By Thomas P. Huber
I've got referred to luscious wines and succulent fruit and beautiful dinners. yet there is not more evocative event of the 2 valleys than the odor of new-mown hay within the fields at nightfall. If somebody have been to shut their eyes, they can now not inform in the event that they have been in Provence or the North Fork Valley. That candy, earthy smell is a part of the wonderful thing about those areas.
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The Coulon has its own riparian collage of vegetation—including the peuplier blanc (white poplar), saule blanc (the same species of white willow along the North Fork), and saule cendré (gray willow)—which grows along the river and its tributaries to create a dense, shrubby mix. In both cases the lushness along the streams provides rich habitat for fauna that depend on the thick growth for food, shelter, and migration corridors. Shade is another commodity enjoyed by humans and animals alike that is in great supply in these sun-shy, cool, streamside oases.
If one is near that number, one needs the moisture to come during the growing season, if possible. Obviously, neither of these valleys should be in the agronomy business. So how is it that each, in its own way, is a veritable garden? 50 The Land The first time we went to the inn in Hotchkiss, we took a short hike down into the deep valley just to the north of the main house. We were accompanied by Leroux, one of the trusty dogs that “escorts” visitors on such a walk. We scrambled down the stony, dusty hill among the seemingly bone-dry piñons and junipers and soon heard what sounded like gurgling water.
Everyone eats their prodigious lunches outside on patios. But there is always a battle for the shady tables or at least for a seat near one of the ubiquitous misters at Provençal patio cafés that squirt diners with cooling water that evaporates quickly and lowers their spiraling body temperature. Travel in winter in either of the two valleys can provide a broad spectrum of possible experiences. In both the North Fork and the Coulon, the cool, crisp winter days can be a refreshing and invigorating antithesis to the oven-like summers.
An American Provence by Thomas P. Huber