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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After The Rain, Before The Storm

The nightly storms that send rain pelting down upon our humble home and illuminate the sky with lightning are impressive. More surprising though, is waking up every morning to blue skies. It’s not that we aren’t used to wild weather here in the Lake Geneva region; when you live between two mountain ranges, you expect…

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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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Summer’s Begun

I always greet this day with a bit of wistfulness. It’s the beginning of summer in the northern hemisphere, the longest day of the year, and it also rings in the season of days that grow ever shorter. It seems like a good day from which to look at the year thus far, and the…

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Redcurrant Cordial

I’d had a romantic vision in my mind about making redcurrant cordial, something more in keeping with the  word ‘cordial’. What I hadn’t anticipated was the 7 kilos (15 pounds) of redcurrants my single bush would yield under not very thorough picking. The simple recipe (see below) became a more complicated logistical matter of our…

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Green & Red Bounty, Unfurling

A few shots from the garden as it grows. I don’t have much of a green thumb when it comes to the kitchen garden, but watching each vegetable flower and then grow round has been a pleasure. The first tomato. A long vine with tiny potimarrons, my favorite pumpkin for autumn soups and pies. The…

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Seasonal Spiral

Summer doesn’t officially end in the Northern Hemisphere until September 22 this year. But as it is my official back-to-work day after a very long summer, I thought I’d put this Jim Denevan beach spiral up to remind myself that the tide that washes away also brings renewal and a fresh start.

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Lazy Afternoon

It’s a lazy afternoon here – the rains have stopped (for now); it’s hot, but not too hot, a fluffy cloud kind of day to not do very much. Here are a few shots from the farm right next door on a lazy August afternoon. This wall, the outer wall of a woodshed, is in…

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