Monday, July 26, 2010

Get a grip

That's what this grape vine did. When the tendrils grab on to a support wire, they really hold on. Sometimes for years. I don't know if this is just from last year or whether it has accumulated over several years. The vines are pruned off the wires in the winter but the pruners leave these pesky bits where they are. They will eventually disintegrate and fall to the ground.

Dry vine tendrils wrapped around a support wire in the vineyard.

The patty-pan squash is looking like a big success. On Saturday we had them stuffed and baked (you can see it here). Delicious! I'm looking forward to more. The corn is looking good, but no tassels yet. We've got tomatoes but they're still green. Hot peppers are forming on their plants. The eggplants are in flower, too. Ken harvested a bunch of potatoes yesterday. So there's the garden round-up.

By the time you read this, the Tour de France will be over for another year. I watched quite a bit of it, but less in recent days. I always enjoy the aerial photography. The end of the Tour marks the mid-point of summer. The juillettistes will be packing up and heading home, the aoûtiens will be packing up and heading out to the beaches and mountains.

Next weekend will mark the big chasés-croisés, when these two groups pass each other on the roads as they exchange places. The next big event will come at the end of August: la rentrée. Back home, back to work, back to school. But I'm getting ahead of myself.


  1. Our supermarkets in the UK were filling their shelves with "back to school" items the week before the children actually started their long summer holiday. By the time they go back to school, there will be the early Christmas things for sale.

    I absolutely hate that. It doesn't seem to happen in France.

  2. Thanks for the tidbit on cooking patty pan squash. I never know what to do with them.

  3. Yippeee for the garden news! That patty-pan squash dish looked great, as did the lovely little hunk of fresh bread with it :))

    I'll tell you, I just can't get used to going back to work in early August (we teachers go back on the 12th this year). Growing up in the East, we never went back to school until the first week of September, and little by little, they've moved it back and back and back.... of course, we didn't get OUT of school until mid June, and now we get out at the end of May, so I'm not missing any actual TIME off, but early August just always hits me as the WRONG time to be heading back to work :) How fortunate I am to have so much time off, though! But, the end of the Tour marks almost the END of summer to me :))


  4. After last year's disastrous rain and tomato fungus, this year we're having a bumper crop! Tonight we will eat our first purple cabbage. Fritz has already put in a second crop of many things and canned the first batch of pickled dilled green beans.

  5. This was the first year I've followed the Tour, although I was late joining because I didn't even realize it was being shown in the US, and only found it by accident while surfing the TV channels. Though not really interested in the race at the beginning, I found myself getting wrapped up in it and by the end was cheering on several riders. I still don't understand how one can win the race without winning even one stage.

  6. Starman, it's a complicated thing, but the overall winner (who wears the yellow jersey) is the one who has the best overall time. Usually, that means that he came in 1st or 2nd in the first "individual time trial" (where each individual rider is timed to see how fast they can ride that day's stage -- which is not how the regular stages work.) Usually, after the first time trial, even the guys who win individual stages might not be able to catch up on the guys with the fastest times in the time trial. The guys who end up in the top in the overall time usually pace themselves and avoid too many of those big sprints at the end to win a stage, to reserve their strength for the long hall. Something like that.

    Now, can anyone explain to me how Team Radio Shack ended up as the top team, when most of their guys were so far out of the top 20?


  7. jean, I've started seeing the back to school stuff on the shelves now here.

    rick, you bet!

    judy, I know. We used to get out of school in late June and went back in early September. We had the two hottest months off. It seemed to make sense. Ah, the olden days!

    will, sounds great!

    starman, see Judy's comment below. There are also points. Riders and teams get points for all kinds of things that, when totaled at the end of the Tour, determine winners of categories outside overall time.

  8. Er, that would be "Judy's comment below yours but above mine. :)


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