Saturday, April 3, 2010

When Zebras Roam In My Dreams . . .

.
Last Sunday morning, just after posting the piece about Karine Arnou's lovely zebra painting under the title of Blue Zebra Moons, la Grenouille and I went out for a walk through the village. Imagine my total stupefaction when I found myself face to face with a real live zebra, a realio, trulio, zebrio zebra. Zebras are not native to this region of northern France . . . but the circus was in town ! Which only happens once in a blue moon . . .
.





































.
So, for your ultimate zebra viewing pleasure, you get the front view, the side view . . .
.






















.
And the rear view . . .
.





































.
There were even painted portraits of zebras (not as nice as Karine's though) . . .
.





































.
And not only zebras, but llamas and camels too ! A menagerie . . .
.





































.
Send in the clowns ! (quoth Switters !)
.





































.
.
After leaving the circus, and walking quite a way up the road, in an unexpected place we stumbled upon an ancient and beautiful automobile, from back in the far-gone days when things were actually built to last. Now I know from experience that there are one or two experts on old automobiles out there, so I'm going to give you three details of the car we saw, to see if these are enough clues for anyone to identify the beast . . .
.






















A tail light gleaming like hard candy . . .
.





































.
And finally a tailpipe like the paw of some strange animal . . . a chrome covered ostrich maybe ?
.





































.
.

35 comments:

TechnoBabe said...

Zebras are one of my all time favorite animals. One time I had an artist paint life size zebras on my living room wall.

Owen said...

Hey TechnoB ! You get the early zebra award today... wow, do you you have any photos of that wall ??? Would love to see it... I think that's a great idea...

louciao said...

zzzzzzzzabba-dabba
zebraddy-zebroddy-doo! How many amphibians have the good fortune to just saunter and hop and leap along a country lane and fall into a colourful circus world? What a charmed life you lead. Imagine if you could manifest things a little more practical!? If you can imagine it, you can photograph it.

Love the chrome! I suspect the vehicle was a dragon that a wicked (or good?) witch or wizard turned into a car for his/her own amusement (easier to handle). The claw foot, the red jewel-like eye are dead give-aways. In fact, I believe I caught sight of a weirdo wizardy kind of apparition peering into the mirrored chrome. Send in the clowns? Don't bother, they're here!

Stickup Artist said...

I'm dumbfounded. You just stumbled upon a real live zebra in the circus that just happened to come to town? That's the best story I've heard, seen, read all day. That first shot, the zebra really stands out on the colorful background. And I laughed aloud when I saw the shot from the rear. And those circus signs. Well, it's just too too much. Great Post Owen!

PS. Now we all know what to get you for your birthday, Striped Pajama's!

Owen said...

Lynne !
Honestly ! You are too wickedly funny... wow, if anyone was a witch, I think you could stake a claim to the title... (a good witch though... like Glenda in the Wizard of Oz) As for toads on these country lanes, rather too many of them end up crushed by passing automobiles... so yes, if I'm still hopping about, it's due to the charmed life I lead...

Hope the wind has subsided where you are ! LOL !

Owen said...

Hey Stickup !
Striped zebra pyjamas for my birthday ??? Oh, that would be heaven ! Honest ! Which reminds me, have you read Tom Robbins' wonderful book "Half Asleep In Frog Pajamas" ?

And I just Googled zebra pyjamas to see what would come up, and guess what :

http://www.bizrate.com/womens-sleepwear-pajamas/zebra-print-womens-pajamas/

OMG; I gotta get me some of those black and white Zebra Plush Lounge Pants !!! How have I survived all this time without them ??? And the Babydoll and Bikini Set; I nearly split a gut guffawing ! LOL ! Not to mention the Ellen Tracy Zebra Negligée/Lingerie... holy cow... err, holy zebras, batwoman !

And funny, looks like you were leaving a comment here as I was leaving one at your place... loved that long crazy post you just did !!!

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

What a riot of colour to contrast the black and white of the zebra. It is quite a healthy specimen too. Makes me want to go see a circus too.

The Laundress said...

I think with all these Zebras, you deserve the Zebra Award! :) (hope the link works!)

-Liz

English Rider said...

I want to meet the designer!

Arnaud said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Arnaud said...

Challenge...

