Cynorrhodon. Now there's a word I didn't know. It's French for rosehip. Rosehips are the "fruit" of the rose bush — technically, the rosehip isn't a fruit or berry. Bon. The other French term for rosehip is « gratte-cul » — "butt scratcher," to use a polite term. It seems that children and adolescents used to stick them down each other's shirt collars or trousers or throw them in each other's beds because the spines sticking out of the rosehip are particularly scratchy. Now why it it that we call this thing a "hip"?
Grape vine leaves. These aren't the kind you can roll up around rice or meat stuffing, however. Actually, the grape leaves are almost all gone now, for another year. The few that remain display their fall colors. A windy day or two, or a few more hard rains, and they'll all be on the ground. The vineyard will take on the skeletal look it has in winter — all naked vines, wires, and posts.
Looking through a neighbor's yard last week, you could still see quite a few yellow leaves on the rows of vines just beyond. And there were still a few roses around the hamlet. Most are gone now. We're still waiting for our first hard freeze, but it isn't predicted for this week or next.
Apples and apples and apples. Between rainy weather, pinched nerves, and bad colds, we haven't been able to get them up off the ground this season. The ones on the path are plainly visible. The ones in the grass, which is sort of high right now, are harder to see. When you walk down the path, you can smell apples fermenting on the gravel. We should call it L'Allée du Cidre. And to think I never got around to making any apple jelly or apple sauce this year.
"Hens and chicks." Sempervivum. Houseleeks. I have thousands of them. The original few were given to us by a woman who lives on the other side of the village. When I set them out in this big planter box, I didn't expect to have them for long. I figured frost and freezing would kill them. But that was probably five years ago, and they are still going strong. I've heard my neighbors call them « ces petits artichauts » — "those little artichokes."