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We are focusing on building a community, bringing the Mortal Muses photographers together, and making the world a bit smaller. On this page, you will find mission: MUSE, muse university and special features.

Friday, November 5, 2010

where i live - périgord noir, france

mission MUSE: "where i live"
by guest muse andrée

Bienvenu en France! Welcome to France and in particular the Périgord Noir region. For those of you who do not know me, my name is Andrée and I was born in the US, but have lived all around Europe since 1992. My husband and I sold our last house in 2005 and have been renting short-term in many countries, but we are often drawn back to "La Belle France" (beautiful France). Currently, we are renting in the Dordogne region (about 300 miles/480km south of Paris). The Dordogne has four Périgord regions: Noir (Black), Blanc (White), Pourpre (Purple) and Vert (Green). The countryside is varied, stunning and untouched.

To share with you just some of my impressions of the Périgord Noir, I chose to describe it through the five senses and through texture.  I'm sure that if you visit, you will not be disappointed!

...the breeze caressing branches of century old oaks, sparrows chirping to wake the world, a dog barks far away on another hill. It is early morning...hold your breath and you can listen to the details of tranquility...it is the resonant peace and quiet of nature.

From morning until evening, the Périgord Noir offers thousands of hectares of wooded countryside to explore; leave behind city noise and exchange it for the infinite sounds of nature.


...if your eyes are not already saturated with the natural beauty of the Périgord Noir region: it's undulating hills, mixing dark forests and bright green fields, or the rich valleys sweeping down towards the Dordogne and Vézère rivers, then they will be by the architecture.

Impressive, elegant, graphic, useful and timeless are all adjectives my eyes register as I scan the roof tops of the Périgord Noir.

"Lauze", the heavy flagstone used for roofs, like giant thick scallop shells with its' rough surface and edges, assembled together take on a dignified appearance.


...the Earth or "terroire" as the French say, with a simple fungi more commonly know of as truffles.
The odour of truffles is very subtle, not overpowering or pungent, but almost rather fragile. Inhale the scent and you breathe in the rich earth from whence it came.

Truffles are used in cuisine for paté, foie gras, to infuse oil or just fresh. The locals like to place them overnight in an airtight container with a couple of eggs, so that the truffles' aroma permeates the egg-shell. 

The next day: a savory omelette is enjoyed with shavings of the truffle itself. Et voilà!


...not just the infamous "foie gras" (goose or duck liver) but the region's walnuts. Périgord Noirs' four varieties of walnuts have their own AOC (Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée) or "designation of origin."
Bite into a slightly bitter fresh "green" nut off the tree, or savour the more classical dried variety. Drizzle golden nut oil over fresh steamed green beans, or toast to your friends' health with a "Vin de Noix" appéritif drink.


...the relatively smooth stone: it feels soft under your finger tips, its warm golden color (a hallmark of the Périgord Noir), betrays its' strength.

The Périgord Noir stone, beautiful as it is, when used in construction protected man, his animals and harvested crops from the elements. Cut from local quarries or amassed from fields destined for cultivation, homes and structures meld harmoniously together with the natural environment.

Thank you for visiting where I live. Please feel free to visit my blog to learn more about my life in France.

A bientôt!
Andrée of On Linden Way


We would love to see where you live. 
If you would like to join in, send an email to mortalmuses [at] yahoo.com.


  1. what a lovely place to live, such an interesting post and great photographs.

  2. beautiful photos. And such wonderful textures captured in those photos. I hope to visit France one day.

  3. Don't be surprised if I come knocking on your door one of these days, Andrée. I love how you tied the senses into your photographs. Just lovely.

  4. Amazing Andree, I loved this glimpse into your world and the photo's are beauties (like the new watermark).


    Miss B.

  5. Ah "La Belle France"
    Beautiful post, now I must come and visit someday.

  6. Bonjour!

    Thank you for your comments, they made me smile.

    You're welcome anytime!

    bon weekend,


  7. Your photographs are stunning! I have been to France many times, but have not yet visited your region. After reading this, I think it needs to go on my list! Best regards!

  8. We used to have a house just north of Perigueux! I know and adore this countryside too....gorgeous pics. Thanks for sharing.