often when I am making and taking a STILL blog photo i hold my breath. it is usually so that i don’t accidentally blow my subjects out from under my lens. but today i noticed i was holding my breath more than usual. as if my life depended on it. and then i realized it did. life as i know it anyway. i’ll be able to breath easier, i hope, after tomorrow’s election is over. it doesn’t matter who wins. i just want it to be over. hah. gotcha. it totally matters who wins.
some fall colors of the Languedoc: three eucalyptus leaves and one (yellow) unidentified leaf
eucalyptus forest near cessenon-sur-orb, languedoc, france
at home the arrival of winter usually means the first snowfall that you know will stay on the ground. here the arrival of winter means the arrival of the winter winds. the most famous is the mistral, but there are plenty of other winds here, and they all have names. there is no single prevailing wind angling southeast out of canada like we have in minnesota. instead, there is the tramontane, coming down from the pyrenees. there is the vent marin, which comes up from the sea. there is the vent grec, which comes from the southeast, from the general direction of greece. there is the vent du nord, and the vent du sud. nobody really talks about how cold the air temperature is during the winter. what they talk about is how hard the wind is blowing, and where the wind is coming from. it’s yet another thing to learn, if you want to live here in a way that resembles how everyone else lives here. like learning to love anchovies. and thistles. and cicadas. and dry summer heat.
i guess i could say that i would find this thistle beautiful at home, in the land of deep summer greens and lush forests mixed of hardwoods and evergreens. but i would have to work at it a little bit. i’d have to take a minute to pick it out from all the saturated color that surrounded it, and reset my aesthetic vision to appreciate the faded yellow suns atop the drooping, weaponish, sage green leaves. but here in the languedoc i see them all the time along the side of the trail and they leap out from the muted background and dusty schist, and cry out their obvious beauty.
i guess it would be a little embarrassing if i ever had to tally how much time i spend looking at the ocean, when i’m at the beach, versus how much time i spend bent over, looking about eighteen inches ahead of my two big toes. actually the scenery at my feet is slightly more varied. and i can’t bring the surf home and place it on a white background. so no apologies.
beach combing bits
3 mediterranean beaches, languedoc, france
remember when fractals were about to explain everything? if not, you didn’t go to school in the 1980s. i haven’t thought about them for years, but i looked at this forking palm leaflet, and suddenly imagined it branching in a self-similar and infinitely regressive blossoming. then i feathered my hair back on both sides, drank a bartles and jaymes wine cooler, and pulled on my moon boots to walk home through the snow to the split level owned my divorced dad who voted for reagan twice. good times.