I landed in France in the second week of August for a house swap working vacation. I escaped, or so I thought, to the rolling fields of the Occitaine and the Aquitane in the southwest, where I stayed in a 400 year old house in the medieval town of Turenne. And while many things are very different–notably the language (which I recall bumpily from having lived in Paris thirty+ years ago), the absence of Donald Trump, the six hundred year old chateau perched at the top of the hill, and the abundance of duck–le canard–in every conceivable form, there is also the familiar, as I learned recently driving through the neighboring province of Haut-Vienne. Namely, the drought that has devastated crops across California has its corollary here in France. We drove past fields full of sunflowers, lilting, lamely, in the heat. Here is the photo that says it all …Read More.