Monday, 1 December 2014

Another walk through the fields and woodlands of Vitrac Saint Vincent.

Last Tuesday, our leisure club met in Vitrac Saint Vincent for a short walk along the banks of La Rivaillon, the small stream which runs through the village.   We walked south east along a country path, with the stream on our right, until we turned right to cross it, via an ancient narrow stone footbridge; soon thereafter we climbed uphill and turned right again, to follow a hillside contour, through oak woodland, back to Vitrac.  You can see our route below and read a bit more about Vitrac HERE.

Meeting in Vitrac next to the church.

The route we walked on  each side of the river.

The small village of Vitrac Saint Vincent. The old epicerie (grocery) on the corner has been for sale for several years, as has the little local bar, three doors up the road.  Sad, as it would be a lovely place to go and have a drink!!


La Rivaillon, now somewhat narrower here than it used to be, flowing under the road bridge on the D60.

We walked past the local junior school as we left the village.

Soon we saw this donkey, who greeted me very noisily!!
Walking on past the trees in their autumn colours... 

Our route took us back to a point very close to the stream.  The water level is quite low at the moment, but to see what it looked like in flood in 2011 see HERE

A couple of cows watched us walk by....

and these mushrooms, Gymnopus fusipes, were gathered by one of the walkers with much relish; she was telling us how delicious they are when young and fresh! We are very wary of collecting wild mushrooms, but the French seem to know just what they are doing!

Three huge oak trunks seasoning by the side of the road...

or, as you can see, it really is just a  farm track.

I was fascinated by these unusually shaped berries, but I have no idea what they are.
Thanks to both Nadege and the Fly, I now know this is Euonymus europaeus   commonly known as a spindle tree.  The berries are very toxic.  European spindle wood is very hard, and can be cut to a sharp point; it was used in the past for making wool spindles.

Crossing the river by the ancient stone footbridge.  The ground on either side was pretty wet and muddy, so I ended up with wet socks!

Golden leaves litter the woodland path on our way back to Vitrac....

and in the wood too.

Then the rain started to come down; luckily we both had waterproofs with us!

Despite the rain, it was not a  terribly cold day, so we much enjoyed a very pleasant walk in good company!



Also see my daily diary HERE

and My Life Before Charente (updated 16 October 2014) 


52 comments:

  1. I sometimes enjoy a walk in the rain if it's not too heavy. This must have been a marvelous walk for you all. Your photos are marvelous. I loved them all but particularly the cute donkey. I do so love donkeys. Wishing you a very happy week :)

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    1. Thanks Denise for the comment. The rain was not too heavy until we got home. We then had 35mm!! The donkey I suspect woke up the whole village when I went to speak to it, they really are very loud:-)) Hope your week is a good one. Diane

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  2. Love the beautiful autumn photos. Vitrac is one of my favourite villages, so much history and lots to see x

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    1. Thanks Kerry, I also love the spot. The village is small, but there are many interesting walks around it and as you say there is so much history. Keep warm Diane xx

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  3. i would love to take this walk! it is just beautiful! i wish i knew how to pick mushrooms. it seems that everyone in the czech republic knows how to do it when i have been there.

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    1. Jaz we have some mushrooms in the garden which we had checked by the chemist which are called coulemelle, very edible and very tasty, but we do not know enough to pick out in the wild. Glad you liked this post. Have a good day Diane.

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  4. The berries look like those of the service tree which i think is the same as the spindle. I'd love to have heard the donkey roaring!

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    1. Hi Fly, hope you are well,it seems you are right about the berry tree, see Nadege's comment a little lower, she has given the link to it as well. Wow that donkey certainly woke everyone up in the village if they were having an afternoon nap :-))
      Keep well both of you and hope you have a great December and Christmas. Diane

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  5. Oh my goodness, you have made my day with your beautiful photos!!! I love donkeys and cows, and living in the city I don't get to see them often. This is a walk I would have thoroughly enjoyed...well, thanks to your photos, I did! :)

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    1. LInda so pleased you enjoyed your virtual walk, I am so glad I do not live in the city. I do not like crowds and I have always live in the country. Take sometime to get out if you can and breathe the fresh air and a newly mowed lawn. Have a good day Diane

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  6. Beautiful pics of your amazing countryside.

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    1. Thanks Rick, we do have amazing countryside around here and around every corner there is so much history. Hard to think the Resistance was hiding out in this area not that many years ago. Take care Diane

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  7. Beautiful!. Thanks for sharing

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    1. Its a pleasure Elaine and thanks so much for the comment and the visit. Enjoy your day Diane

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  8. Here are the berries you were wondering about : http://www.ruralite.net/2014/11/automne-rose.html

    In the old days, they used to make spindles, knitting needles from that plant that is highly toxic. Here is what I found in english :
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euonymus_europaeus

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    1. Thanks Nadege for the info and the links, I will take a look now. I suspected that it might be very toxic, it had that look about it!! Take care and have a good week Diane

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  9. Hello Diane,
    Even under the rain when you're in good company a walk can be very enjoyable!
    The berries are called fusain in french and those seeds are familiarly called "bonnets d'évêque" :)
    Lovely photos making us feel we were there with you!
    Well it seems we have to brace up for a dull and wet week... :(
    Keep well and warm!

