puy d'Angle
Puy d'Angle



3 thoughts on “Mountains

  1. Hey Jim! Just wanted to pop by to tell you thank you for always leaving such encouraging comments on my posts — I really appreciate it! These are beautiful, graceful posts and both your pictures and your words inspire me to keep stepping outside my front door and exploring this world of ours. Thank you!


  2. I love your mountain photos. They take me to sights I will probably never get to see in person, although thankfully there are plenty of mountains here that I can see. I don’t feel at home when I’m not in sight of the Rockies. Your “Wind Sound” was full of fresh images. You did well. Hang in there with the writer’s block … and please keep writing and sharing.


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