So often I have to pinch myself when I step outside and see such that yes, I am living in a postcard. Especially lately.
One of the great fall foliage spectacles happens as the vineyards of southern France change to patchworks of vivid reds, oranges and yellows. The colors depend on the grape varieties, so each plot is a defined hue in a patchwork. The rolling hills of vines in the south of France give New England’s trees some stiff competition.
Fall is one of the greenest seasons of the year here. The return of rain makes the grass grow again. Soon the plowed fields of winter wheat will be emerald seas. Many of the trees and shrubs keep their leaves all year, so it never feels quite as bare as in the north.
During the height of summer’s heat and dry spell, it was rare to see butterflies, but now they are all over, mostly flitting in pairs, and catching the sunshine in a way that reminds me of July fireworks, spilling over and over across the sky. I suspect they left us for cooler climes during the summer and now are on their way south. Our winters are mild, but not mild enough for butterflies.
They clearly got the memo about fashionable fall colors.
Even the houses are dressed in saturated shades.
Everywhere I go, another breathtaking vista unfolds.
Sometimes the light is sharp and clear, the cloudless sky a hard blue, the Pyrénées–newly white–sharply etched across the horizon. But in the mornings and evenings, the light is golden, then increasingly red. Not so different from the leaves themselves.
Fine days mean crisp nights. As fireplaces are lit again, the scent of burning wood perfumes the air. It contrasts with the wet, earthy compost smells as leaves and grass turn back into rich dirt.
Sometimes the light reminds me of the paintings of Jules Breton.
There’s even beauty underfoot. All it takes is opening our eyes. The mix of colors is wonderful.