Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Planes Into Sculpture.

  Like stubby little Citroen 2CVs and men wearing berets and carrying baguettes, long avenues of tall plane trees are what you think of, when you think of France.
  Les platanes line the roads, their patchy bark in shades of buff, dull green and yellowy-brown like a painting-by-numbers piece of art. A welcome canopy of shade in the hot Midi summer.
   Lately, and sadly, a fungal infection has attacked many of these trees, and they've had to be chopped down. A neon-pink ring of spray paint signaled those on Death Row, several in this village alone, and soon they were gone, the remains of their trunks literally ground down to road level.

     Those that are left--and there are still millions around France--grow fast, fine if they're on a country road like this, not so good if you're in a village.
    So, every year or so, the chopping truck comes round. All the greenery disappears...
 ...and we're left with these strangely beautiful sculptures. Some look like figures frozen in stone; others like creatures out of a myth. I can't wait to walk down the main street the next night there's a full moon.

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