IMG_4120Yesterday I crossed paths with the cutest fairy–I was horrified later to realize she was a fairy, having incorrectly called her a butterfly–with irridescent rainbow wings and matching skirt. Even her face had been painted with colorful swirls. She came up to my knees, which is not much at all.

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The stones in this wall looked a bit like teeth in a Halloween skull.

We were crossing the street, the fairy clinging to the hand of her mother. The sun was shining, despite the storm clouds. Just as the light changed, the skies opened in a kind of localized ice-bucket challenge. I was soaked to the skin before I had made it across the two lanes. Preoccupied with dodging the drops, I didn’t see how the fairy fared.stream in autumnIMG_4133 2P1060202That was about the extent of Halloween for us. We don’t get trick or treaters, especially since our kid is too big for such things. What I do see all over is Christmas. No! It’s still warm out! Until the rain arrived, even a light sweater was too much during the day. Of course, the rain is welcome; it’s what turns the countryside a brilliant green in winter. IMG_4134IMG_4129IMG_4123The vineyards are only starting to change color, not yet reaching their vivid peak. Flowers are blooming, especially wildflowers in the garrigue. As I made my way through a wooded area on my walk/run route, I heard a very loud buzzing. It sounded like what some poor idiot hears right before they stumble on the decaying body of a murder victim in a horror film. So it was with great relief that I realized the buzzing was bees, working a flowering vine that had taken over a dead tree. I put a short clip on Instagram. Unfortunately, I can’t electronically share the lovely perfume of the flowers.IMG_4127IMG_413002.NOVEMBER 11 - 05My new route takes me along the edge of the garrigue, that magical wilderness that smells of pine and herbs. I wear an orange cap I bought in the hunting aisle at the sporting goods store and fluorescent pink windbreaker to let hunters know I’m not a boar (maybe a bore, and at times a pig, especially around chocolate, but never, ever a boar). It only later occurred to me that the more dangerous encounter might be with an actual boar. I decided to sing to ward them off. It’s the perfect place–not a soul.

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Guess who!
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A stone wall in the middle of nowhere.
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The vegetation in the foreground is mostly wild thyme.

Sadly, that is changing. I see fields where vineyards have been pulled out, marked off for new housing construction. The centers of villages and towns empty out as people want freestanding houses with yards, encroaching on nature and transforming the landscape in ways that will be hard to turn back. The newcomers do not appreciate chance encounters with wild boars, either.

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An even bigger wall in the middle of nowhere, on the border between the wild of the garrigue and the last field.

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You can see how enormous the wall is here, where it’s falling down. Three or four feet wide. Undoubtedly built by hand, very long ago.

Today is a holiday–All Saint’s Day–and I’m contemplating how to spend it. Probably raking up the golden leaves, which fall faster than I can pick them up. Gardening is a Sisyphean task.IMG_4137IMG_4124IMG_411402.NOVEMBER 11 - 04What are you up to? Ready for winter? Or is it already winter where you live?05.FEBRUARY 12 - 49P1060011

 

38 thoughts on “It Can’t Possibly Be November

  1. What a lovely post. I am reassured by others who love their countryside as much as I do mine. I am intensely aware of the changing seasons this year – does that increase as we age? If so, it is a blessing. So much richness not to be missed. Thank you for a small space in my day to celebrate that.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. As a Canadian I am never ready for winter. Every year I cross my fingers with the hope that somehow we will escape its frigid grasp. One year we managed to avoid the snow and ice but that was a rare event. This year they are predicting warmer than normal temperatures with extra snowfall. Every year around this time my husband regrets leaving Nice.

    Suzanne
    http://www.suzannecarillo.com

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nice to Canada would be a rough transition, weather-wise.
      Winter here is coldish–you need a coat and it often rains, but it rarely freezes at night and certainly not during the day.

      Like

  3. WOKE up to a shooting in my town last night at a HALLOWEEN PARTY!A bit unnerving to say the least!MANY people are DEAD……….guess it was an AIR B&B RENTAL!
    Today I drive south a bit to pick up STEP MUM from PACEMAKER procedure!SHe wants to HIT the ANTIQUE SHOW FIRST before going back home!!!!!!!!WHat to do……..say NO you must go HOME AND REST or SAY YES lets GO????
    YOUR photos and walls are BEAUTIFUL and yes the wild boar will be MORE afraid of YOU SINGING!!!!NOW WE ALL NEED A PHOTO OF YOU IN THE ORANGE CAP!!
    XX

    Liked by 2 people

    1. A shooting? People must be going a little crazy with the wildfires there.
      Do you have a wheelchair for stepmum or can you borrow one? That would be a compromise–she can see the antique show without getting worn out. Probably can’t stay long anyway. I would err on the side of enjoying life….

