04 September 2011

le dernier / the last

ile262a key in your hand.

ile263you’ve got permission to be on the reserve. all you did was ask.

ile264it is early. your last full day, so not a minute to be wasted in bed.

ile266you pass by the pile of sticks used to mark and identify nests.

ile265 this sunrise is your last at île de ré.

ile270and also the most special one.

ile269because the night before you were asked, “cathy, est-ce que je peux aller avec toi demain matin?

four times.

your response, “bien sûr! mais tu sais bien que je me lève vers 5h30, oui?”

a slight grimace. but a “oui oui je suis motivé!” is what follows.

and this morning – they indeed all got up. the proof is in the five bikes parked in the reserve.

[cathy, can i go with you tomorrow morning?”]

[of course! but you know very well that i get up around 5:30 AM, right?”]

[yes yes i’m motivated!]

ile267the parisian is leaving today. at noon. and you unintentionally cruelly remark, “t’imagine, maintenant t’es ici, complètement perdue dans la nature, et dans quelques heures tu vas être dans le RER? c’est dur, non?

non non non on ne pense pas a ça!” she exclaims.

[can you imagine, right now you are here, lost completely in nature, and in a few hours you’re going to be riding the suburban train in paris? it’s hard, isn’t it?]

ile268the stagiaire goéland has two more months left here. lucky him.

[seagull intern]

ile271you say goodbye to all the salicorne.

ile272the sun is up.

ile274and so are the goélands.

ile276remember, it is the goélands who dominate the reserve.

ile278but sometimes they’ll allow a non goéland to hang around. such as this mouette rieuse.

ile279who apparently seems to be dive feeding, which is normally a trademark of a stern. you enjoy the show anyway.

ile280goodbyes are tough.

ile281but not quite yet, because you still have until tomorrow for the final goodbye.

ile283profiter profiter profiter is all you can do in situations like this.

[make the most out of it]

ile283athe afternoon passes quickly.

it’s sunset time.


marée basse. [low tide]


a grand coefficient.


good company.


hungry tummies.

[low tide]

ile284all this means… pêche à pied! eating seafood right off the rocks.

ile285well, a bit further out as it must be at least fifty meters from the commercial digues. sea walls.

ile286so while part of the group came unprepared without boots,

ile288you ran far off with another. with an oyster knife. and the hunt begins. to pull off oysters (adults of course!), squeeze a bit of lemon onto it, and to taste the ocean.

no restaurant is capable of recreating this taste, sorry. boots and a good knife are required.

ile287 at the same time, the sun is vanishing. your last sunset.

ile290add in some cheese and wine, because don’t forget, you are still en france. in france.

ile291you are nice and bring back extra oysters for those who didn’t bring boots. slurp slurp!

ile293it’s getting colder and colder. darker and darker. time to go.

ile294one last bike ride back.

ile296 and one last à table.

ile297after all, all that at the beach was just an apéro. there is no way anybody is skimping on a last meal. pissaladière, a baked pasta dish, a brownie, a yogurt cake, and a raspberry chocolate pavlova.

your last memories at île de ré were spent eating. drinking. laughing.

just like every day for the entire five weeks.


LaurenLac said...

Splendide, comme chaque fois.
Je ne me lasse pas de tes photos

donna said...

i agree.......

Lizounette said...

what a wonderful history you made for yourself. <3