09 December 2010

A babbling brook, exceptionally

It didn't snow in Saint-Aignan yesterday but did it ever rain! Walt got another 30 mm out of the rain gauge in the morning, and I'm sure the gauge is full again today. In other words, we've had at least 75 mm, or 3 inches, of rainfall in less than 48 hours. That's six weeks' worth.

Yesterday when I went out (in the rain) with Callie for the morning walk, we followed one of the dog's favorite off-road paths, despite the muddiness. The dirt road itself was so muddy I figured it didn't matter, and I had my waterproof hiking boots on. Callie's favorite path turns off the road out past the maison de vigneron, right behind the first stand of trees that runs perpendicular to the road. Here's a map:

Our house is in the upper right corner. The red line marks
the path of the walk and the white line is the creek bed.
Click on the map to see it full-size.

When it rains, water flows down and across the dirt road all along the way. The shallow gullies formed where the run-off crosses the road serve drainage purposes, but they also prevent cars and motorcycles from going along the mile-long road at high speed — they are the concave equivalent of speed bumps. Finally, all the water runs down into a fairly deep gully — a ravine, I guess you could call it. When there is water, that is. Normally the ravine contains little or no water — it's a dry creek.

The back yard and the vineyard yesterday afternoon.
You can see the maison de vigneron and, in the
distance, the trees that grow along the ravine.

But yesterday morning it was a torrent. It babbled and gurgled and splashed in a way I've never seen before, after living here for 7½ years. There were swirling rapids. The sound was very pleasing to the ear.


  1. You are back to green. Here's what it was like near Paris. By the end of the storm it was more than 10 cm (4in.) http://ellenlebelle.blogspot.com/2010/12/this-afternoon-need-i-say-more.html

  2. I love that sound of gurgling water :)


  3. The bief was above the baby willows yesterday [45 to 50 cm above the norm].
    The water was rushing under the bridge into the meadow and making a lot of noise... I just hope it wasn't causing any damage.
    Our rain gauge had recorded 68mm from 11am on Tuesday to 11am yesterday when I re-downloaded the data. I haven't yet been over to check it today.
    I has recorded 14cm of rain since the beginning of October and 37,2cm since June 22nd when I replaced the batteries... we lost all readings for April and May, unfortunately.
    I'll re-comment when I've been over to the new house.

  4. Just read the machine... 70mm of rain in the past four days. The total for the past two months 9 Oct to today has been 20,2cm.

  5. Brrrr, I'm cold enough in South Florida. So glad I'm not in Europe right now.


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