Friday, 15 February 2008

Silent wait for spring

Many of you northerners dreamed of spring while looking at my photos of almond trees, but let's tell the truth, winter isn't quite over yet, even here in the south of France. This morning the roofs and gardens were white with frost, and the naked plane trees, as rigid as corpses, stretch their bare arms to the sky in a silent prayer for the arrival of spring. This is the courtyard of the Archbishop headquarters, 31 rue Paul Manivet. This magnificent ancient building currently under renovation (you can see that the stickers on the new windows haven't been removed yet) will house all diocesan activities under the one roof (source Catholic Diocese website). I took advantage of the open gate to sneak into the courtyard and take a few pictures.

Mes images d'amandiers ont fait rêver beaucoup de mes lecteurs du nord, mais une hirondelle ne fait pas le printemps, même ici dans le midi. Les amandiers restent l'exception. Ce matin les toits et la campagne étaient couverts de gelées blanches et les platanes sont toujours d'une raideur cadavérique. Pas la moindre explosion de bourgeons dans la cour de l'Archevêché, au 31 rue Paul Manivet. Cet immeuble magnifique qui vient d'être entièrement rénové (il y a encore des étiquettes sur les vitres toutes neuves) permettra de regrouper sous un même toit toutes les activités diocésaines. Site du diocèse ici. Le chantier n'est pas encore fini, j'ai profité des travaux pour entrer dans la cour et prendre quelques photos.

26 comments:

Marie-Noyale said...

Tous ces bras tendus vers le ciel semblent en incantation....
"Let the sun shine
Let the sun shinning..."
Je sais ce n'est pas la comedie musicale ideale pour un endroit religieux!!!
Les ombres sur la 2eme photo sont magnifiques ,avec la porte entrouverte..
Bon week end Nathalie .

Olivier said...

ces arbres, avec les branches tendues, me font penser au conte de fée, quand la princesse essaye de fuir dans la foret et que les arbres l'accrochent. bon weekend

claude said...

Deux très belles photos, Nathalie ! Le temps, c'est comme ici il y a qq jours, blanc le matin et un super ciel bleu, mais celui de Montpellier est encore plus bleu que le mien ! Les arbres essaient de réchauffer leur petites branches au soleil hivernal !

Squirrel said...

These look like a sculpture garden--they raise their branches to the sky.

Maxime said...

Des orants !
Ils tendent leurs bras vers le ciel, et leur maigreur ne doit pas faire illusion, car ils sont vieux, très vieux ; ils sont figés là dans une prière si ancienne qu'ils ne savent plus à qui elle s'adresse, ni n'espèrent plus qu'elle soit un jour exaucée...

Kate said...

Anything for art! I'm so glad that you saw an opportunity when the gate was ajar. I'm proud of you; it's exactly the sort of thing I'd do. It's quite a contrast from the almond tree! Another good shot! (or two!)

Pat said...

What an interesting photo today! Love it!

Pat

Guelph Daily Photo, My Photos.

Rauf said...

i don't know why men of God need such grand mansions Nathalie, why can't they lead a simple life and inspire others ?

fardoise said...

Tu as fort bien fait et nous permettre ainsi de découvrir ce beau bâtiment. Magnifiques photos de Villeneuve aussi.

oldmanlincoln said...

I hope you will risk life and limb and sneak back in there when the plane trees are leafed out and lovely. The contrasts must be tremendous.

edwin s said...

You dream of Spring, I wish for rain. It's been scorching here in KL and my plants are drying no matter how much water I spray every evening.

I remember when I was living in Germany how we used to hold on to winter up to the very last moment. Then the first spring shower would come and out come the t-shirts.

This Archbishop's HQ looks a lot like my Alma Mater in Germany sans the white shutters. We weren't as grand as these men of the cloth. Yeah Rauf, why do they need this grandeur?

How are you my lovely Nathalie? I loved your comment on my stick man :)

Peter said...

Thanks for offering us this hidden treasure!

It's often so frustrating to partly see or imagine some beuatiful things behind closed gates or doors, the "hidden fruits". I can somehow understand the people living behind; they would perhaps be invaded by bloggers.... Sometimes, like here, you are lucky or a friendly person opens the gates for you, sometimes your manage on the toes and with long arms...

The naked trees, in addition to having their specific beauty, give also the advantage that you can see things that in a couple of weeks will be hidden by the multitude of green leaves.

lachezar said...

Your first image with the naked tree branches is out of this world terrific.

Hope spring arrives for you soon!
Cheers!

CaBaCuRl said...

I am gob-smacked by the blue-ness of your winter sky!

hpy said...

Ils sont très expressifs, ces arbres avec les bra(nche)s tendus vers le ciel.

Ruth said...

It looks as though they keep these trees cropped, and that seems symbolic, I guess, not to let plane trees spread in all their glory.

Jilly said...

there's something about an avenue of plane trees that can only be France. I adore them. These shots are gorgeous, Nathalie.

In Menton, they trim the plane trees more drastically than yours. Wonder why?

Technodoll said...

Très pretty! Looks like we're photo-blogging more or less along the same theme here... :-)

ichandrae said...

je ne suis pas surprise qu'on trouve la religion ici dans un tour de la france

j'espere que cela ne soit pas un mort.

Sonia said...

Beautiful and dramatic photos! Love trees, even with the bare "arms"!

Catherine said...

Magnifiques ces silhouettes fantomatiques et ces ombres sur le mur.

Nathalie said...

You know Edwin, your remark is perfectly justified. The history of christianity is intertwined with battle for power. I am not comfortable with that.
I have no fondness for Catholic institutions.

George Townboy said...

The first time I came to your blog I saw this photo, and ever since I have been looking for an opportunity to take a similar photo where I live. Haven't found it yet.

Beautiful shots!

George Townboy said...

I found the shot I was looking for ... this morning, lol. It doesn't compare to the beauty of your photos, but I think I'll post it in the next few days. Thanks for the inspiration.

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