FORGET THE URBAN LIFE

Living in the countryside, we like or we do not like. There are no half measures. For many years I've been a city-dweller for professional requirements. But I found I was in a sense a privileged guy as I spent most of my time on sea every year, therefore fleeing the frantic and polluted urban life.

I would not like to be pessimistic, but the increasingly strong urban pressure hanging over those rural areas - typically such as the ones presented below - and the last wide open spaces, is no more a fiction but a real threat in the very short term.

After the rain

 

Shot close to my village in autumn.

 

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Ecoagriculture

 

That tractor was on the edge of an expressway in Brittany (France). Apparently, it seemed more efficient than speed bumps as most of the drivers slowed down the time to glance at the odd vehicle. 

 

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Stormy weather at Saint-Martin-de-Ré

 

Saint-Martin-de-Ré is located 25 kilometers (15 miles) from La Rochelle in the department of Charente-Maritime (France) in the northern part of Ré island. The town is surrounded by more than 14 kilometers (9 miles) of fortifications drawn by the architect Vauban. They are registered as World Heritage Sites by UNESCO since 2008.

 

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Autumn at Stenay 

 

Situated in the department of the Meuse, the municipality of Stenay is not only linked to the history of the Merovingians, the crusades and the Templars. Since the Gallo-Roman period it has been a major axis of communication. The first water mills were reported in the 13th century. The image shows the last mill built in the 18th century. It was in service until 1914 before turning into hotel and restaurant. 

 

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Springtime at the countryside

 

Robin Williams once said that springtime was a way of nature to shout "Let the party begin!" 

 

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Freezing

 

While I was processing this image, I couldn't help thinking of the film "The day after tomorrow" by Rolan Emmerich. Honestly, at the moment of taking the photo, wind was so freezing, I had issues with the camera. 

 

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Chapel in the fields

 

Close to my home, there is a tiny chapel. I never paid any attention to it until one day. It was early morning and the fields still slept under the last layers of mist while the sky swept by cirrus created an atmosphere somewhat unreal. 

 

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Thoughts and reflections

 

Loneliness is often conducive to all kinds of intense thoughts. And it is never a waste of time especially when around us our true face is reflected like a magic mirror in the water. 

 

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Villedieu-les-Poêles

 

The city of stoves, as mentioned by its name, the city of copper, the city of bells as well, Villedieu-les Poêles has its history that goes back till the 12th century. At that time, the city was administered by the military order, the current Order of Malta, to protect religion. The inhabitants did not pay taxes! A priori, the dream already came true at that time! But a little birdie told me that to get this privilege, people had to prove their credentials or were a part of a crusade. Villedieu-les-Poêles - Jerusalem on foot was the world's end ... Located in Normandy, department of Manche, the city was spared by the bombings during Normandy landings. The Beer Museum, the Cornille-Havard foundry are the main centers of interest. In 2013, the foundry made eight new bells for Notre-Dame de Paris. The biggest weighs 4 tons. Currently, there are still 5 bell foundries operating in France.

 

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