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Following the sheep



Shadow and light on the Nouveau Pont d’Arles, France, August 2017

La Fête de la Transhumance (the seasonal migration of livestock to a suitable grazing area) adopts an ovine form in Provence in early summer.  Local shepherds lead their flocks to mountain pastures, a procession that now attracts viewers from far and near.

In Arles, the Nouveau Pont has been constructed to enable the migrating sheep to cross the Rhone with ease.  The bridge carries much traffic on the E80 and N113, but beneath the road hangs a fully enclosed lower level.  It acts as an everyday crossing point for pedestrians and cyclists, plus a long wall that invites graffiti artists.  Its primary reason for existence in this form, however, is to create a safe passage for sheep and shepherds.




Copyright Debbie Smyth, 22 December 2017

Posted as part of Thursday Special

10 replies »

  1. Thanks for the explanation. What a great way of moving sheep across the river. I have to admit the first two photos with the light and dark upset my sense of balance (great photos to be able to have that effect on me). I wonder if the sheep feel the same way. Merry Christmas Debbie.


    • I hope you have recovered now 😀 I don’t think it was quite as noticeable to the human eye. To be honest, the noise may be more scary for the sheep. The traffic passes overhead and brings both noise and moving shadows through the grille.

      Sent from my iPhone


      Liked by 1 person

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