|Fern from the garden.|
|Ferns by the garden pond.|
Ferns seem to unravel, like weird bobbins covered in a furry or wet-feathered down, yet do not give any real indication to the future shape of their fronds.
Their forms stand up so straight, yet with a distinctive curve as the coiled head bows into itself, looking like some prehistoric creature stooping forward, ready to strike some unsuspecting prey.
|Like curled seahorse tails...|
|Wisteria outside the kitchen door.|
The Wisteria buds sprang out, the flowers always more abundant than the leaves in the first stage, yet the tiny fronds are waiting to burst out, like feathery fans around the papery cocoon of the future blooms. The flowers are now fully open, draping themselves over the trellis and hanging down with their weight, and perfuming everything with the honey scent.
Here the vines are starting to bud, although the ones in the photo below are not representive of any viticulture since they are never cut back as they would be in a true vineyard. These vines, just outside the school, are simply for ornamental purposes, showing their development over the weeks as the rosy-pink buds break out from the dried, furling tendrils that look like snaking barbed wire!
|Vines near work...|
|Beeches behind the fencing.|
The sticky buds of the Horse Chestnut tree are perhaps the weirdest of all with their determined drive...
|Firebugs - Les Gendarmes.|
|A beetle crawling down a blade...|
However, the strangest beast that we have encountered this spring was most certainly the gigantic spider that awoke from its dormant position, having been hunched on the flank of Reims cathedral waiting for its moment to come.
Last Saturday, its moment truly came, and with hordes of people gathered to watch the event, the spider made its way down from its lair and started to wander around the streets, flexing its huge legs from a body of over 15 metres in width, 13 metres in height. The visual effect was very eery since it was so lifelike, spidery and stealthy, and the accompanying noise of music and the hiss of fire and water made our skin creep.
|A dormant spider preparing for action...|
|The spider in front of the library - reflecting the cathedral.|
|Kumo - Parvis de la cathédrale.|
Here's a link to see the event... If you can't watch the whole clip, just follow the opening sequence and then the final minute - it makes my skin prickle just watching it again.
I thought Kumo had met a symbolic end, but she was to rise from the flames like a phoenix for the next day....
On the subject of creatures arising, the twisted, burgeoning forms of the Paris metro entrances, designed by Hector Guimard, at the end of the 19th century always remind me of the triffids from John Wyndham's 1951 novel (The Day of the Triffids)...You get the feeling that these will suddenly come to life as you descend into the depths of the Paris underground system!