Château de Chaumont – Part 1

France19

After we finished up at Château de Chenonceau, we headed over to Château de Chaumont.  At Château de Chaumont, we bought tickets for both the chateau and the International Garden Festival (which is adjacent to the chateau).

Château de Chaumont is located in Chaumont-sur-Loire, a small commune in France’s Loire Valley.  According to Wikipedia, the chateau was founded in the 10th century by Odo I, Count of Blois.  In 1560, the chateau was acquired by Catherine de Medici.  When her husband, Henry II died, Catherine made her husband’s mistress, Diane de Portiers, give her Chateau de Chenonceau in exchange Chateau de Chaumont.  In 1840 the French Ministry of Culture classified Chaumont as a historical monument.  Marie-Charlotte Say purchased the chateau in 1875.  She restored the chateau and planted gardens, and her husband commissioned the stables.  The donated Chateau de Chaumont to the French government in 1938.

I’m planning on creating several posts with photographs from Chateau de Chaumont.  This post will feature photographs from the outside of the chateau.  A second post will feature photographs of the chateau’s beautiful stables.  A third post will feature photographs from the International Garden Festival (that one may actually require two posts).

The buildings that we passed as we made our way to the chateau were lovely!  This building, covered in beautiful, red and white roses, caught my eye.

The grounds around the chateau were beautifully landscaped.  I was particularly excited to see these entirely white foxglove.  I planted one foxglove in my garden a few years ago, and it did well that year, but it never came back.

The photograph below was taken just outside of the chateau — you can see part of the chateau on the left-side of the picture.

Continue reading

Château de Chenonceau – Part 4

One of my favorite things about Château de Chenonceau was all of the fresh flower arrangements that could be seen throughout the chateau.  Many, if not all, of the flowers used in the arrangements are grown in the chateau’s gardens.  The arrangements are also put together at the chateau.  I don’t really have anything else to say about the arrangements…except for pointing out the fact that they’re absolutely beautiful!  I figured this would be a good time to try out WordPress’s “gallery” feature.  Some of the thumbnails are rather small, but I think that you should be able to click on each photograph to open it up so that you can view a bigger version of the photo.

Also, if you’re interested in Château de Chenonceau, be sure to check out my other three posts on the chateau!

Château de Chenonceau – Part 3

France18

I’ve previously published two other posts about Château de Chenonceau – one post with photographs of the outside of the chateau and a second post with photographs of the inside of the chateau.  This post features photographs from the grounds surrounding the chateau.  In addition to the chateau, there were several other buildings and gardens on the grounds that we spent some time looking at.  Unfortunately, I don’t know much about the grounds, so this post will be somewhat lacking in terms of information.  I do, however, hope that you enjoy the photographs despite the lack of information.

I have no idea what this building was, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen something oozing with so much whimsical charm.  It was also a picture well-suited for Instagram’s signature square format.

Unidentified Incredibly Charming Building

Much of the area surrounding the chateau is devoted to maintaining the many gardens.  They were in the process of digging up the spring flowers and replanting the gardens with summer flowers while we were there.  These crates contained the summer-time plants for the gardens.

Crates Full of Fresh Flowers

Firewood

Continue reading

TEXAS PARKS & WILDLIFE FOUNDATION – FOCUS ON THE WILD – June Contest

The subject of the June 2016 Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation Focus on the Wild photography contest is “Texas views from the hiking trail.”  I live near Palo Duro Canyon State Park, so I figured I’d enter three of my favorite Palo Duro Canyon photographs — all of which were literally taken from hiking trails.  Check out my three entries!

The following photograph was taken from the Givens, Spicer, & Lowry Running Trail.  It’s one of my favorite trails because it’s incredibly scenic and it doesn’t have nearly as many people on it as the Lighthouse Trail.  There are quite a few places to do some off-trail exploring, too.

