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Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Some Canal de Midi Scenics

It was hard to take a 'bad' photo on our canal cruise. At one point I set up my point and shoot camera on a tripod on the bow of the boat and had it set to automatically take a picture a minute. The results were humbling - most of the pictures were stunning. That's right, even with no composition and taken at random moments those pictures were as good as the ones I took when I 'was trying'.

The ordered plane trees (called sycamores in America) set along the banks of the canal made for some great reflections and silhouettes. The plane trees not only provide shade and beauty but they also help to hold the canal walls together and prevent erosion. They are quite functional, and I couldn't quite help but wonder if in America rather than trees providing such a function we'd use metal siding or some other ugly but functional material to do the same job.

We noted that many of the trees appear to be dying and that a number of them have been spray painted yellow around the base as if slated for removal. It appears that some sort of beetle blight is killing a number of the trees (at least that is what I got out of a taxi cab driver, but he did not speak English and my French is of the 'school boy' variety at best). I hope it is not a total tree plague on the order of what the Chesnut blight or Dutch Elm disease did to trees in America. It's very scary to think of what the canal would look like without any of the plane trees. The ordered plane trees ARE the Canal de Midi. Patrick

The top photo is of the town of Castelnaudary where we started our trip. The bottom photo is of Nora on top of the boat as we were going through a very long tunnel.

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