17 April 2011

It's getting scary

The weather, I mean. It's been so warm and dry for so long that it's making me nervous. We will pay for all these sunny days. I'm not a pessimist — just a realist. Of course, there is a precedent for long spells of warm, or hot, dry weather in northern France: 2003 and the Grande Canicule — the Great Heat Wave.

A swarm of gnats out back in the warm afternoon sun

We had 6 millimeters of rain about two weeks ago. That was our only precipitation so far this month. Normally, we would get about 60 millimeters of moisture in a month. So you can see the kind of deficit we are facing. At least there's plenty of time to get the vegetable garden tilled up, and the ground is certainly dry enough to be worked now.

The wisteria we planted a few years ago
is looking pretty happy.

In April 2007 we had weather like this. It was sunny and unnaturally warm for days, even weeks, on end. And then May, June, July, and even August turned wet and chilly. Weeds took over the vegetable garden, and there wasn't much we could do about it. The leaves on the tomato plants turned black from some kind of fungus or blight, and the crop was ruined.

Out in the vineyard, looking across the Cher River valley

Sorry to be so negative. The important thing, I guess, is to enjoy the good weather while we have it. Walks with the dog are pleasant, dry affairs these days. There's no mud. Little wind. Few clouds. Just bright sun. I enjoyed the same kind of weather when I was in North Carolina in March. Maybe that's why this dry spell seems so long and bizarre to me.


  1. No, I hear ya. That summer of 2003 I lived in Rome, and we had it bad there, too. I will never forget that heat. It *was* scary, and I don't blame you at all for getting nervous again.

    It's funny, though, now that I live down in Montpellier - we get over 300 days of sunshine a year, so we get nervous if it *doesn't* stay sunny for days on end. All in one country!

  2. It is worrying when the weather doesn't seem to be following "normal" patterns. It's been warm and dry here for a few weeks now, though not always so sunny, often overcast.
    Let's hope the summer is a good one and enjoy the lovely spring weather anyway.

  3. Hello Jean, I looked back at our records, and April has been a fairly dry month for 6 years now. But not this dry, except in 2007, when we got just 3 mm of rain.

    Christine, I wonder how much rainfall you get down there. I'll have to look it up.

  4. I found the picture of the gnats interesting because just the other day, I looked over the balcon and saw a swarm of them just above the grass. There seemed top be millions of them. They have since moved on.

  5. My water bill is always so expensive, I am very careful now.
    I don't want to add to your worries because of what I heard on NPR news few days ago. Just enjoy the sunshine and the beautiful spring flowers.

  6. So when it rains, it pours,
    as it did yesterday in
    Raleigh, leaving a good deal
    of damage in its wake. It
    balances out,we just wish it
    did not doso in the extreme.
    Relish the warmth and sun
    that is balancing your cold
    winter. Hope you get moisture soon....

  7. We are promised rain all over the Easter weekend....


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