after 27 years of marriage, we still can’t agree on succulents

september 30 was our 27th wedding anniversary. we celebrated it by picking grapes in the morning, and agreeing over lunch to try for another 27, if the universe allows. we see the world mostly from the same point of view, but i can’t lure him over to my side on the beauty of succulents. i wouldn’t call it a crisis, but…

succulent tips (possibly pachyphtum)

autignac, france

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the endless circle

the vendange (grape harvest ) finished today. and already, the red leaves on a few of the vines serve as a reminder that the leaves will soon fall, and pruning season will begin in a couple of months. i have long dreamed of living simply in a great city for a year with almost no possessions. the only thing i think i would regret would be the ability to look out my window every day and know what season i was in, and what season was about to follow. not just spring summer winter fall. but the season of sharp lobed hepatica followed by the season of trillium followed by the season of swamp marigold, followed by the season of budding weeping willows, followed by… yes, that would be very difficult.

grapvine wreath made from syrah grape vines

jean-luc’s vineyard, autignac, france

  • a beauty.

  • Rebecca says:

    You may be interested in the app 72 Seasons. It covers the 72 Japanese seasons including the foods, fauna and flora. It is so sensitive to the seasons, as are you.
    Having only recently discovered your blog I throughly enjoy your post’s elegance and your compelling comments.
    I haven’t discovered why or how long you will be in France but enjoy every minute, as I am sure you will.


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little fish

if you grow up in a place where everyone around you craves a particular food, then you will naturally learn to crave that same food. as difficult as it is to believe, as an american, no one here craves hamburgers. i’m not a typical american, culinarily speaking, but if you ask me for my top five food cravings when i need comfort, hamburgers will be on that list. you know what they crave here? sardines, apparently. i went to meet our fishmonger this morning, and he was selling sardines this week, after several weeks without them. every single person at his stand bought at least a kilo of sardines. as if they were satisfying a long, built-up craving, and at last the sardines were back. i ordered a kilo myself, and we grilled them. they were wonderful in their way. but the next time i really need something to lay into, it’s not going to be sardines. it’s going to involve some lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, ketchup, mustard, and maybe a third of a pound of medium rare ground beef.


mediterranean sea

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customer service complaints department

you’ll have to pardon my fascination with beach-tossed feathers. i know i post a lot of them. i will field your complaints respectfully, and then ignore them. this is one of my very favorite subjects. i wish i had had five to photograph instead of three. eight. fourteen.

beach feathers, probably gull

sète, france

  • I totally get your obsession. I just looked out the winter here in my Arizona home and saw a roadrunner and all I could think of was running after him to steal one of his feathers!!!


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purple and green

this is called the purple heart plant in america, and misère pourpre, or purple misery in france. i am drawing zero conclusions about the relative temperaments of the populations of those two nations based on this nomenclature. coincidence, i’m sure. purple heart in the land of desert storm and shock and awe. purple misery in the land of sartre and camus. nothing to see here. everybody keep moving.

purple-heart plant (tradescantia pallida)

autignac, france

  • Carol says:

    Funny about names, my grandmother called this “wandering jew” because of obvious reasons – 40 years in the wilderness, etc. my Purple heart weeps just thinking of the middle east today


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