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  4. We’ve settled in to the traditional 2 weeks of rain for the first half of November. Nice to know some weather patterns are not changing. And I’ve just made whoopie pies, for a gathering tonight which will include no doubt Halloween obsessed Americans nostalgic for their childhood. I’ve never made whoopie pies before, nor even really heard of them, but I gather they are a bit of a Halloween tradition for some.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. As it turns out, my friends had heard of them, but never eaten one. She made applesauce cake (which was delicious). There was soooooooo much food! I have come away from the party with 6 freezer bags of different curries and chillis, and a bag of cheeses. Vast quantities of desserts, most of them creamy. I reckon about 3 people ate my whoopie pies 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  5. As always I love seeing the countryside and the villages near you. Thank you. It plummeted to freezing here so I wrapped my topiaries… which were wrapped last winter but still got zapped by the cold… and my Meyer Lemon tree, hoping to protect them from the cold. South Texas temperatures are just as likely to be in the 90’s next week, so if you don’t like the weather here, wait a few hours and it will change and do a jig for you. xoxox, Brenda

    Liked by 2 people

      1. It was as unseasonably cold as I can remember – not as cold as 1010, but definitely sweater and fireplace weather in Houston. We needed some relief, but I was a little sad – our Halloweens are usually gullywashers and 100% humidity with kiddos dashing door to door between downpours, but trick or treat will not be stopped. I though for sure the bright cold weather would have multiplied the need for candy. I guess the teenagers are smarter these days, and were hanging out at Chick fil a and buying half price candy this morning. We only had a handful of littles stop by, and now I’m staring at a giant bowl of diabetes and thinking about my life choices.

        Lovely pictures, as always.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. It seems like your area is peacefully transition to the fall and winter. There is beauty in the pristine, unscathed landscape no doubt about that. It feels like it’s all good in the Universe, that the cycle of life goes on eternally. So beautiful!
    Here in California there is more drama with the ravaging fires spreading all across. It’s interesting you mention the new developments as here there is more and more talk about why building homes in the areas that are prone to fires was a bad idea. It’s cold at night- I saw frost on the roofs this morning- but it is dry. Sunny and pleasant during the day. Halloween here was pretty low key, nothing to write home about. We’re marching full speed to the Christmas. it seems like the merchandise hits the stores earlier and earlier every year. In September there were Christmas decorations popping up everywhere. I’m thinking eventually we’ll have Christmas all year :))

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can’t help but see the similarities in climate–we get very strong winds and usually, after no rain in July, things are parched in August and we get wildfires. But they are nothing like the ones in California. So much to discuss about zoning, NIMBY, etc.
      Have you ever seen “It’s the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown!”? Just hilarious. They go to a department store (pre-mall days) for Easter stuff and it’s already decked out for Christmas. It came out in 1974!!!!

      Like

  7. So enjoy your posts. Loved the stone walls – so ancient just spilling there. We, my husband and I, have been preparing for winter – these past few weeks – garden and shrubs cut back, lawn furniture put away – now it’s all about leaves – raking and raking! Winter is from November until April in Central New York – lovely in the beginning – but seaming to have lasted forever by March.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, the stone walls have won my heart. We pick up the leaves only on terraces; we leave the ones on grass, which get chopped up by the lawn mower. Composting has changed our lives. Plus I put leaves everywhere as mulch–they turn brown and clump (they don’t fly away) and are discreet mulch that are great at keeping down weeds. No more hauling away a dozen carloads of weeds each year.

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  8. I love your stone walls, so different in style than those in New England. Perhaps the same origin, clearing the ground for farming of one sort or another, carrying the stones to the side. Makes me think of Robert Frost’s Mending Wall of course. Here in the U.S. Pacific Northwest, we are having a glorious Fall, cold and clear, without the usual rain (yet), with spectacular colors. It’s wonderful seeing the land around you.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Beautiful photos as ever, ToF. I understand it is quite hazardous walking in the hunting season but what could be further from the urban experience than to be outwitting both hunters and wild boar while enjoying a constitutional? Definitely one of the vicarious pleasures of visiting your blog!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. We had a gorgeous, but short autumn here in Minnesota. It is very cold, now, and
    we are expecting our first measurable snow.
    I thoroughly enjoyed your photos and felt like I was on this walk with you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. SNOW!?!?! I lived in Minnesota long ago, enough to experience winter. Good luck to you! The peaks of the Pyrénées now glisten white, so snow isn’t far here, but we rarely get even temporary flakes here on the plain.

      Like

  11. These stone walls look interesting! At one time they must have been a lot of work to put together. I totally understand your title, because I live in California. This week I finally put my first autumn post up, because I live in the Northern part of the state now. When we lived in the Los Angeles area, the leaves started turning right before Christmas, a few rainy days, if we were lucky, and then it was Christmas time!

    Liked by 1 person

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