Panier of Plenty

Vernal Equinox

8am. I am sitting at a table on the stone terrace outside the fromagerie, waiting for milking to finish. As the newborns grow they are drinking more each day, giving me a pause, as I finish my rituals early and wait for the signal – silence from the shed as the machine is switched off, and the chorus of tinkling bells, accompanied by barks, as the goats mount the steep slope behind me, herded by two golden Pyrenean mountain dogs.

The smell of my surroundings has become familiar and reassuring, and I find myself happy in the little warm cocoon – heated to 20-22° – as I turn out the moulds and rotate drying cheeses. Mas Coste is perched on the side of a valley; a river runs past the potager garden terraces and orchard below. Everything is blossoming and leafing as the first rays of sunlight creep over the ridge on the horizon, where just a roof and chimney are visible. The forested banks and grassy clearings are home to the goats as they graze, but for the moment they have fresher pastures that were kept aside for the start of the cheese making season. The birds are very active – tiny ones swooping around me as crows occasionally soar past on the updrafts of the valley…

…and the milk has arrived.

Potager terraces and orchard

Potager terraces and orchard

In the bergerie nursery

In the bergerie nursery



This entry was published on March 20, 2014 at 11:09 pm. It’s filed under Animals, Antipodean, Climate Change, Country Life, Country Living, Environment, Europe, Ex Advertising Creative, Expat, Food, Forest, France, French Culture, Garden, La Vie Quotidienne, Landscape, Languedoc Roussillon, Life, Lifestyle, Living in France, Nature, New Zealander in France, Photography, Pyrénées, Pyrénées-Orientales, Rural Life, Seasons, South of France, Tree-change and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

2 thoughts on “Vernal Equinox

  1. mesarapugs on said:

    What a wonderful description you give of your idyllic working morning ! The light in the blossom trees is stunning! 🙂

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