Sunday, October 9, 2011

Shrooms and Red Caps; yum!

Today we went on a little trip, hunting for mushrooms. We drove to a park about 15 minutes out of Mûrs (the shortened nickname everyone uses for Mûrs-Erigné) and walked around for a while in the woods. However, it seems we chose the wrong weekend because we found very little. I think it might be because it's been a little dry recently and most of the little creeks and puddles have dried up for the moment. However we did find some stuff...

 This was a red cap. I know that's not the name but I don't know what the real name is. However, I do know it's poisonous: definitely not one of the ones we brought home.

 This was a pair that might be edible. We're not sure but we're going to check later. Those two there just about sum it up for our mushroom-hunting expedition.

Now this is interesting. This is a little mushroom I found in the meadow and François told me it was a "psilo" mushroom or a magic mushroom! Of course, it could just be another little fungus especially since it has no discerning features that would allow one to discern if it's hallucinogenic or not. I don't know..., I just chucked it into the forest.
There was also some nice scenery, bien sûr. We walked along the outskirts of a little village and there were a lot of old stone houses, very Frenchy.

There were also farm fields and above is a small vineyard we passed.

On our way back we passed a corn field that had just been harvested but there were still tons of smaller corn stalks so we stopped and picked a few...

And ended up with one basket and one backpack full of maize. The best part is, it's all for the chicken! All (approximately) 5 kilograms of kernels!
Speaking of chickens, the chicken coop François is building is coming along very nicely. I know you have nothing to compare it to, I don't know why I didn't take a picture before, but it's taken on a roof, tiles and the walls have been added on to. Not quite finished yet but here it is...

Later, once it's done, it'll have about 7 or 8 little roosting boxes (like the one in the back corner) for the 7 or 8 chicken we'll have!
Speaking of houses, I took some pictures of mine.

 So that second floor there is all mine. Below me is the TV room and bathroom but up there through that window I have my room and my bathroom.

This is the rest of the house, to the right of my section. I'm pretty sure it's newer which would explain the difference in brickwork but inside it's all the same.

 My bed (duhhhh!) with the stone wall.

 The other side of the room (at it's very cleanest!)...

The view out my window. Today wasn't so nice, a little cloudy, so it's not so great in this picture but normally it's pretty nice with the river and garden and whatnot...
Also, last weekend we went to the beach! Mûrs is pretty far inland, as I found out from the 2-hour drive it took to get to the coast. We went to a place called Pornic and that day there happened to be tons of people there, probably because it was one of the last warm sunny Sundays of the year. We went to the beach and there were these little houses, like for ice fishing, but for ocean fishing, mounted on poles, 30 feet, oh sorry 10 meters, accesible only by ladders. They had these bigs nets hanging off the side that I guess they use for fishing. I don't know how it works, it was pretty bizarre though. Anyway, it was kind of funny going to the beach here because it's more or less the same at home, as far as the ocean goes. It's the Atlantic, that same salty, almost-always-freezing body of water I frequent at Scarborough Beach. In fact, when I really tried, I could just make out the snack shack and the lifeguard stand on the horizon... One this that was different, however, was the abundance of small shells and miniature marine life. Everywhere in the sand there were millions of tiny little shells polished smooth my the ocean. It reminded me of Portugal because when I was there, we would collect the same kinds of shells and boil them for a midday snack. Also, over in the tidal pools and rocks section, there were oysters everywhere and people were walking around with buckets, prying them off the rocks. François brought a pocket knife and we got ourselves a couple. After my first I decided it would be my last for the day: imagine a slippery, cold mess of gooey, chewy, salty oyster sliding down your throat. UGH! I guess it's an acquired taste though, seeing as my dad at home loves oyster bars too. Something else cool was the natural water springs. There was a row of fountains that were from a source naturel, meaning from the earth. To me it tasted like plain old water, but whatever!
After the beach we took a Rosalie velo, which is like a bike but for 8 people. (Google it, it's pretty weird.) That was definitely a way to be a complete tourist but it was still fun. Then we went to a glacerie called the Fraiserie. This one is really famous in the area for it's strawberry ice cream and we waited at least a half hour before we got to the counter. I got strawberry and caramel-sea salt (yes, it's trending here too) and sure enough, the strawberry was amazing!! After that we headed back home, which took 3 hours because of the traffic. It was a pretty good Sunday, better than sitting at home and doing my homework. (I know you parents and teachers don't want to here this, but one of the great perks of being an exchange student is the everlasting excuse of not understanding. "Monsieur, je n'ai compris mon devoirs, c'est la raison je ne l'ai pas." It's pretty awesome, to say the least!)
I'll post the pictures from la mer later, once I get them off Laurence's camera (encore, my camera was in my backpack in the car! I'm just so good about having it with me all time, aren't I?).
À bientôt,

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