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    1. Thanks Noushka for giving be the French familiar name as well as the French name, much appreciated. Yes the reminder of this week does not look very nice weather wise!! Possible snow it says on Thursday!! Take care and you also keep warm. Diane

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  10. Hi Diane .. glad you found out what the berry was ... I was off to check my first thoughts and am glad to have them confirmed. Love the countryside ... it's great you can get out and enjoy these .. pity about the closed up 'pub' ... but the photos are gorgeous ... the donkey chat ... I bet he enjoys his talks to passers-by ... Cheers Hilary

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    1. Hilary those berries just had a toxic look about them so I was glad to have it confirmed. That donkey was so funny and sooooo loud LOL. It is sad about the pub. I gather it was owned by two families then there was some disagreement and it has been up for sale for some time now. The village is not that big so I wonder if it would be profitable? Take care Diane

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  11. What a great walk dear Diane! YOur pictures are always so beautiful, I enjoy so much every detail you capture. I wouldn't dare collect those wild mushrooms myself! And the berries! who would know they were toxic! Thanks once again for a great walk!!

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    1. Thanks Pamela for the visit and the kind comment. So glad you enjoyed the virtual walk, Keep well and have a good week Diane

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  12. Lovely set of shots, both from the town and the countryside.

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    1. Thanks José your comments are always appreciated. Take care Diane

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  13. What a bucolic place to take a walk. Thanks for taking us along. I thought everything was fun but getting socks wet :)
    Sam

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    1. Sam I was really fed up with my wet socks but I soon forgot about them :-) It was a great walk. Hope all is well with you. Take care Diane

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  14. Bonjour Diane,
    Looks like you also had a pleasant walk on Monday.
    Like us : a little rain and colder temperatures !!
    Hope you are both well.
    Cordialement, Béatrice

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    1. Our walk was actually Tuesday but what the heck :-) Thanks for the comment, good to hear from you. Take care Diane

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  15. Such a lovely walk through the countryside surrounded by the fall colors. The mushrooms look delicious.

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    1. Gaelyn the fall colours are stunning at the moment but I think give it another week and all the leaves will be gone! I wish we were better at identifying mushrooms but I am sure we will never really get it right without confirmation! Take care Diane

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  16. Such a lovely place to walk... nice to be with nature. Lovely pictures...

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    1. Karen I have always lived in the country so I love nature. I am not good in cities at all, very brief visits is my limit! Thanks for the comment, have a good day Diane

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  17. The donkey seems to love the company. He looks very intrigued of what you guys are doing.

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    1. Ha ha Rose you should just have heard the noise he made! Thanks for the comment and visiting. Take care Diane

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  18. A lovely walk even if it ended with rain. I'm sorry that no one has taken over the grocery and bar…I'm sure they would be a nice addition back into the village life.

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    1. Karen it would be great if the epicerie and bar would be taken over, we would certainly support both as they would be much closer than the town for bread and small items. Also good to pop in to have a drink. Thanks for the comment,hope all is well. Diane

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  19. This looks like another wonderful walk. I much prefer a circular walk to one where you have to turn around and go back the same way! Beautiful photos with lovely autumnal colours....thanks for sharing. X

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    1. Thanks Maggie,I agree, a circular walk is a much better idea. This is a lovely area. Hope all is well Diane

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  20. Diane, it sounds like a perfectly wonderful day. You've made a beautiful life for yourself in France :-)Hugs and blessings...Mary

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    1. Thanks Mary, good to hear from you. Yes we love life in France :-)) Take care and have a good week Diane

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  21. Beautiful pictures. Thanks for taking us along on your stroll. :)

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    1. Thanks Bill glad you enjoyed the virtual walk. Hope you are well, take care Diane

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  22. That was one nice little walk, except for the rain at the end. I'm guessing "waterproofs" are raincoats. :-) Great pic of cattle and love the donkey, he's a cutie! Great little quaint village also, too bad about the bar and grocery store. I really like your header, very nice and the shades of green are so pretty! Good day!

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    1. Good to see you back Pam. Yes waterproofs and raincoats are one and the same. Thanks so much for the lovely comment. Keep well you two and have a good week. Diane

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  23. Dear Diane! Thanks for the tip: I had no idea I could freeze my cherries, and I really need to. Big hugs

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    1. I freeze every year Pamela but I do de-stone them first as it makes life much easier afterwards. Have a good day Diane

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  24. Il est très agréable de voyager avec toi. Très belle ballade.
    A bientôt

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    1. Nadji merci pour le bon commentaire. Bonne journée.

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  25. That looked a very pleasant walk. I love the leaf littered path. I enjoyed walking on those in the Smoky Mts recently.

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    1. Thanks Diane, I am so glad to hear from you I was worried after the news of the storm in Brisbane. Take care and have a good week Diane.

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  26. Dear Diane, Simply beautiful. I hope your holidays are filled with joy. xo Catherine

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    1. Thanks Catherine for your visit and comment. Hope you you have a great time also over the holidays. Take care Diane

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