Dried Acorns and Mirabelle Vodka

Of all the things dropping to the ground this summer, rain was particularly scarce. The area of eastern France where we live is always hot in August. This year, though, after a rainy spring, June started heating up. And then July was hotter. As hot as August, but weeks early. The minimal amounts of rain…

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Making The Rounds

People ask me how I don’t get bored running the same loop after over twenty years. Out the door, up the road that leads out of the village towards the Jura mountains, past the little château and then up through the fields that skirt the French border to Switzerland. The loop is a little over…

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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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