Panhard Dyna Z12 (1957 or 1958 I would say !)
Brand and model is for sure. Year may be wrong by 2-3 years... :-)

Did I win something ?

Hopefully, DynaZ12 was the only Panhard to get this kind of tail lights and exhaust pipe ! Without, it would have been much more difficult to find ! ;-)

Steve said...

Aw bless 'im. That zebra looks rather morose...

Selina Kingston said...

Great pictures but I feel quite sad for the zebra ...

French Fancy said...

I think that very same circus was not far from us about three weeks ago. It's funny how the animal circuses still go strong here, whereas in the UK they have died out due to the perceived cruelty.

I've never been a fan of animal circuses at all but I did spot how healthy the llamas looked when I saw them grazing during their circus time off. I'd like to think they were all treated well but who really knows

.:: Karine ::. said...

owen, owen, owen !
si tu savais comme je déteste les cirques et les pauvres bêtes qui y vivent (enfin vivre est un bien grand mot, je dirais plutôt survivre)

quant à la voiture aucune idée mais la couleur de la première me fait penser à une 2 CV citroën :-)
te moque pas je n'y connais rien !

je t'embrasse owen adoré et te souhaite un joyeux week-end tout en chocolat :-)

Owen said...

Hi LGS,
He did look healthy, so I guess they are feeding him well, but he looked lonely too, with no others of his kind around, and even worse to have to wear a harness attached to a rope to keep him from wandering off... Far better to see him on an African plain, kicking up his heels, roaming the savannah... We finally stopped taking humans from Africa for dubious purposes elsewhere, now we only do it to animals, as they don't complain out loud and have fewer rights than humans these days... But I guess alot of us have childhood memories ingrained of the wonders of the circus, including the exotic animals we may have seen there, like elephants and zebras and lions and tigers and bears... Philosophically hard to reconcile these days... and after years of captivity and circus slavery, would they even be able to survive again in the wild were they to be released ? I don't know... Just another sad story in the strange world we live in ...

( I know you didn't raise all these questions, but you came close... and as other comments also touch on these issues, I figure I'll answer once here to all.. I hate to see animals in prisons that humans have built for them, using all sorts of excuses... to take wild animals out of the wild and put them in prison camps is just as barbaric as doing it to humans... It illustrates how far out of harmony we have gotten with the natural world we live in. There were so-called "primitive" societies which held nature in reverence, which assigned sacred status to animals and trees and the wind and sun and mountains... While we "modern" folk prefer to exploit them death while we multiply beyond reason... I will stop my rant here, as it could go on for hours otherwise...)

Owen said...

Dear Laundress... why THANK YOU ! ! ! ! ! !

The link did work, and though I don't usually accept "awards", for this fabulous one I will make an exceeption, as especially it doesn't seem to come with all the work associated with some awards... so stay tuned, the striped blog award will be appearing soon in the sidebar, when I have a minute... really, THANKS, that's just great...

PS, is that Toulouse Lautrec I see there ??? I always loved his red headed model, whoever she was...
:-)

Owen said...

Dear ER...
You want to meet the designer ??? Which one ? The designer of the zebra's stripes ? Me too, I want to meet that wonderful genius ! Or the designer of the car ??? Surely not the designer of the tacky but colorful circus decorations ???
:-)

====================

Dear Arnaud ! ! ! !
You have totally amazed me here ! ! ! !
Je suis sur le CUL ! ! !
I really had thought I might have stumped you with these very minimal clues, but NO, you knew what it was right away, without even half a day's time to research... totally AWESOME you are ! ! !
You are right, it is a Panhard Dyna... I'd never even heard of a Panhard before I found this parked in the street near the Chateau of Chantilly... But you knew right away... holy COW !!! Do you have an automobile dictionary chiseled in some corner of your amazing brain ! ! !
Of course you won something . . . you have just won a dinner with a bottle of wine to go with it in one of a couple of nice restaurants near here, or even here at the fine table of Chateau Crapaud... where we sometimes drink the excellent chablis from Chateau Grenouille...no joke ! You just have to get here to come and claim it... offer is open for two years, given how far away you are...
Seriously, how did you know ? ? ?
I swear, I'm going to be laughing all day about this one... I didn't think anyone could possible know... but you did... quelle merveille de connaissances stockées là !
Bon weekend de Paques...
:-)

More photos of same will follow soon...

