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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Down the street.

This past weekend I took a walk around the neighborhood, just to see what's there in the empty space between the freeway access road and a couple of streets nearby. It's like a hole on the map there. My whole area, it seems, used to be composed of large suburban lots or small farms, most of which have been cut up to put two or more houses where there used to be one. My own house is one of the few remaining that retains a really deep yard - most of the others on my street have put a second house in the back so that neither one has much of a yard.
I'm thinking seriously of finding a house to buy. Although I've always said I wouldn't buy the one I live in even were it for sale (because of the major work that needs to be done on it), I've come to realize it is just the sort of place I want: Lots of yard, just two bedrooms, walking distance to the town center, public transportation.
So I wandered around to see if anything like that was on the market, and ended up in this lost triangle of Aubière. There were a couple of vegetable gardens. One was meticulously cared for, and might have belonged to one of the vendors at the Market on Sundays. Farther down the dirt road, another was overgrown but you could still see where the rows were, and a little flag at the end of each one. Looking around in the trees, I noticed they were apples. Still giving fruit, though nobody was beating a path through the weeds to harvest them. Abandoned fruit trees are the saddest landscape. There were two old cabins, gone to ruin, and by the abandoned plot people had thrown junk like this old washer.
Follow another of the dirt roads there, and it rises to this abandoned vineyard, one with a great view. Auvergne is not a great wine-making region, though there are vineyards here and there (even one right in the center of town).
It too was still putting out fruit.
Along the road was the real find of the day: blackberries! At the bottom of this road there was a house and a yardful of junk and three yapping dogs, and at the top, beyond the vineyard, there was a well-kept field and cabin, so I wasn't sure that somebody didn't have claim to the berries already.
I went back later with a plastic box and collected a few anyway. Just a few. I didn't take any that weren't ripe yet.

11 comments:

steven said...

wow a treasure trove of fruit! that comment about abandoned fruit trees and bushes is so true. when i see places with junk all over i want to clean them and make them special again. unless they're my own house!!! steven

Jessica Maybury said...

that picture of the blackberries made my mouth water! So glad it's this time of year and that I called over.

Tabor said...

Nothing better then wild found food.

Reya Mellicker said...

The country is so beautiful, but all those discarded appliances ... yikes!

Martin H. said...

I hate to see these remnants of land just cast aside after a plot has been re-modelled. They always seem to be calling out for care and attention.

Glad you've managed to harvest some blackberries. Any chance of picking an apple or two to accompany them?

NanU said...

I've got four apple trees of my own, Martin (though right now it's the seven plums that are drowning me in fruit)!
Ironic that the discarded junk is just down the block from the local trash/junk collection point. The people with the yardful seem to be doing something or other with it, but then just a few yards away there's stuff thrown into the bushes. Some people.

chiccoreal said...

Dear NaNu: Yes, indeed. The Bus. I was thinking about this. I'd like to do a connecting link kind of thing with thought. See how we can rattle off thought; one idea begets another, that sort of thing, or the first thing that comes to focus when you get out of bed in the am. What would be better? Maybe both. No Mr. Linky effects, I wont d/l on my computer for some reason. So we'll do it the old fashioned way for today. Would like to add some visual stimulation as always! That gets the juices cranked up!

chiccoreal said...

I love farm life. You are so lucky. Are those blackberries? MMMM...nummy!

NanU said...

Fine ideas both, Chicorreal. I'll start jotting things down! I didn't set up a Linky either, just made a post that I added links to as the comments came in.

Captain Dumbass said...

Blackberries spread like weeds so I think everybody should be able to pick them. They're more abundant here then grass.

NanU said...

They do, Captain. The blackberries in my yard, though, are all spiny weed and no fruit!