Once upon a time there was a farm
which had been abandoned
or twenty years, nestling in the heart of
the Ariege Pyrenées, far from all sources of pollution,
on the edge of the forest, at the end of the road.
We fell in love with this farm at first sight, twenty years ago.
This little Domain is called « Douach » which means « small valley » in Occitan. It lies on the side of a mountain.
In the schistose soil, chestnuts, ashes and wild cherries grow together with a profusion of guelder roses,
spindle trees and mayflowers.
At the bottom of the small valley, is a spring which waters humans, trees, wild boar and deer.
Between the two
winds a stream. It rumbles with the melting snow but by
autumn has become a gentle brook.
We have long indian summers which last till the first frosts and set the mountains ablaze with
autumn colours. It is as if the trees seek to imitate the sun and to hold back its inexorable journey towards winter.
During winter, the vegetation is at times covered by a deep mantle of snow and all sounds are deadened… Only a few black birds, tits and bullfinches can be seen against the white ground. They fly right up to the house to eat their fill of grain and of lard sheltered from the claves cats.
Then, slowly spring returns. Timid at first it ends with an explosion of flowers in the fields, on fruit trees, on the slopes and in the gardens. A bright light which contrasts with the short winter days gradually gains the upper hand.
Finally, the exuberance of summer arrives and the countryside is transformed by the density and variety of the vegetation. On the road between Foix and Saint-Girons you can just make out this spot perched amidst forests, moors and meadows.