it is now your second to last day at île de ré.
time is running out.
you had a list of goals – and you’ve let some slide, but with only two days left, you’ve really got to decide what you want to do.
do an entire tour of the island on bike. check. find the poppy fields. check. go see the sunset at the salt ponds. check. make a strawberry charlotte. check. visit la phare des baleines. check. climb la phare des baleines. check find the mini cliffs. abandoned. eat ice cream. check. go swimming. check. find the aigrette nests. abandoned
see the sunrise at low tide.
see the sunset at low tide.
see the sunrise at the reserve.
do pêche à pied.
throw a charles aznavour themed party at trousse chemise. abandoned. go to the salt museum. abandoned.
and many more.
but you can’t do everything, can you?
so you decide to first tackle the sunrise at marée basse. [low tide]
as for the others – we’ll just see what happens. too many plans is bad. it means you’ve got no room for the unexpected.
with your boots, you wait.
listen to music.
study the algae.
and there it is. le soleil.
you’re thinking about the future.
and the past as well. how much you’ve learned, experienced, and enjoyed here. how much you will miss it. how much you’ve changed.
you take one last look around you and head back to the campsite.
lunch rolls around and it is hot hot hot.
spaghetti and radishes. simple. when you’re cooking for fifteen, complicated just won’t work.
hair gets braided because low maintenance is the current style.
perhaps your favorite eating related photo from île de ré.
a stern pierregarin passes by. common tern in english, and you haven’t figured out why the “s” got dropped/added. nicknamed la hirondelle de mer, or swallow of the sea, this bird resembles a mouette except the head is not completely black, only the top part. red beak with a black point, red legs. a long tail that is fourchue. forked.
the stand-out characteristic for the stern is how it likes to fly sur place. in one spot only, with it’s wings flapping rapidly as it scans the surface of the water. and when it sees what it wants – it plonge. dives. straight down, captures the fish, and flies off.
always a fun one to watch.
then team LPO is out on a mission.
nine baby tadornes de belon have been brought in. [common shelduck]
the goal is to get them adopted by an adult couple who have only one baby ducklings left.
the naive plan is to release the baby ducks where the one baby duckling is swimming with his parents.
everybody watches. hoping the new parents will happily adopt the nine additional ducklings.
but that quickly turns into dismay. because who decides to swoop in and decide it’s feasting time? one very happy goéland, of course.
is this a sad story? perhaps. but don’t forget, it’s also nature.
and to end on a random (and perhaps slightly more cheerful) note, the branches of this plant, which you have completely forgotten its scientific and colloquial name, was historically used to make brooms.
then you ask your chef if you can borrow the key for the reserve. because you’ve got one last sunrise to cross off your list.