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true blue

one of the cheeriest sights here has been the little blue fireworks along the roadsides as we pass clumps of chicory in bloom. they are especially abundant a day or two after a good rain.

i learned only this march while i was in chicago for a culinary expo, that endive is the secondary growth of the chicory root. who knew?

wild chicory

autignac, france

 

 

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  1. My favorite flower ever ! I love your photo, Mary-Jo ! oxox

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show stealer

jean-luc and nicole asked if we wanted to see some wild carnations, which are increasingly rare in this part of the world. of course we said “of course.” at 9 PM when they usually take their dogs for a walk, we tagged along down a gravel road north out of our village into the rolling hills of patchwork vineyards, and soon enough, the meandering roadside was dotted with surprisingly delicate sprays of tiny pink and white wild carnations.  according to jean-luc the wild carnation are shaped deep and narrow in order to withstand the daytime heat. as i set up quickly to try and get of photo of the carnations in the waning daylight, i was taken aback by this cheeky little fellow, a conehead mantis I would later discover, who popped out from behind the flower’s receptacle and threatened me with his (proportionally) huge, Popeye forearms.

mantis on a wild carnation; probably an immature conehead mantis (empusa pennata)

autignac, france

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  1. Lovely ! I think I had never seen wild carnations before. Wild, dwarf lilies, but carnations nope. Adorable little mantis too ! ox

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gather, sort, repeat.

we like things we are good at. pattern recognition, decision making, and sorting are all skills that humans are inherently good at. i guess that explains why we are all so addicted to beachcombing.  as such,  an evening of gathering and a morning of sorting was pretty darn close to bliss for this human animal.

a collection of mediterranean shells, rocks, and sea glass

séte, france

 

comments
  1. Traci says:

    Lovely! One of my favorites.

  2. Kendra says:

    Oh how these speak to me and my land-locked heart!
    Thank you, always.

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evidemment

jean-luc brought me this. he wanted to make sure i saw it. for “le blog”. honestly, no one outside my family has so thoroughly internalized STILL blog as jean-luc has. i think the french concept of terroir is so ingrained here, that STILL is an obvious and unexceptional expression of it.  of course you highlight your natural surroundings. mais evidemment, mah-ree zho.

chestnut tree branch with male fruit (and one snail)

autignac, france

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  1. Mah-ree zho … eheh that’s so cute !! ;-) oxox

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prickly sweet

after a month of tearing us to shreds, when it wasn’t puncturing our fingers with spines and thorns, the garrigue still manages to leave us feeling a sort of sentimental fondness. it’s prickly and almost impossible to navigate, and we still keep coming back to it. sort of like family.

un assemblage mediterranéen

autignac et sa garrigue

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  1. Prickly, fragrant, sweet, dry, sometimes poisenous, that’s garrigue ! And why we love it so ! ox

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a different kind of lavender

these little lavender-colored wildflowers are dotting our roadsides this week. i am waiting to catch jean-luc next door to find out what their name is. he’ll know. i will probably also find out about several related wildflowers, and which ones are edible and which are not, and possibly even that a very nice tisane or liqueur can be made from them. it will be a very enjoyable half an hour.

roadside wildflowers: scabiosa maritime

autignac, france

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  1. Hello Mary-Jo,
    these are Scabiosa maritime & are sadly not edible (though I agree they look like chive flowers) I’m off to send you a link with a list of edible flowers & non edible flowers from the garrigue. ox

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heraldry for noncombattants

we find ourselves surrounded by shields and seals and symbols and badges and coats of arms here in this place that was already culturally middle-aged by the middle ages, and where war was a nearly constant thing for centuries. i decided to design my own rather more peace-loving coat of arms this afternoon. the shield of the distracted wanderer. designed to strike fear into the heart of not a single sword wielding enemy.

an arrangement with items from this weeks’ outings: the feathery dark green leaves are mimosa tree leaves, the large green thistle head in the center is wild teasel

hérault, languedoc, france

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  1. Ellen says:

    Love it.

  2. margie says:

    my kind of beautiful

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very serious business

there was a determined knock on our door. our beloved next door neighbors Jean-Luc and Nicole had decided that i needed to see something. their cactus, which is probably as old as my children (as conscientious farmers, they are constitutionally unable to let any plant die) was about to bloom, and they felt it was a proper subject for still blog. of course, i agree.

night -blooming cereus cacti

autignac, france

comments
  1. chiara says:

    How beautiful and dramatic!

  2. Tracy Klinesteker says:

    Beautiful and delicate. The colors are amazing.

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un cadeau

yet another treasure from our next door neighbors’ orchard. i have evolved in two years from never having heard of greengages, to being slightly obsessed by them.

prunes reine claude (greengages)

autignac, france

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  1. Mmmm reine claudes are the best, so sweet & tasty !
    oxox

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gathered and assembled

ok, so, contrary to yesterday’s post, not everything is dry and brown around here.

an arrangement of purple and green things in our village

autignac, france

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  1. margie says:

    it is so beautiful how you can find such colour in a dry arid climate

  2. of course it is not all brown ! (thank goodness !) But I agree, it’s so dry, not many plants stay green in the heat ! ox

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