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 downthe 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.
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.
The glacial temperatures have gone now and I am grateful.
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.
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 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.
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 trunk has been removed. The roots are in place, slowly decaying.
Marks show where the tree settled. A smaller tree was hit and was also removed.
Mushrooms have bloomed in the last weeks. The sudden windfall of nutrients likely prompting their appearance.
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.
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.