Long Shadows, Long Light

We’ve had a break from all the clouds, torrential rain, intermittent hail and nights of snow – so I went for a run. At this time of the year, the sun is low at 4:30 in the afternoon and sets only 20 minutes later. It casts long, reaching shadows from its last point of illumination…

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Last of the Season

The weather has turned so cold over the past week or so, mostly grey with the mountains getting their first coat of white. But today came up sunny, a nice change. I watched the blue sky while I worked, and finally managed to bundle up and go for a walk at sunset. I found these…

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Dusk Reflection

​​​It’s been a long week of heat. A massive storm blew through, the crashing wave of a  weather front, flooding streets and downing branches in just a few minutes. It feels like the weather is echoing current events. Now, at least, a bit of evening quietude as the thunder moves on down the road, leaving…

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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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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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Abundance of Sun

June 21 marks the longest day of this year in the northern hemisphere, and thus, it’s officially summer. Happy Summer Solstice! At least here in south-eastern France, the dog days have already begun – hot and sunny and cloudless and dry. We’re in the midst of the year’s first proper heat wave, with the temperatures…

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Running Evensong

The bad news today was that I spent most of it trying – with the assistance of an electrician and a building contractor – to figure out why the electricity in our house kept going off for no apparent reason. One of those unnerving household events that I’d almost rather attribute to a poltergeist than…

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Feeling the Spin

When I was a kid, I used to lie on my back in Golden Gate Park, or on Ocean Beach in San Francisco, or in the meadows of the Marin Headlands, and feel the Earth turn. I remember the feeling, spinning backwards (always backwards) through space. We hadn’t yet seen the images of the Earth…

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