And see link here for a nice project :

http://images.google.fr/imgres?imgurl=http://membres.lycos.fr/lacollec/panhard/02.JPG&imgrefurl=http://www.forum-auto.com/automobiles-mythiques-exception/section5/sujet332349.htm&usg=__C34302O-3-hf7m7E0_TeoQftGnM=&h=375&w=500&sz=83&hl=fr&start=11&um=1&itbs=1&tbnid=QVtCTZTYBomQRM:&tbnh=98&tbnw=130&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dpanhard%2Bdyna%2Bz12%26um%3D1%26hl%3Dfr%26sa%3DN%26tbs%3Disch:1

Owen said...

Arnaud... I think the link the got cut off when the comment saved, but you can find it by Googling Panhard Dyna, then click Images, and find the rusty looking one on first or second page of images...

Catherine said...

I think his best side is definitely the profile shot - yes Zebras such a gift to monochrome photography ..is that why you like them so much?? Thanks for another series of great shots and Happy Easter from Mexico or Feliz Semana Santa...

Arnaud said...

Are you sure you want to know my secret ?
Do you remember what you wrote few days back about your secret ? ;-)
But.. just 2 clues :
1/ you helped me a lot :-)
2/ Google is my friend

Do you know Panhard still build vehicles ? Military ones, but the brand still exist !
Unfotunately, the civil branch of Panhard disappeared when Citroen took over in the sixties.

The Laundress said...

Hi Owen :)

Glad you liked the award -- couldn't really seem to help myself last night after seeing so many stripes! No work involved at all -- you needn't even post it in the sidebar.

I do feel this urge to wander around the blogosphere looking for zebras now. Really!

And yes, it is Toulouse Lautrec -- seems to be my favorite laundress picture so far... Wish I were a redhead too...oh well...

Back to the laundry line for me :)

-Liz

p.s.thanks for the "stay strong" comment down below on one of your other posts. That was kind of you.

The Sagittarian said...

That first photo of the zebra - beautiful, but he looks so sad....
I see the car mystery has been solved so I won't need to reprint the details which I knew of course...really....ahem.

ρομπερτ said...

Guess such beauty can only be seen in France, where I spend a wonderful time (in Rouen and Maromme).

Haven't seen/been to a circus for now probably a decade, as Athens seems to be to big a city to attract such joy - maybe it is a large one on its own. Time to leave this place for a while and find relief back home :)
Please have you all a blessed Easter Sunday.

Nevine said...

He he he... nice glimpse of you in that sideview mirror, Owen. And those were some bright pix... very inviting for a nice spring day. We're having some warm weather in Texas, finally. You would think it would be warm all the time... but not true! That's not how it works. Your topmost zebra is so adorable I want to plant a kiss on his/her forehead. Truly adorable. If you don't know this zebra's gender, I'll say she's a girlie. Too too cute! Yep, that rear looks like a girlie's rear! And there goes my imagination!

Have a great Sunday, Owen. And thank you, just for being Owen!!! :-)

Nevine

Karine A. said...

J'espère que tu auras songé à le saluer de ma part...

clo said...

coucou Owen....

il a l'air tellememnt triste,resigné a passer sa vie attaché là....si loin des lions de sa savane...:o)
bon la vie est cruelle,c'est un fait...:o(
un bravo a Arnaud...
j'ai vu des panhards quand j'etais gamine...dans les campagnes il en trainait encore quelques unes...:o)
joyeuses cloches Owen...
bisous ...

Owen said...

Steve, I guess that is what is known as classic British understatement ? He looked more than a little morose to me...

=====================

Selina, It looks from the other comments here that you are not the only one... ah, but how can wrongs be undone once they are done ???

Owen said...

Hi FF... see response above to Lone Grey Squirrel...

Anyway, yeah, I guess these circuses really get around. This one was really small... Bercy, it was called. There were so few people there, I was wondering whether they make enough to cover costs...

=================

Bonjour .::Karine::.
Et oui, je suis avec toi, les animaux dans les cages, attachés comme ce zèbre, cela est plus triste que tout; voir la réponse assez longue à LGS ci-dessus... je voudrais plutôt voir des zèbres libres sur les plaines d'Afrique... lui, son regard est à fondre le coeur...

