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Kerargon's hydrangeas=hortensias

The hydrangeas are beginning to bloom! The first blossoms in blue are closely followed by the first white and pink ones, as well as those that haven't really made up their minds yet whether to be blue or purple (the color derives from the acidity of the soil, which seems to vary even on a smallish property like Kerargon). Hydrangeas are the iconic image for Brittany, although originally from Southeast Asia. Here they are known by a much nicer name: Hortensia, a name they have in variations in most other European languages. It derives in one or another variation from a romantic attraction or admiration for a woman. So, for me, the European name rolls off the tongue much more pleasantly than Linnaeus' Latin label (from water + vessel). June is the month hydrangeas/hortensias begin their pageant here. I was astounded to find out at last count Kerargon has over 70 of them, in all 3 variations in shades of white, pink and purple bordering on blue. And very many are gifts from our generous and charming neighbors at Chateau Guilguiffin. The fireworks the hydrangeas/hortensias let loose in the courtyard is just beginning: come enjoy!

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Take time to step back in time: > 6000 years of history surround Kerargon

We are surrounded by them: megaliths, standing stones, silent sentinels from over 6000 years ago. No matter that they crop up as though forgotten in hidden glades of original-growth forests, or in fields now grazed by horses or cows, megaliths never cease to amaze me.  They come in 2 variations:  menhirs = "man stones", upright stones sometimes over 12 fit tall, or  dolmen ="table-stones", horizontally positioned. Visitors rave, correctly so, about Carnac or Presq'Il de Crozon, where the sheer numbers are impressive (nearly 1000 at Carnac)  But within a 20-minute radius of Kerargon by foot, we have at least 4 of them, and I have the sneaking suspicion that there are a few more to discover. "Ours" are solitary giants, usually directly adjacent to small brooks and hidden in green glades.  They are stately giants, often bearing a coat of green moss on their north flank.  To my knowledge, there is still no clear consensus of their function or the motivation to move stones of such gigantic proportions through human muscle alone in the era before wheels. Do they mark graves or historic sites?  Do they honor gods or goddesses? No matter, for me they imbue respect for man's own time span, and the mysteries of his/her achievements.  Menhirs are always "Magic" to me.  

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