Wednesday, April 25, 2018

RECYCLE THAT CORK!

In case you didn't know...
Wine bottle corks are a very recyclable product, and today more and more wine sellers or cavistes around the world collect them to that end. If yours doesn't, then it's high time to militate and get a program started! Used corks are transformed into many decorative and construction products. In France, people can localize the nearest businesses where they can drop off used corks by consulting planeteliege.

Vocabulary
un bouchon de liège:  a wine bottle cork

©2018 P. B. Lecron

Saturday, April 21, 2018

IN MATCHING SHADES

Ton sur ton
The tone-on-tone color of these tulips sunning on the windowsill are an inspired choice for the gardener's house of the Parc Bagatelle, Paris.

Vocabulary
un rebord de la fenêtre:  an exterieur windowsill
un appui de la fenêtre:  an interieur windowsill



©2018 P. B. Lecron



Click and take a peak!

Friday, April 20, 2018

FIFTY SHADES OF GREEN

A peahen in the Parc Bagatelle in Paris's Bois de Boulogne on a very warm, spring day.

Vocabulary
une paonne:  a peahen
un paon:  a peacock


©2018 P. B. Lecron


Read it in French!
We're pleased to post these links to the French and English versions of a new children's story, written by my daughter and illustrated by myself:  Le lapin et la lune, écrit par Marianne Lecron, illustré par P. B. Lecron; and The Rabbit and the Moon.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

BEFORE AND AFTER

Some of friend Sylvia's last year's batch of cerises à l'eau de vie shown with this spring's cherry blossoms in her country garden in the south of France. Fresh cherries are washed, placed in a jar and left to macerate in aqua vitae with a little bit of sugar and a cinnamon stick for at least 5 to 6 weeks. Sylvia says that in her recipe, however, she used equal parts of Pineau des Charentes liqueur and aqua vitae. To consume with moderation!

Vocabulary
cueillir:  to pick, to gather
un bocal:  a jar
un bocal à conserves:  a kilner jar, a canning jar
l'eau de vie:  aqua vitae


©2018 P. B. Lecron


Read it in French! For young and old alike, an illustrated children's book with an engaging and gentle lesson in the importance of helping others:  Le lapin et la lune, écrit par Marianne Lecron, illustré par P. B. Lecron. The conte is also available in English: The Rabbit and the Moon. Both are sold on worldwide Amazon sites.

Monday, April 16, 2018

HIGH DRAMA


There's drama in the garden when the cherry trees are blossoming. Friend Sylvia in the Gard just sent us this dramatic photo of what will soon be confiture of her own making! Merci pour la photo, Sylvia!

Vocabulary
les fleurs de cerisier:  cherry blossoms


©2018 P. B. Lecron


What is this? Click here.






Sunday, April 8, 2018

BITS AND BOBS

De bric et de broc
A gardener's sundry items whimsically displayed on a vintage cart at les Floralies de Château de Campuget caught photographer and contributor Sylvia's eye while visiting the yearly plant and garden event in the small town of Manduel in the Gard. Merci, Sylvia!


Vocabulary
de bric et de broc:  bits and bobs; with any old thing
une charette:  a cart

©2018 P. B. Lecron


Read a children's book in French!
Attain fluency faster by immersing yourself in children's books, which after all, are great learning sources! For starters, we recommend Le lapin et la lune, écrit par Marianne Lecron, illustré par P. B. Lecron. If learning English, then take heart, this new and popular conte is available in English, The Rabbit and the Moon. Both are sold on worldwide Amazon sites, and both are for young and old alike!




Saturday, April 7, 2018

AM I BLUE?


Imported from Japan to Europe in the later years of the 18th century, the hydrangea in France was given the name hortensia by the famous French naturalist, botanist, doctor, and explorer, Philibert Commerson (1727-1773), in honor of a friend named Hortense. 

The acidity of the soil determines the color of most hydrangeas, with color variations of its clusters of petals ranging from cream to pinks, and blues to purple. 

Friend Sylvia photographed these showy young flowers at a plant and garden event, les Floralies de Campuget, in Manduel, a small town in the Gard. The Gard is a department in the Région Occitanie.

Vocabulary
inflorescence:  inflorescence; i.e. the disposition of flowers on the stem of a plant

©2018 P. B. Lecron


Read it in French...or in English!
Whether learning French or looking for a charming bedtime story for your children, consider this new conte pour enfants, Le lapin et la lune, écrit par Marianne Lecron, illustré par P. B. Lecron. Versions in French and English are available on worldwide Amazon sites. The title of the English version is The Rabbit and the Moon.


Friday, April 6, 2018

IT IS SPRING INDEED!

En effet . . .
You may know this wild spring flower by the name of star of Bethelem or l'etoile de Bethléem. The French have still more names for this very common, paper-white beauty:  l'ornithogale en ombelle, la jacinthe du Pérou, la belle-d'onze heures, or what I like best, la dame d'onze heures. Friend Sylvia snapped this photo in the Gard in the south of France.


Vocabulary
en effet:  indeed


©2018 P. B. Lecron


A word about reading...
Reading children's books in a foreign language, at no matter what age, is a great jump-start for the acquisition of a second language! If you're learning French, or simply looking for a children's book in French as a gift, then here's our recommendation, Le lapin et la lune, écrit par Marianne Lecron, illustré par P. B. Lecron. The book is also available in English, The Rabbit and the Moon. The story gives a gentle lesson and highlights the importance helping others.


Thursday, April 5, 2018

COMESTIBLE?

Too pretty to eat
One of the earliest spring flowers in France is the primevère, which according to multiple online sources is comestible. Culinary and medicinal virtues are attributed to its young, tender leaves for use in soups and salads, and its blossoms for decorative effect. The primevère is both a wild and cultivated flower. When picking, it is advised to simply pinch off a few leaves and flowers and to not uproot this adorable perennial that begins to carpet the ground in early March. If any doubt persists about identifying this plant for consumption, or having an allergic reaction, then abstain!



Vocabulary
une primevère:  a primrose (Primula)
se régaler:  to feast
se régaler de:  to really enjoy
un régal pour les yeux:  a feast for the eyes

©2018 P. B. Lecron


If you are learning French, or looking for a language-rich experience for yourself or a child, 
then we suggest delving into children's books! Here's our own recommendation with text




Tuesday, April 3, 2018

FRESH AS A DAISY

Frais comme un gardon!
Fresh as a daisy might be stretching it a bit as a translation for "frais comme un gardon" considering that a gardon is a small, fresh-water fish in France. Gardon is coincidentally also the name of the river that the engineering marvel of antiquity, above, le Pont du Gard, crosses. From what I've read, "frais comme un gardon" is a 17th-century expression that was used to boast about the freshness of produce; this was because the gardon was known to stay fresher longer than other fish sold in the markets. Over time, it came to be used to describe one who is either in good form or who is well conserved--like this elegant Roman aquaduct which dates to the first century.
Photo contributed by good friend, Sylvia.





©2018 P. B. Lecron




Learning a foreign language? Know that reading children's books is great practice!
For starters, here's my own family's contribution to the French Education's Reading List,
Le lapin et la lune.  It's English version, of course, is The Rabbit and the Moon.






Monday, April 2, 2018

SUNDAYS IN UZÈS

This year's "Dimanches d'Uzès" has kicked off with a pottery market featuring more than 40 pre-selected ceramic artists. The two-day event celebrating local renown in the ceramic world is held on the Place aux Herbes, the picturesque market place of one of the most beautiful cities in France. Friend Sylvia, who perused the displays under some welcome spring sunshine in the département du Gard, contributed this photo.




©2018 P. B. Lecron