Jankel's Illustrated World
Of broken eggshells and other seminal phenomena
By: Jankel Jankelbrod

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Wednesday, 5-May-2004 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Bottlenecks

vacqueyras
laying red wines
vacqueyras
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Today about bottlenecks -- litteraly, not on the annoying metapher of no flow, well known in modern traffic, but on the delicious traditionally styled winebottles I want to spend a few words (before some Euro-Burocrat will invent the one size fits all-bottle for wine from all over Europe).
And in doing so, I am very selective -- the only bottles that may participate, are the ones with the name of their district in bas relief on their glass neck. These signs that depict for instance the Anjou-lilly, or the keys of the popes of Avignon. Very decorative they are, and -- if these pictures are seen fullsize -- extremely beautiful, with unexpected bronzes and other colours.
I have also evited to show the winelabels, too snobistic for this occasion.
(By the way -- jolly month of may... the troubadour who composed and wrote Kalenda Maia --see May 1 -- came from Vacqueyras.)
(By the way 2. -- these bottles were photographed in my local supermarché.)


Tuesday, 4-May-2004 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Quince

Cydonia oblonga
budding
rose star
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May the taste of its fruit be not everyones goody, may the form of its branches be wild, may the fruits be too hard too bite, without many hours of cooking, the blossom of the quince (Cydonia oblonga) is arguably the finest and most beautiful, the most tender blossom nature can offer. No other of these small spring Snowwhites, be it cherry or appleblossom, or any other of these treeroses, they all are common and plain, seen next to this Cinderella. Such a fine rosecoloured hue have their fair cheeks, such delicate nervature, so playfully and gay the crown of their sexuality. And when they catch the sunlight, the petals are translucent as the glasscurtains of a girl's room. So tender pink against the fine green of the fleshy leaves, and the old trunk, with the complexion of a massive planetree.
People tend to cut their quinces -- no one likes to cook the jelly in autumn, and so they are more or less useless -- except for this one, at least, which will stay as long as it spends its beauty over and over, each spring again.
And instead of the oblong local quincetrees, you see a real invasion of the 'Japanese' quince, or
Cydonia speciosa, the wellknown firy bloomed early blossoming bushes, that form those funny yellow fruits -- even more useless as the well perfumed yellow pearshaped quinces I still harvest each autumn.

(key to my secret garden: http://jankel.fotopages.com/?entry=99607 )


Monday, 3-May-2004 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Of saints and healing mud

Bridge over the Ruisseau de Notre Dame
Crossing the brook
soft meadows
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In one of the wet woods, near our little town, one can still find a revered spot, the so called fontaine de St-Desle. I went there on my mayday trip and took some pictures of the scene.
But before, I will try to tell the legend that surrounds this little waterhole.
In the old days, when Irish monks came as missionaries to France, the great St. Colomban, who founded one of the oldest monastries in the town of Luxeuil, and who is associated with the care of the sufferers of mental illness, was forced to flee, because the local gentry was not at all pleased with the reforms of these holy men. He went together with some other monks to the Jura, but one of them, St Desle, lost his companions and was forced to find his own path. At last, afraid to be caught by the hounds, he fell on a certain spot in the darkness, hungry and thirsty. He prayed and prayed, in the hope that his Lord would help him, and as he started to dig in the earth, suddenly the clearest of drinkable water started to flow. He drank and refreshed he found his way out of the woods and told the village people what happened. They considered it as a miracle, and long afterwards, this fountain was a holy place, where people came with their children to heal them from eye diseases.
Well, on my pictures you can see the consistency of the healing mud as it is today. Not really clinical conditions, if you ask me.
(This kind of fountain legends exist of course also in a secularized, non christian form -- most of the time with a splendid unicorn, that scrapes the earth with its silver hoof, to produce fresh water.)

I have just opened my 'Secret Garden', a page in this fotocalendar where I can post all kind of miscelaneaous pictures of plants and animals I still have in stock, and which I cannot categorize and show in the different daily 'stories'. I can only hope that interested visitors will find the gate. Here is the key:
http://jankel.fotopages.com/?entry=99607


Sunday, 2-May-2004 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Mayday Mayday

shipwreck
 
 
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Yesterday I made a short bicycletrip through the fields, the woods and around some of the many lakes that are so common near the place I live. The sun was hidden most of the time, but the overall light had a nice diffuse character. The greens were fresh as fresh can be and I enjoyed being outdoors and photographing so much, that each time I heard the cuckoo call, I wanted to photograph that sound, to share it with you.
I have gathered so much material, so many pictures of nice spots, that I would like to post them all -- but that would be the same kind of torture as showing slides.
So I selected only some pictures that give an idea of the day. To begin with a dramatic shipwreck for which each call of 'mayday mayday' seems to have been fruitless.


Saturday, 1-May-2004 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Kalenda maia and all you ever wanted to know about flirting

all wrapped up
promo
muguet
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Mayday, the important international worker's day, symbolized by the colour red, in the form of tulips and later also of red roses, has a history that goes way beyond the nineteenth century.
The first day of may, 'kalenda maia' in the provençal dialect of the troubadours, has always been that joyous mark between leafless cold winter and spring days and the full bloom, the greens of the months of growth. (http://www.gaisaber.it/en/trovatori/kalenda.html,
http://www.cam.org/~malcova/troubadours/raimbaut_de_vaqueiras/rv15.html)
And like all those birds, that have started to sing to attract their partners, to build nests, lay eggs, human beings were also more than ever interested in representatives of the other sex. And they sung also, their way, sung like the troubadours, or presented their loved ones or designated brides gaily adourned maytrees, or offered the woman of their choice a little bouquet of flowers.
And from this old French custom of 'fleuretter' (giving some flowers, some 'fleurs') arose the English verb 'flirting', and though everybody seems to know, what that verb means and how to practice the art of flirting, it still is one of the most difficult arts, because it demands not only verbal and mimical skills, but also lots of heart and, yes, soul.
Flirting as an ascertainment of the other person's importance, that is not children's play, though it has to be executed playfully. And there each one can feel the actor in his or her bosom.
Maybe because flirting is difficult as it is, that in France on the first of may little bouquets of lillies-of-the-valley (muguets) are sold, sometimes in the streets, or even, as I could photograph today, in the supermarkets.


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