An Autumn Walk in Les Grouets

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The sun’s shining outside and we’ve just had lunch. Instead of getting back to work on a very boring translation and the Big Fireplace Operation respectively, I suggest to Relationnel that we go for a walk. What’s the point of living in the country if we can’t make the most of autumn? Relationnel immediately agrees so I put on my big thick walking shoes and off we go.

Closerie Falaiseau in autumn

We turn right out of the gate and walk down the road until we get to the railway underpass. We turn right again, up the hill, to the forest. I see there is a sort of path on the right, so we walk along that. Then I see a cyclist bearing off to the right once more and suggest we follow him. We keep going until we come to a sort of clearing.

Forest clearing

In front of us is a fairly steep slope and I realise this must be what Alain meant when he talked about being in the forest and seeing the tree tops. The light is amazing and it really is very beautiful and peaceful. We come out of the forest and past a field of stubble, then through a bower of trees that have already lost their leaves.

Natural archway of trees

At the end of the path, instead of continuing straight ahead, we turn right to explore the houses which Relationnel tells me overlook ours. I’m amazed that he knows where we are as I have lost all notion of geography by this time. We then start walking through brambles and Relationnel lets slip that “according to the satellite photo, this should take us back to the other path”. Ah, now the secret’s out ! He’s been checking out Google maps.

Ring of agaric mushrooms

We finally have to turn back because the brambles are getting too thick and I am wearing my only decent anorak. We connect up to the field of stubble again and Relationnel finds a Marasme des Oréades (Marasmius oreades) but there’s only one so we don’t keep it. Then we see a whole ring of agarics but they’re on private property which means we obviously can’t pick them even if there’s no fence. A little further on, we see a little group of parasol mushrooms somewhat past their prime huddling together in the sun.

Parasol mushrooms huddling together

We go past a few more houses and I see a delightful little number plaque with blue shutters and a blue bike. Now, I wonder what sort of plaque I could find for a house that’s 400 years old and has mullioned windows and a half-timbered tower? And I wonder whether Mei Lun’s beautiful drawing of Closerie Falaiseau could be made into a plaque.

N° 13

Suddenly I recognise where we are – we’re walking down a road called Rue de la Grande Filaire that I’ve never wanted to take because we usually approach it from the bottom on our bikes and it looks like a long haul up ! So we turn right and walk down Rue de l’Hôtel du Grand Pasquier that eventually meets up at the church on the corner of our road. Another 15 minutes and we’re home, delighted with our lovely autumn walk and ready to get back to work.

Mei Lun’s sketch of Closerie Falaiseau
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