….. next month.
We were walking in the Aude today, and with every step we took, we realised that harvest season is well on its way.
Sorghum grains for animal feed swelled in fields where last year sunflowers had grown. A few seeds had escaped the Autumn harvest, and so this year a few cheeky sunflowers raised their heads above the more lowly winter feed.
Grapes cluster on the vine. They’ve grown almost as much as they intend, but they still have work to do. Most are still a bright acidic green. A few are starting to blush a bruised pink. Some have even achieved a classic purple: but they’re not ripe yet. We know. We tried one or two.
And those fields of sunflowers, Apart from one field’s worth, they no longer look like those cheerful images you see on postcards from our region. Their bright sunny faces no longer track the movement of the sun as it travels across the sky. Instead, they’ve developed a hang-dog look as the weight of their maturing seeds pulls their heads earthwards.
Then there were almonds. We found a few had fallen already, so made a handful of creamy nuts into a small 11 o’clock treat. Walnuts are a different matter. They’re still heavily enclosed in their thick green fleshy coats. It’ll be a few weeks before this protection dries and splits to reveal the ripened nuts within.
Apples? Yes, a few, but they’re still green, with white flesh that browns as soon as it’s bitten into. Blackberries? Hardly any have turned black. They’re still very small and green, or rather small and pink. We’ll have to wait.
So far then, only the hay bales sit plumply at the edges of the fields, ready for winter. The other crops soak up the remaining summer sunshine, fatten, ripen, and wait for the moment when they too will be gathered in.