Les orgues

January 10, 2012

This river area is known as ‘Ribéral’ or ‘born of rivers’. The course of the Têt is fragmented as it threads its way . . .

 . . to meet again  in its western course over the shallow cascade. I can’t figure out why the river runs east to west . . .

The town of Ille-sur-Têt stands above.

 Les orgues or the ‘organ pipes’ are close by – 4 million years old –  and a geological formation not volcanic . .

  . . . the vegetation is typical ‘maquis’ – evergreen, scrub and cork oak, pine, cistus, spartium, lavenders and thymes plus the odd sprinkling of Arbutus unedo and ulex – because the soil is siliceous not calcareous.

Some of the columns or ‘hoodoos’ are 10-12m high composed of sandy rock which suffers from erosion from the rain.  A very special landscape.

This middle-aged Man o’ the Bay      

Wasn’t so much Starting out

As already sailing, full-steam for France,

Arms spread wide in greeting

From Start Point to Stoke Fleming;

Solid shoulder cliffs

Leaning lovingly into their future

With such tender intent;

Headland eyes scanning horizon for sign

Of that long-awaited, approaching coastline.

My ancient orogeny was Hercynian:

A gently-dramatic, moving magma of feelings

Molten from man-mantle to core,

Which set solid our state

For all human history,

All geological time:

Her life metamorphosed

Beautifully, inextricably, into mine.

But the erosive agents of teenage time and tide

Wore down and weathered our ground

And an unintentional, unforeseenAtlantic

Seeped, then suddenly surged,

To form a formidable blue barrier between us:

A featureless, Future-less ‘Gulf-of-less’.  Tony Jolley  Geology

One Response to “Les orgues”


  1. [...] down by The Orgues , fluted and awe inspiring although these formations not as dramatic as those seen here . . [...]


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