The following photograph of a dry creek bed and storm clouds was taken from the Lighthouse Trail.  The combination of scenery and stormy weather in this photograph always makes me pause to take a closer look.

There have been a few new trails created at Palo Duro Canyon State Park since I moved to the Texas Panhandle eight years ago.  This photograph was take while I was hiking one of them — the Rock Garden Trail.  The Rock Garden Trail directs hikers through an area that fell victim to a rock slide many moons ago.  There are quite a few interesting rock formations along the trail.  I love that you can see the Spanish skirts in the background of this photo (top right-hand quadrant).

Château de Chenonceau – Part 2

France17

Château de Chenonceau was the first chateau that we visited during our time in the Loire Valley.  If you’re planning a trip to the Loire Valley and are trying to decide how many chateau to plan on seeing, I recommend planning to spend about half a day at each chateau.  We could have easily spent longer than half a day at Chateau de Chenonceau (the inside is still furnished, and the grounds are lovely), but we really wanted to have ample time to see Château de Chaumont and the International Garden Festival that day, as well.

I took so many pictures during our time at Chateau de Chenonceau.  I won’t be able to include all of them in one blog post, so I’m splitting it into three parts.  This one will include pictures from the inside of the chateau.  The first post includes photographs from the outside of the chateau, Diane’s garden, and Catherine’s garden; it also includes more information on the history of the chateau.  The third post will focus on the grounds, and a fourth post will include photographs of some of the beautiful flower arrangements from inside of the chateau, as well as photographs of paintings of Chateau de Chenonceau.

Immediately when you enter the chateau, there is a small chapel on the left.


Chapel in Chateau de Chenonceau


Chapel in Chateau de Chenonceau

Continue reading

Bayeux

France12

We stayed at the Churchill Hotel in Bayeux while we were in Normandy.  It was the hotel that Winston Churchill stayed in when he was in Bayeux.  Bayeux was the first city to be liberated on D-Day (by Great Britain), so today it looks much like it would have looked during WWII.  The population of Bayeux is ~13,000, so it’s a decent sized town.  Bayeux was founded during 1 B.C. as a Gallo-Roman settlement named Augustodurom, in honor of Emperor Augustus.  I wasn’t a fan of the food in Paris; however, I did enjoy the food in Bayuex.  I ate a traditional Norman chicken dish, Poulet Vallée d’Auge, at two different restaurants in Bayeux.

There is one iconic building missing from this blog post — the Cathedrale Notre Dame de Bayeux.  Photographs of Bayeux’ beautiful cathedral can be seen in this blog post.

The Churchill Hotel is on the left of this photograph.  The grocery store, Carrefour, where we purchased our picnic groceries is adjacent to the hotel.


Rue Saint-Jean

Rue des Teinturiers


I apologize for including so many pictures of the waterwheel.  I had seen pictures of it online prior to our trip to France, so I was hoping to come across it while we were in Bayeux.  It ended up being on the way from our hotel to the municipal parking lot where we parked our car, so we didn’t even have to search for it.  Each of these photos is a little different, so I wasn’t able to narrow it down any further.

L’Aure & Waterwheel via Place aux Pommes

Continue reading

Flower Friday – Texas A&M Gardens and Greenways Project

I’ve never shared a cell-phone photograph on my blog, but I guess there’s a first time for everything.  I took this photo on Instagram and then shared it on my Flickr site.  The next morning I woke up, and it had over 15,000 views (it currently has 17,337 views) — so crazy!  To this day I’m not sure what makes some photos do so well on Flickr, but something right must have happened with this one.

This photograph was taken on the Texas A&M University campus in College Station, Texas (whoop!!!!).  I wish that the Gardens and Greenways Project had been complete (or at least in the works) back when I was in college because the concept of having a 45-acre dream backyard on campus sounds really amazing.  This wildflower field is part of that project.

Texas A&M Wildflower FieldBluebonnets, Alamo Fire Bluebonnets, Drummond’s Phlox, and Indian Paintbrush