Photographer's Note

Taken Promenade de la Treille in Geneva, where one of its many chestnut trees - the Official Chestnut Tree - ushers in the first day of spring.
If a leaf unfurls from any other tree in this glorious park, it simply doesn't count. Spring is not in the air. But when the official tree, with a special plaque at its foot, puts forth its first bud, spring has come for sure. The specially appointed sautier (guardian of the land), comes to observe the phenomenon and records the date of the annual event on a special notice board in the Town Hall. Sautiers have been fulfilling this function in Geneva since 1818.

The arrival of spring is the gossip of the town and you can count on it being announced in the local paper .There's no way of telling when spring will fall each year -the season began on the 9 March in 1999, 16 February in 1998 and 27 March in 1997. It's all in the hands of God and the sautier!

The promenade was created in the 16th century as an observation post for the defence of the city. From the beginning of the 18th century onwards, it became a romantic place to stroll. Chestnut trees have adorned the path since 1721. Aligned in two rows, the trees stretch the whole length of the promenade. At one end is the "official" chestnut tree of Geneva, which leans slightly, as if bowed down by the responsibility of ushering in the new season.

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Additional Photos by Gal Eota (Galeota) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1682 W: 329 N: 2206] (10352)
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