ok i’ll admit i spent a slightly shiny-eyed morning processing what my country had elected to do with itself. disregarding all politics, the fact that a manifestly overqualified woman could lose to a manifestly underqualified man knocked this tomboy off her stride for a bit, after what had seemed like so much progress. but that feeling will get exactly one day of my time. now it’s back to work. there is gathering to do. another photo to take. dinner to make. a book on my bedside. a husband and son and daughter to love and be loved by.
winter stems in southern france
can’t decide which i want more: to keep all of these magical seed pods for my collection, or to take them back so they can make more magical eucalyptus trees. really i’m just making up things to think about so i don’t have to think about the fact that it’s election day.
eucalyptus seed pods
cessenon-sur-orb, forêt d’eucalyptus, languedoc, france
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.