What happens when a horsemad Ould Wagon moves from Cork to Provence with 2 horses, 2 dogs and a Long Suffering Husband? Why, she gets a third dog, discovers Natural Horsemanship à la Française, starts writing short stories and then discovers a long-buried talent for art, of course…
2012 was a busy year for me. We moved to Provençe for three months at the start of the year and I then spent a month heading homewards on horseback across the French countryside. Badly bitten by the Provençe bug, the LSH and I decided to move back at the start of 2013 for at least a year, but circumstances pushed us into bringing our plans forward and making that move at the end of September.
So there were two relocations, a life-affirming trek on horseback, a major milestone birthday, a forced de-cluttering of our lives in order to make our Irish home suitable for renting and a Christmas trip to California. Oh yes, then there was the broken limb, far too much time in hospitals and the start of the family diaspora as one daughter emigrated to the UK and one was left behind in Cork… a Busy Year indeed!
Le Big Trek was very important to me, and the first eight photos here were taken on the hoof, so to speak. Many of my Big Trek photos feature Flurry’s ears, but he’s only in two of these!
A medieval road that we followed for a short while
My trekking partners Anne and Gigi, crossing a field of young lavender
An awe-inspiring Provençal sky
Looking back the way we had come. We started the day on the far side of the most distant mountain, passed by the flat-topped mountain in the middle of the picture, crossed another mountain…
…descended onto the undulating “dragon’s back” ridge you can see here and rode all the way along the top of it, with the mountains of the Drôme stretching away before us. This was my favourite day of the trek.
This is my favourite “Through the Ears” shot, taken as we descended from the shoulder of the Dentelles de Montmirail towards Beaumes de Venise.
This beautiful reflective scene was an étang, a pond or small reservoir, in the Morvan region
This woodland waterfall was also in the Morvan
We came back to Provençe in the summer, mostly to find a rental property but also to see the lavender fields in bloom.
Lavender field on top of the Luberon mountain
Lavender field near Viens. The little chapel in the distance is owned by Picasso’s widow
Colourful Apt market
Horses are a big part of my life. I went to two big horse shows this year, the Salon de Cheval at Avignon and the Royal Dublin Show. Mostly I was just playing with my camera, but I got a couple of shots I was proud of.
This was a “Wow! Look at that!” point and shoot stroke of luck. This is SOC, not even cropped.
I love the harmony in this one
This was another “point and shoot,” not quite so good but I like the movement in it
A certain small brown dog features in my blog from time to time and the Best of 2012 would not be complete without her. She’s very photogenic!
Cinnamon hiding behind wild lavender…
…blending in with the Ochre at Colorado Provençal…
…and just generally looking cute.
Finally, random shots I like…
Mad Hare sculpture, taken on a road trip with my best friend (we were bringing a jeep-ful of stuff over to my newly emigrated daughter)
This photo was done especially for Sunday Stills
This one was inspired by a fellow Sunday Stills contributor
I know this is not technically great, but I like it!
The first snow
Joining the Sunday Stills “gang” has made me push myself to learn a bit more about how my camera works and to look for inspiration in new ways. Visit Sunday Stills for more “Best of 2012” photos.
I’d also like to wish all my readers a Happy New Year – thanks for following along on my travels.