The Golden Mountain
Of hammocks and new growth.
As with the spring and the mountain greening, the fall of autumn begins in patches. It is first noticed one morning, with two or three trees shunning their former verdancy, in exchange for a cloak of gold. Then another tree, and another. Before a week has passed a north-facing slope is no longer green but vibrant with oranges, reds, and yellows, a nearby deep gully bronzed and auburn, leaves leaching, dancing their final show before the curtain fall of winter.
This is a time of harvest, vines heavy with grape, figs ripening to the joy of the blackbirds, stray pumpkins appearing near the former compost heap. Fresh produce is not hard to find for much of the year, here in this corner of France, and I do not take it for granted. Perhaps there is not quite as much choice or freshness as there was in Portugal — the growing season there is longer — but it is certainly a far cry from the latest news coming out of the UK, where grapes, for example, will apparently increasingly be sourced in Australia (with attendant 5+ week journey from harvest to shop), rather than from the south of Europe (with attendant 15 hour journey from harvest to shop).