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