Poet, Playwright, Workshop Facilitator
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Welcome to daily nature photo and creative writing blog, #NewThisDay

Welcome to my daily nature photo blog

Writing from My Photo Stream ~ Kelly DuMar


Copy of #NewThisDay Writing From My Photo Stream

Poppy, Saint Vincent de Durfort

Poppy, Saint Vincent de Durfort

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Today was not a normal day. Today was an exceptional day – the day to visit the Pont d'Arc in Ardeche and the Chauvet Cave replica.

Starting with an early morning hike up to the little village of Saint Vincent de Durfort, for the second day in a row – this time not with my friend and host, Veronique, but with my daughter who rose early with me. On the way, wild strawberries and red poppies, and vistas and river views and trickling streams. . . all before breakfast of fresh baguette and croissants and coffee upon our return on the patio in the sunshine with our hosts.

And then, off for the trip of a lifetime, to visit the Pont d'Arc in the French countryside of Ardeche and then to see the replica museum of the Chauvet Cave - the thirty thousand year old cave paintings discovered in 1994.

It's impossible to visit the cave where the paintings were found; and it's not possible to take pictures of the cave painting replicas, but it IS possible to watch the Werner Herzog movie about them, "Cave of Forgotten Dreams," which inspired my family to visit while being the guests of our dear and generous friends whose country home is here in Ardeche. They arranged our visit and we all drove there together today for an unforgettable day visiting this world cultural site, starting with a picnic at the ancient stone arc, Pont d'Arc, and a swim in the frigid river under the hot sun! It's so late now, after such a spectacular day, all I can say is that when I walked out into the sunshine after viewing the replica of the cave - and which I felt, very easily, the enchantment of this magnificent experience - it felt real. I felt I was in the cave. All I can say is, once again in the sunlight, I was overwhelmed. It was an arresting experience, a spiritual awakening. Awesome. I was awed. Stunned, wordlessly moved. What will I dream of tonight?

36 000 years ago men and women created a number of unique and deeply moving art works on the limestone walls of the Chauvet Cave, frozen for eternity within a shield of calcite and clay.Left undisturbed for tens of thousands of years, this immense natural cathedral was discovered on 18 December 1994 at Vallon-Pont-d’Arc, in Ardèche by three amateur cavers, Jean Marie Chauvet, Éliette Brunel, and Christian Hilaire.The unique and outstanding universal attributes of the cave were recognised by UNESCO in June 2014 with its inscription as a World Heritage site. This jewel of a cave presents a very rare combination of three characteristics, its age, state of preservation, and the sumptuousness and abundance of the artworks: Its 1000 drawings include 425 animal figures and an unprecedented bestiary of 14 different species, most of which are dangerous animals such as cave bears, woolly rhinos, mammoths and wild cats. The cave also features some representations unique in Palaeolithic parietal art, such as a panther, owl, and the lower part of a female human body.For evident conservation reasons the cave will never be open to the public, making the reconstruction project of this World Heritage Site an obligation.Since the 25th of April 2015, the world’s largest replica of a decorated cave enables you to discover the first masterpiece of Humanity.
— http://en.cavernedupontdarc.fr/plan-your-visit/

All photos and text copyright Kelly DuMar 2018 unless otherwise attributed

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