Dog Days

We’re in the middle of a significant heat wave here in eastern France – the French call it la canicule, a word which has at its root a reference to a celestial body other than the sun. Between July 3 and August 11, the star Sirius rises almost in conjunction with the sun – and…

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Old Growth

Across the border in Switzerland, and over in the next county of Haute Savoie, there are dozens of large-scale commercial apple orchards, hundreds of perfectly pruned trees grown to efficient picking height, neatly covered in bird-proof netting. They make for tidy rows of white and pink blossoms in spring. In my neck of the woods,…

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A Different Apple

Apples are hanging heavy on our apple trees, although their numbers have been greatly diminished by a series of storms interspersed with very hot weather. The apple tree which holds pride of place, in the middle of our garden, is of a local variety. Or at least, local in the sense that my late neighbor,…

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Cider, hot off the presses!

I came home from a run to find this jug of fresh cider perched on my doorstep, courtesy of my cider-pressing neighbor. My favorite part, besides the delicious nectar I know is inside, is the friendly packaging for family and friends only – the ancient Spanish wine jug, rinsed, sterilized, reused. The organic, orchard home…

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