Wednesday, 30 October 2019

Walking From Charnizay


The weather wasn't looking that promising for our walking club outing on 24 October but we persevered through a couple of light showers. Here are some pictures of the highlights.

An attractive house and barn (shame about the modern tiles, but otherwise very nicely restored).
Picturesque rural houses, Indre et Loire, France. Photographed by Susan Walter. Tour the Loire Valley with a classic car and a private guide.

Horse Mushroom Agaricus arvensis (Fr. Boule de neige).
Macro Mushroom Agaricus albertii, Indre et Loire, France. Photographed by Susan Walter. Tour the Loire Valley with a classic car and a private guide.
Curiously, although this mushroom is listed as good eating in all the literature, all my French companions eschewed it. I couldn't work out if they were worried about mistaking it for one of several similar toxic species, but since they all confidently referred to them as 'boules de neige' when we saw them, that doesn't seem a likely explanation. Perhaps they were worried about the species reputation as a bioaccumulator of cadmium and copper. Foragers are advised to limit their consumption of such species.

My photo shows the diagnostic double stem ring, with the lower ring characteristically 'cogwheel' shaped. This is a large mushroom with a pure white cap and pink gills when young. There is a faint smell of aniseed and the stem will slowly stain yellow if cut. This is useful when checking that you do not have the Yellow Stainer A. xanthodermus (Fr. Agaric jaunissante) which instantaneously goes chrome yellow when cut, smells nasty (phenolic) and will give you a stomach upset if you eat it.

Yellow Toadflax Linaria vulgaris (Fr. Linaire commune).
Joël picked this sprig and pointed out that it has a distinctive and quite pungent smell when crushed. I am not surprised to read that it has a number of traditional medicinal uses.

This digger caused a detour through a farmyard.
A digger on a farm, Indre et Loire, France. Photographed by Susan Walter. Tour the Loire Valley with a classic car and a private guide.

New cattle sheds under construction.
New cattle sheds, Indre et Loire, France. Photographed by Susan Walter. Tour the Loire Valley with a classic car and a private guide.

Poachers Corner.
'Poachers Corner', Indre et Loire, France. Photographed by Susan Walter. Tour the Loire Valley with a classic car and a private guide.
Carrefour means crossroads and braconnier means poacher.

Denise picking Parasol Mushrooms Macrolepiota procera (Fr. Coulemelle).
Foraging for Parasol Mushrooms Macrolepiota procera. Indre et Loire, France. Photographed by Susan Walter. Tour the   Loire Valley with a classic car and a private guide.
There were a great many of these much prized mushrooms and it was a good thing Denise just happened to have a decent sized bag to put them in. If you are picking them, make sure you are correctly identifying them, as there are lookalike toxic species. Parasols are the ones with the snakeskin pattern on their stem (which Denise says you don't eat, by the way -- I assume a bit fibrous and unappetising).

A traditional longère style house in the countryside.
A traditional longere style house in the countryside. Indre et Loire, France. Photographed by Susan Walter. Tour the   Loire Valley with a classic car and a private guide.

Release the hounds!
Release the hounds! Indre et Loire, France. Photographed by Susan Walter. Tour the   Loire Valley with a classic car and a private guide.
The farmer let these hounds out just as we were passing and admiring his fruit press. The dogs hurtled about, checking on all the new smells, including us.

Loading hounds into a homemade trailer.
Hounds getting into a homemade trailer. Indre et Loire, France. Photographed by Susan Walter. Tour the   Loire Valley with a classic car and a private guide.
Then they were called to get in the trailer, clearly a homemade affair fashioned out of the rear end of a Renault 4L with a giraffe hatch. Once inside the excited dogs caused considerable rocking and rolling. It was hilarious.

Eurasian Robin Erithacus rubecula (Fr. Rougegorge familier).
Eurasian Robin Erithracus rubecula. Indre et Loire, France. Photographed by Susan Walter. Tour the Loire Valley with a classic car and a private guide.
As we descended a gully on a very narrow track, Joël quietly called my attention to this robin lurking on the forest floor. The light wasn't very good, so the photo isn't topnotch.

This will be the last walk I report on for a while. I have tendonitis in my right knee and after 5 kilometres I was in agony. I had to abort at the 8 kilometre mark and Simon charged off to get the car so he could pick me up. I've tried ignoring it, but when it flares up I can walk and drive only if I'm prepared to deal with severe pain. So I am spending a couple of months doing nothing but sitting on the couch. The doctor tells me there is nothing I can do except wait and not walk too much. Painkillers, anti-inflammatories and physiotherapy exercises all have had no effect on its progress.

************************************************

For details of our private guided tours of chateaux, gardens, wineries, markets and more please visit the Loire Valley Time Travel website. We would be delighted to design a tour for you.

We are also on Instagram, so check us out to see a regularly updated selection of our very best photos. 

4 comments:

Colin and Elizabeth said...

I had tendonitis in my heel and it was improved by physiotherapy shockwave treatment. Not sure what the machine was but it was painless and very quick. The idea I think was to increase the blood flow around the area. You have my every sympathy cos it is painful... C

Susan said...

My GP said physio wouldn't necessarily work and didn't write me a referral. He did ask me if my ankle hurt (which it mostly doesn't, and certainly not in comparison to the knee), so maybe physio works on ankles but not knees. My knee is a kinetic chain thing, a knock on effect of my heel spurs affecting my gait.

chm said...

So sorry to hear about your knee, Susan. Hope rest and caution about how you move will make it feel better. Fortunately, in a way!, it happened in the low season for your tours and I pray it will be over very soon.

Susan said...

Yes, I can afford to sit round doing nothing at this time of year. It has been a problem all through the summer, but has got to the stage where I can't ignore it any longer.

Post a comment