some tree bones, polished by the orb river during the spring crest, and left on shore during the summer ebb, for any passing american gatherers who might be interested.
orb river, languedoc, france
once a year, i don’t mind the abundance and excess of the holidays. but now i’m ready for the other 350 days of the year, and their relative calm and order and restraint. bring it on, 2017.
driftwood and beach rock
this huge clam is called, in french, an ‘anodonte.” in english we call them duck mussels or swan mussels, for what i assume are obvious reasons. in french it should be called the wild boar mussel. it sits in stagnant freshwater, filtering the world around it, and every once in a while, a large, bristly, tusked quadruped shows up, roots around, drags the huge mussel to the shore, breaks it open, and eats raw shellfish for lunch. in my son joseph’s class, one of his teachers recently remarked that the wild boar is called an omnivore, which was really selling it short. it will eat more things than are included in the term omnivore. it should really be called a “toutovore.” an “everythingvore.”
a joyous day to you, whatever you call it: christmas, noël, the holidays, a day off of work, the end of a terrible year. here’s hoping the day is full of human warmth, and a touch of the sublime.
laurier d’alexandrie (danae racemosa), a.k.a . poet’s laurel
this slightly hybrid christmas wreath–grapes and grape leaves, imitating holly and spruce–is an apt symbol of the christmas celebration we will have today in autignac france. some french leg of lamb, and some minnesota wild rice hotdish. some mediterranean oysters and some lapadat family apple delight. happy holidays to all of you in all traditions wherever you come from and wherever you have landed.
grape vine leaves, and grapes