Sunday, January 4, 2015

Les Berges

A few weeks ago Mysti and I were walking toward la Tour Eiffel on la Seine.

I was hoping that we would encounter a pigeon dropper or two.

But we didn’t.

My other hope was to be able to show Mysti Les Berges.

Les Berges is/are a major expansion of people access to the river.

As it turned out, we had a great encounter during our walk down that expansion.

One of the features of Les Berges – almost as impressive as the fact that it is a major reclamation of the highway that used to hug the river and returns that highway to the feet of the people – is (what a surprise) the barges.

They are big molded pre-stressed concrete things that float.

They are like giant concrete Tupperware containers with no lid.

Instead of a lid they are filled with vast piles of dirt – soil – and planted with hoards of native plants.

So the river bank has been extended to incorporate little islands of plants that also support aquatic plants on their river flanks and provide nesting places for various waterfowl.

Most of those waterfowl are Mallard ducks.

It is really nice.

We were looking at one of these floating islands when we saw an older couple – older, being about our age – looking into one of the thickets of native plants.

This thicket appeared to be roses.

The flowers were long since gone but the flowers had left their late season children.

The thicket was awash in a flood of little red orbs clinging to the rose thorns where the flowers had previously been.

“Rose hips” I said out loud.

Just as I said that the two people who had drawn our attention to the red splashes of color pushed their way into the thicket.

We stopped and watched.

After quite a few minutes they came out and seemed to be eating something.

I have always heard that rose hips are edible so I was fascinated.

My fascination must have been obvious because the man of the pair offered me a handful of the little red things.

I took one and tasted it.

It had a lot of seeds, but it was soft and fragrant and tasted somewhat like a dried apricot.

He offered one to Mysti.

She took it and tasted it.

“Apricot” she said.

“Merci, merci, monsieur” we both said.

“Je vous en pris” he said.

We parted friends and mutual imbibers of a pretty exotic fruit.

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