my love of seedpods brought this little monster into my house today. i laid it out on my kitchen table and the seeds spilled a little bit all over, and then i found it in an obscure corner of wikipedia, and discovered that it was a datura, and that all parts of it are highly poisonous. i looked at the little poisonous seeds next to the afternoon baguette, and began sorting very very carefully.
moon flower jimsonweed seed pods (datura stramonium)
spent flower stems with receptacles (unidentified)
those shriveled little grapes may not look like much, and i know i never would have tried one before spending time in france, but if you pick grapes with french people, you will notice that when they stop to munch a grape or two, they will always choose the grapes that have just started to shrivel. those grapes have a higher sugar content, a concentrated flavor, and a cooked fruit aroma like raisins that most americans would find aesthetically suspicous. until this year, i, too, would always grab the big plump juicy sweet grapes from the bunch. but this year, the darker, sweeter flavors of just past-their-prime grapes began to appeal to me, and now when i look at a bunch of grapes, i find myself searching for a bit of pucker on the skin.
grape leaf, grapes, and vine tendril
i love our french neighbors . . . all of them. at 42 avenue de la liberté we have extended the hoffman open door policy that was instituted years ago in our home in minnesota. these guys have all accepted the implicit invitation of open doors and windows. we have welcomed them with varying degrees of hospitality. emphasis on varying.
collection of languedocian critters we’ve come across since mid-august
these little bottle brushes formed out of one of my favorite flat, blue-violet flowers. it was only two months ago that we arrived here, and that those flowers were in bloom. the remaining three months of this trip feel suddenly so fragile and evanescent.
la scabieuse rouge sombre stems with fruit heads