Golden fields in the morning, the sun rising close to its point of return at winter solstice. The air is fresh, promising the advent of freezing temperatures. Winter wheat appears on the fields, a soft layer of spring-like green.

Pheasants and partridges retreat to hedges and the occasional small copse, lining the large undulating fields. Squirrels are still busy collecting and burying walnuts, their efforts visible in spring with walnut tree shoots winding out of the

William Cullen Bryan
Yet one smile more, departing, distant sun!
One mellow smile through the soft vapoury air,
Ere, o’er the frozen earth, the loud winds ran,
Or snows are sifted o’er the meadows bare.
One smile on the brown hills and naked trees,
And the dark rocks whose summer wreaths are cast,
And the blue Gentian flower, that, in the breeze,
Nods lonely, of her beauteous race the last.
Yet a few sunny days, in which the bee
Shall murmur by the hedge that skim the way,
The cricket chirp upon the russet lea,
And man delight to linger in thy ray.
Yet one rich smile, and we will try to bear
The piercing winter frost, and winds, and darkened air

A flashback to those fields in summer: What better for happiness than a great get-together, a family holiday in the summertime? Blog entries were neglected, stories remained unwritten. But at least pictures were taken of those wonderful sunflower fields, and as always when they are the crop of the year one cannot but stand and marvel at the beauty of them. Tournesol, they are called in French. Once they opened the green top leaves and showed those intensely yellow petals, turning their heads with the sun traveling across the sky. Not any longer though, the agricultural varieties look east all day long!
But no matter which season –
the Lauragais is truly always l’or à gais.