Apart from the Eiffel Tower, is there any image more French than Provence lavender?
Each year there are probably 3-4 weeks when the lavender is in its prime. The flowers are fresh, full and an intense hue. After that, the blooms start to dry and the colours become more dusty.
It's been very warm this summer, so lavender season will most likely be even shorter.
We got lucky the other week on a drive around the Valensole area in the Luberon Valley, coming across several well-maintained fields. (Not all the fields are kept in this weeded, nicely groomed state)
Walking along the rows is one of my favourite things to do, listening to thousands of drunk bees and smelling the perfume.
Brushing your hands along the flowers releases an even stronger scent but you have to be careful of the little nectar gatherers.
I had fun playing around with the manual settings on the camera. Which do you prefer - the focus on the foreground lavender?
Or on the rows in the distance?
The golden wheat fields make a lovely contrast to the purple.
Also golden - the occasional sunflower crop.
This one was just coming into maturity.
Lots of bees mooching around these flowers as well.
We are going home to Australia in January and I'm already asking myself how I'm going to be able to say goodbye to Provence.
A bit of lavender essence in the oil burner just isn't going to cut it. Sniff.