Bon, pour la voiture, mais non, je ne me moquera jamais d'une si gentille que toi... comme tu as pu voir peut-être, c'est Arnaud qui a trouvé la bonne réponse... mais j'aime bcp les vieilles 2CV aussi...

Quant au weekend tout en chocolat... là tu tapes dans la mille, juste le simple mot "chocolat" me fais resonner de plaisir...
:-)

Owen said...

Hi Catherine, yes indeed, the zebra is a magical beast, each time I see one I marvel and wonder at the incredible beauty and perfection of their fabulous black and white designs... on many levels they appeal to me, black and white photography being a big one... Many thanks and Happy Easter to you too...

=============

Hi Arnaud,
Well, it is good to have a friend like Google... but even so !

Yes, I had seen that Panhard is still in the military business, their website has a pretty scary video on the home page...

Well, just give me a little advance warning if you are coming to collect your prize !

Owen said...

Hi Liz Shy Laudress...
And the piles of laundry never end, ay ? That is one shortcoming of the human race... laundry... but if there was no laundry, there would be no laundress I guess... and we can't very well run around naked now, can we, not with winters like the one we just escaped from...

Bushels of thanks again for "the blog with the most stripes" award, am really touched by that one, for sure, and it is now in the side bar... at the top...

In the Barnes Foundation, near Philadelphia, there is a Toulouse Lautrec redhead portrait that just wrecks me every time I see it... fortunately I don't see it often !
:-)
As for where you said you were back to the laundry line, well, as long as you haven't been strung out to dry, I guess that's ok... and happy gardening !

Owen said...

Dear Sister Saj...
Ah, so you knew the car question, well, I had guessed as much, we'll have to do some more quizzes to give you another chance to show off your virtuosity in the field of automobile knowledge... but listen, let's have a little tipple first, what ? How's the hotel coming along ??? And have you heard from J.B. yet about the opening night gig ?
:-)

=================

Hey Robert, so Athens is a circus ? Seems to me the whole world is turning into a circus... with sad zebra eyes, sadder than the tears of a clown...

Going home for a while ? Is that back to Germany ? Travel safely if such is the case. Oh, and although France has many beautiful places, it has no monopoly either...
Happy Easter to you...

Owen said...

Ah Nevine, there you are...

So, what is this I'm reading between the lines here ??? May we deduce that you have certain attractions for girl zebras ???
:-) ???

Listen, that's ok in my book, in fact perhaps we could organize a photo shoot of Nevine on the back of a girl zebra friend ? On location in Africa of course...

Maybe once I win the lottery and can stop spending so much time at a job unrelated to photography...

And many thanks for you wishes for a good Sunday; it was in fact, went into Paris and met up with some fellow bloggers to go see the Elliott Erwitt exhibit at la Maison Européenne de la Photographie... it was fabulous. And wonderful to meet some blog friends for the first time... will no doubt post about it soon...

Take care ! And don't lose too much sleep over that gorgeous girl zebra there...
:-)

Owen said...

Bonjour Karine A.,
En fait, c'était lui qui me demandé de TE saluer... il semble qu'il a des cousins en Afrique qui lui a dit de te dire bonjour si jamais l'occasion se présentait, et voilà, c'est ce qui s'est passé... Bonne semaine pleine de bonnes choses pour toi...
:-)

==================

HOWDY Clo !
Tu as plus que raison, d'ailleurs, plusieurs ici l'ont dit, ce zèbre semble triste, et c'est un triste sort que la vie lui à réserver... J'aimerais bien la libérer (car Nevine à dit que c'est une fille) et la ramener en Afrique... Mais comme je disais à Lone Grey Squirrel ci-dessus, je ne sais même pas si un animal comme ça pourrait survivre libre après des années de prison...

J'espère au moins que de temps en temps elle a la possibilité de cotoyer d'autres zèbres... ce serait vraiment dur si elle n'en voyait jamais...

Clo, enfin, quand viens tu prendre un café ? L'eau est chaude...
:-)

The Laundress said...

Thanks Owen! It was so nice of you to stop in at my laundry line :)

The award looks very nice there at the side. Very stripey looking!

Happy Spring :)

-Liz

p.s. perhaps those frogs of my father's are toads! I will have to ask them next time I see them!