Frozen Once Again

Thick ice formed over the water.

2017 started with a wave of glacial weather passing over Lyon. This time I did not get a change to see if ice was floating down the river but we did go to the local park.

The biggest city park in Lyon is called parc de la tête d’or and within the park is a sizeable lake. This winter the lake froze from edge to edge. Small patches of open water remained where circulation pipes kept the water moving vigorously enough but elsewhere a few centimetres of ice formed.

Ice in parc de la tête d'or.
Ice in parc de la tête d’or.
Thick ice formed over the water.
Thick ice formed over the water.
The lake is frozen edge to edge.
The lake is frozen edge to edge.

Bubbles of Warmth at the Market

During the coldest days the number of market stalls was reduced as venders chose to stay away. Of the stalls that did appear, many had surrounded themselves in plastic sheet. Inside powerful heaters pumped out warm air creating a bubble of warmth for the staff and customers.

Reduce number of stalls. Many covered in a bubble of plastic.
Reduced number of market stalls. Many covered in a bubble of plastic.
Inside a market stall. Heater just visible on the left.
Inside a market stall. Heater just visible on the left.

The glacial temperatures have gone now and I am grateful.

Ice covers the pavements.
Ice covers the pavements.

Autumn Colours in Lyon’s Park

Autumn in Lyon's parc de la tête d'or

This will be our final Autumn in Lyon. With that in mind, we made sure to take our opportunity to see the autumnal display. Since taking these photos, most of the trees have lost their leaves and are braced for the coming winter months.

Autumn in Lyon's parc de la tête d'or
Autumn in Lyon’s parc de la tête d’or
Autumn in Lyon's parc de la tête d'or
Autumn in Lyon’s parc de la tête d’or
Autumn in Lyon's parc de la tête d'or
Autumn in Lyon’s parc de la tête d’or
Autumn in Lyon's parc de la tête d'or
Autumn in Lyon’s parc de la tête d’or
Autumn in Lyon's parc de la tête d'or
Autumn in Lyon’s parc de la tête d’or
Autumn in Lyon's parc de la tête d'or
Autumn in Lyon’s parc de la tête d’or

Nutty Squirrel

Red squirrel in the park.

You might imagine a squirrel would be quiet and unobtrusive. Yet the squirrels in our local park are pretty loud when they eat. The sound is a regular gnawing chipping like affair.

Saturday’s encounter was not the first time a loud squirrel had caught my attention while it was eating. Maybe it is just one particularly loud squirrel that does this. Maybe the other squirrels shun this poor squirrel for its unchecked eating volume.

We stopped and watched the red squirrel eat its seed or nut for while. When we stopped the squirrel stopped eating. A moment later it resumed eating and stared back us. Runners passed by while we watched and the squirrel did not flinch.

A short film of the red squirrel is available on my YouTube channel and embedded below.

The footage I took revealed how long and sharp the squirrel’s claws are. Thankfully the park’s squirrels are friendly and frequently take food offered to them from out stretched arms.

A squirrel sitting safely high in a tree.
A squirrel sitting safely high in a tree.
Red squirrel in the park.
Red squirrel in the park.
Red squirrel in Lyon's parc de la tete d'or.
Red squirrel in Lyon’s parc de la tete d’or.
Red squirrel up a tree eating.
Red squirrel up a tree eating.

Fallen Tree

Onlookers react to the fallen tree.

A month ago, a large tree fell in our local park, le parc de la tête d’or. The tree’s fall was unexpected and the result of high winds. During those days the park was closed to the public.

A fallen tree in the park.
A fallen tree in the park.

High winds cause the park’s closure a handful of days each year. Seeing the sign on the closed gate is aways disappointing. Given the aftermath, the closures become understandable. The park is littered with branches of all sizes. Sometimes huge. Occasionally a subsequent walk will reveal a tree with a large bare patch where a branch once protruded. The largest branches tend to be removed by the gardeners before the public return.

The tree fell onto lawn.
The tree fell onto lawn.
Onlookers react to the fallen tree.
Onlookers react to the fallen tree.
Large roots.
Large roots.
The base of the fallen tree.
The base of the fallen tree.

The tree trunk has been removed. The roots are in place, slowly decaying.

Marks show where the tree settled.

Marks show where the tree settled. A smaller tree was hit and was also removed.

The remaining stump.
The remaining stump.
The stump and where the trunk fell.
The stump and where the trunk fell.

Mushrooms have bloomed in the last weeks. The sudden windfall of nutrients likely prompting their appearance.

Mushrooms bloom on the fresh stump.
Mushrooms bloom on the fresh stump.

Autumn Colours

Autumn arrives in the park.

Autumn has arrived in Lyon. The temperatures have dropped and our coats are becoming necessities.

Our apartment is cold in the winter. The thick stone walls are deceptive. Their heavy mass should insulate but instead moisture and cold seep through. The walls seem to hold onto and draw in the cold from the outside.

With autumn arriving, we are beginning to fear the winter ahead. Last year was mild, the year before less so. What will this year bring?

But for now autumn is putting on a show. The leaves are colourful and the evening views are captivating.

Red leaves top a tree in front of a recent apartment building.
Red leaves top a tree in front of a recent apartment building.
A tree shifts from green to red.
A tree shifts from green to red.
A path around the park's water.
A path around the park’s water.
A tree is reflected in the water.
A tree is reflected in the water.

The squirrels are active. They become increasingly daring at this time of year. Human visitors to the park are largely ignored. Last night one attracted my attention with its noisy eating of a seed. Looking around I spotted the source of the noise sitting on a high branch. It looked down at me while I looked up and took these photos.

A squirrel settles in the branches to eat.
A squirrel settles in the branches to eat.
A squirrel looks back from the safety of a branch.
A squirrel looks back from the safety of a branch.