Summer Field Moment

I was out running yesterday and there was a cushion of sound, a papery hum, that accompanied me for a long stretch. At first I thought it was the standard ambient noise of my run: a bit of mountain wind, shards of birdsong, maybe an underlying rush of water from the creek in the middle…

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Root Migration

What do a rare high-altitude Alpine snow flower and a sturdy South African cousin of the daisy have in common? They aren’t related, they look nothing like one another, and they are natives to completely different habitats in different parts of the world. But over the past few years, they have both been on the…

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Another Harvest Moment

Summer harvest continues in our village. How do I know? I can hear the tractors. But even with the windows shut, I know a field of grain is being cut. ​​Look at that kettle of hawks, circling, waiting for the easy pickings of field mice in the newly shorn field. Or maybe they’re just riding…

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Harvest Moment

Out on a run, I could here the jangling racket of large farm machinery somewhere in the distance. It echoed across the low hills of my running loop.  Finally, I found it. The crackling dry wheat was being cut.  Here’s a slow summer moment in south-east France.  ​​ The scent is an intoxicating mix of…

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Cartography of Extremes

Maybe it’s the instinctual part of humans that makes us obsessed with the biggest, the strongest, the highest, the illustrious measurements that dazzle. Whether it’s the highest mountain, the broadest lake, the longest river, we look for inspiration in extremes. Whether it’s justified or not, we do the same in societies. The biggest economies, the…

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