IMG_3595The nights have been crisper, wonderful for sleeping. But it’s only today that it finally feels like fall. Some much-needed rain started during the night and is supposed to continue, gently and steadily, all day. I imagine the plants in the garden straightening up, as if they’re doing the sun salutation in yoga, raising their anthropomorphic faces to the sky and greeting the raindrops

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Croissants on the balcony of our AirBnB in Carcassonne.

The wine harvest has started, but it seems subdued compared to past years. Vast stretches of vineyards have been plowed under to become fields of wheat, sunflowers and other crops. Usually the mornings at this time of year would be heralded not by the neighboring rooster but by the growl of the big vendange machines, that look like monsters from a horror film.

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Winegrowers use tiny tractors to move between the rows of vines. I love that this museum piece is a Lamborghini. It used to be driven by an ancient winegrower who was bent over in half but who worked his vineyards daily.

Another reason we’re happy for the rain is that there have been a few fires. Every year, there are fires, but these seemed especially worrisome. One brought in 12 firefighting planes. I had only ever seen two flying over, en route between the fire and Lac de Saint-Ferréol, where they refill with water.IMG_3640IMG_3612One fire grew significantly between the time I first saw the smoke and when I was heading home later. I pulled over at a rare wide spot on the road. Other cars joined me. Everybody took pictures with our phones and ended up chatting for quite a while. It’s crazy how you can connect with people sometimes.

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Early evening.
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45 minutes later.

A few crazy things I’ve noticed, which are too random to warrant a post.

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Why do you need a windshield wiper on a window that you can’t see through?
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Ha ha–connerie is stupidity/nonsense/silly antics, so it says “general stupidity.” It originally was “maçonnerie general” or general masonry.
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At a wine and food tasting: Occitan relaxation and naps. Occitan is the old language and adjective for this region, where Languedoc comes from–oc is how people in these parts said yes.

The foods at the market are changing. Soon the peaches and nectarines will turn mealy and we’ll have to give up on them. But happily there are already apples. Still lots of tomatoes and I have been given orders to make sauce. IMG_1881If I get it together, I will post a street style roundup on Friday. Until then…IMG_3499

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23 thoughts on “End of Summer

  1. The ‘connerie general’ sign is pretty funny 🙂 Very autumnal here too all of a sudden. But still no rain. The farmers are frustrated because they need to plant barley now, and in the dry they can’t plough the wheat stubble in effectively. Btw, I was talking to a very interesting farmer the other day who tells me that France is by no means self-sufficient in food, despite what the media spouts, and is massively overproducing wheat. He was also against subsidies because he says they pushes the price of produce down for farmers, but not for the wholesalers or consumers.

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    1. That’s interesting. I wonder how much food France wastes? Not as much as some places, but still…. The subsidy theory doesn’t quite hold water–a subsidy is supposed to give producers a higher price and consumers a lower one, with the subsidy making up the difference between the two. But who finances the subsidy? Taxpayers, aka consumers, though of course not at a one-for-one level.

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  2. Last Friday, 50 fires started in Herault – the amount of manpower needed to put them out or keep them under control is staggering! So the rain is very welcome indeed, even though we all think it’s the end of summer. But I remember that we can have great weather until mid October!! 🙂

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  3. Fall in France is beautiful, not too hot, not too cold, and fewer tourists. No perfect lavender fields, but the colours of the vines turning red and yellow, simply breathtaking.
    Ali

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  4. The steady moderate rain is heaven, especially in really dry areas. Here in N California we’re still in high nineties going towards hundreds by the end of this week.However, the mornings are cooler and the heat has a different edge to it, it doesn’t feel so intense. I wasn’t aware that there are fires in your neck of the woods. Are those natural fires?

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  5. FIRES………..they have been ABUNDANT even HERE in the STATES!SCARY STUFF……..
    END OF SUMMER ALWAYS MAKES ME SAD!I ADORE SUMMER but we are lucky here close to San Francisco the weather is usually gorgeous through NOVEMBER!XX

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  6. That van with the window wiper is not unlike Marcel Duchamp and his urinal. If you see what I mean. It may be driven by a surrealist.
    Autumn is definitely making its presence felt here in northern England. Cool, damp mornings, chilly, darkening evenings. Trees going parti-coloured.

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  7. Are you sure that van window isn’t opaque from the outside only? I presume the driver can still see something through it? 🧐 Love this time of year with its still-summery afternoons and cooler mornings. We’re getting some lovely skies now that the weather seems to be settling a bit. Sorry to hear about the fires — very worrying!

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  8. No sign of Fall yet around here, other than football, but we did get some much needed rain. Trees and grass are refreshed, which is a nice change.

    Beautiful, compelling photos as always. For some reason the croissants are taunting me.

    Liked by 1 person

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