andrew burke





The Gorgeous Rooftop Weed Gardens of Montolieu

Posted on: 2015-02-23

After several days of camping and hiking, we took a break in the beautiful town of Montolieu. We stayed two nights at the charming B&B/bookshop Maison Rives. For a whole day we had a roof over our heads and didn't have to hike to a destination under time pressure.

I spent a lot of time in bed, recharging both figuratively and literally (I travel with a lot of battery-powered devices). From the pillow, I had a clear view out the window to the old tile rooftop of the house across the way. The more I looked at it, the more I became fascinated by its textures.

Zoom-Worthy Rooftop

As you can see, my 14x superzoom camera was right at hand, so I got a closer look. I had been noticing textures all trip long, but this was perhaps the best that I had found:

Rooftop Weed Garden

I became obsessed with this corner of the roof, with its grasses, mossy tiles, random bits of infrastructure, and little white flowers.

Especially the little white flowers.

Roof Tile Flowers

I tried all sorts of different settings in different kinds of lighting to get the little white flowers to stand out properly. I took dozens of pictures, but only a few managed to get close to what I imagined.

Roof Tile Flowers

Maybe it would have worked better if I had a "proper" DSLR with a whole kit of lenses, but that would have been a whole lot of trouble to carry on a hiking trip.

Sunshine on the rooftop weed garden

It's funny, though: going back through these pictures, touching them up, and picking the best ones to share, I found myself sometimes thinking "ew, this rooftop is disgusting, with its moss and lichens and weeds. It's half falling apart, too!" Then my opinion would flip back to "look at the gorgeous charming textures!" I'm still not sure exactly where I stand on it. It makes a great photography subject, but maybe I'm glad that this isn't the roof of my house.

The added plus to this was I could do all of this aesthetic exploration and photographic finesse without even getting out of bed!

Previous: Why The French Always Say "Bon App├ętit"
Next: The Venetian Simulacrum of the Doge's Palace