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from a cold dry region to a hot dry region

i just left behind a region where everything is dry and brown all winter, in order to spend july in a region where most things are dry and brown all summer. what gives?

assemblage of dry things

autignac, france

 

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  1. Tracy Klinesteker says:

    You should switch your timings around.

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roadside galaxy

each one of these thistle flowers is the size of my palm. the plant itself was 1.5 meters high. enormous.  i had seen them on the side of the road on the way into our village. so while my hubby was running errands one day i asked him to stop and get me the flowers.  i had in mind a cute basket full of the snipped off flower heads. instead i got  two entire plants about the size of a fiat 500.

extra large thistle flowers

autignac, france

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  1. margie says:

    like prickly stars

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15 minutes of fame

 

i stopped the car to snip this thistle stem because i had in mind that i wanted to make an assemblage of all the dried things i am seeing. only then did i see the one blooming flower in this otherwise dried out stem. i decided to reward its tenacity with a brief moment of fame.

yet another mediterranean thistle/chardon 

autignac, france

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  1. tara soucy says:

    a standout for sure – you caught its moment in the sun.

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unimpressed

despite what i see as their silvery beauty, these fish look unimpressed with me, if not downright accusatory.

a collection of small silvery mediterranean fish: daurade/dorade, merlu, merlan, maquereau, sardine

valras, france

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  1. Kristin McCullough says:

    Am missing you!

  2. margie says:

    such sweet and beautiful creatures

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july-almonds
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call me a hull, a shell, or a seed. but don’t call me a nut.

according to jean-luc, the almonds in this little corner of southern france are ready to eat any time after june 24th of each year, plus ou moins. the young fruits are tender and tasty, and will continue to ripen for the next several months until their shells are hard and brown and split open. on the other hand, one must be aware that there are sweet almonds and bitter almonds. the bitter almonds smell wonderful, like marizipan, but are inedible. the sweet almonds . . . well . . . we just finished off a small handful.

young almond fruits

autignac, france

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  1. Akä says:

    A titre d’information, une très petite quantité d’amande amère n’est pas nocive : je mets quelques amandons (amande du noyau d’abricot) dans mes confitures d’abricot, c’est succulent !

  2. margie says:

    those are so gorgeous

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miró or calder?

color blocks on a neutral background. miro or calder? it’s late, the bats are circling, the second bottle of wine is open. dammit, i’m calling it a hoffman.

wild (?) poppy

beside the D154, autignac, france

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  1. Patricia Klein says:

    Too Funny! You ARE having a good time….. Thanks for sharing!

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a day at the beach

in order to place some limits on my excessive beach collecting, i will often give myself limits for the day such as “only auger shells” or “only striped beach rocks”. “only sea glass” is a common constraint. this was the first time i used “only black or white shells”. i am loving the results.

mediterranean beach shells

le lido, between sète and marseillan, france

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  1. Beautiful ! Sometimes, collecting with a contraint is stimulating ! ox

  2. margie says:

    a lovely older patient of mine used to call beach combing her cure for her shopping obsession. She said she would wake up in the morning and ask herself , I wonder what the specials are today !

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what part of f*ck off did you not understand?

roadsides, ditches, vacant lots, and the wild garrigue scrubland that surrounds us are all full of plants like this. they punish any effort to move among them with wicked lacerations and puncture wounds, never mind what it’s like trying to pick them with anything less than thick leather gloves. fortunately, when it comes to the human fauna of this region, and despite almost every cliché about the prickly French temperament, we are almost universally greeted with mediterranean warmth, and physical affection. i will miss the casual intimacy of the double cheek kiss as a greeting when we get back to chilly minnesota.

a particularly evil mediterranean  thistle (scolymus grandiflorus)

along the mediterranean near sète, france

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  1. Ah, yes, some roadside plants are rather unwelcoming, aren’t they ?! But they are so pretty !
    Funny how here in Montpellier, you’d get a triple cheek kiss ;-) xo

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bleu, blanc, rouge

Happy Bastille Day! Vive la France!

prunelle/sloe, géranium blanc/geranium, euphorbe rouge/spurge

autignac, france

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  1. I hope you’ve had a great Bastille Day ! What a beautiful flag you’ve made here ! Worth being a poster ! xo

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roadside weeds

the roads here were not made for cars. most of them were made for horses and donkeys and a few were even made by romans 2000 years ago. sometime in the last century the were covered with a thin layer of asphalt. as you can imagine they are not two car widths wide. the best roads, the widest ones, are about one and a half cars wide.  so as two cars pass, both cars must slow down and each puts one tire into the side road, only inches from the run-off ditches that line all the streets. and each time we do this, the entire side of the car, and my arm leaning out the open window, is whipped be these meter high stalks of wild fennel.

wild fennel

autignac, france

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  1. Fennel is the King of roadsides here, and of garrigue too, isn’t it ? Thyme is not very far, though ! xo

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