24 April 2012

Rainy pictures

That's enough about politics for a while. Back to the (lousy) weather. A news story on Télématin a minute ago said that the French are feeling depressed and tired because of the cold rain that has been falling intermittently for weeks now. In fact, at this point it's raining pretty much steadily. Lack of sunshine means lack of vitamin D, and a general imbalance for the human organism.

This flower is no more than a centimeter across — less than half an inch.
I think I wrote earlier than in this part of France you have to make sure you take advantage of every spell of nice weather you get, because it won't last. A while back, we helped our neighbor unload a big piece of furniture out of a truck and put it in his house. He's lived here is whole life. "We really need some rain," he said at that point. "But then when the rain starts it probably won't stop again for a couple of months." Bingo.

Sage getting ready to flower
When I hear people from Great Britain say they come to France for the nice weather, I wonder what it must be like up there. No wonder so many Brits emigrated to North America, Australia, New Zealand, and other sunnier climes over the past four centuries.

I hope the rain will be good for these little plums.
Everything is getting green, though, and there are wildflowers all around. The grapevines are an exception. It must too chilly for them, because their leaves seem to have stopped growing. I'm sure the vines need the moisture, however, and the first sunny days, when they come, will see all the rest of the leaves just pop out.

And it is going to get warmer, according to the forecast. This latest rain episode was brought in by winds from the south. I know, because my pollen allergies kicked in big-time yesterday. Teary eyes, nasal congestion, violent sneezing. It happens every spring, but less here than what I used to suffer in California. I'm allergic to cypress tree pollen, and the cypress grow mostly south of the Loire Valley. So when we get a southerly flow, I'm miserable.

Afternoon skies
 Yesterday was a gloomy day and today looks to be the same. I hope April showers will bring May flowers even prettier and more plentiful than the ones in the photos here.


  1. Ken, if you want to know what Britain is like...
    Yesterday was typical weekend weather... a sunny day means getting out the barbecue stuff, regardless of the day of the week [there is a HUGE market in the UK for the disposable barbies... you can even get stands for them, now!]
    Here in Grand Pressigny we get about four times as much sun as we got in Yorkshire and get a longer [normally] growing season.

    The Brits you know will most probably have moved from "Oop t'North", rather than south of London, or from cities to rural life... something many Brits want but can't afford in the UK.

    For what we will have spent here by the time we've finished, we wouldn't have got much more than a bungalow and a patch of soil in the nicer parts of Southern UK... and we certainly couldn't have dreamed of starting by buying a house in another place and living in the current one back in Blighty either.... that's Lottery winning stuff that is!!

  2. Another day of thinking about cutting the grass but it has either just rained, and so too wet, or it is raining.
    Do you keep some sort of record of the highs and lows and when they start and finish? I keep meaning to note dates over the years on a chart so I can compare things like first grass cut, last cut, first BBQ, first picnic, the cranes flying North and South etc.

  3. "En Avril, ne te découvre pas d'un fil. En Mai, fais ce qu'il te plait!"

  4. Vignerons in the Loire valley have been complaining that their vines caught the frost two weeks ago and it caused a lot of damage. I hope your vineyard neighbours escaped.

  5. rain, rain, go away, come again some other day



  6. One of my aged contacts told me that the longterm forecast is for the rain and cold to continue all through May.

  7. Susan, something to look forward to!

    Judy, I've been saying that over and over again. This afternoon, it's not raining here but storms with loud thunder keep going past to the south of us. We can see and hear them.

    Jan, oui, je sais. On le dit pour une bonne raison. C'est que c'est vrai. "April is the cruelist month." Mais selon Susan et son ami senior, il n'y a pas beaucoup d'espoir. Répondant à la question "Quand allons-nous revoir le soleil?", l'animateur de la météo sur France 2 à midi a dit : "Avant juillet !"

    Lesley, we do keep records of high and low temperatures as well as rainfall. Also grass cutting dates, etc.

    Tim, San Francisco is like that too. There are so few warm, sunny days there that you can remember most of them. Price of property and cost of living also had a lot to do with our decision to up sticks (British expression) and re-locate in the Loire Valley.

  8. Ken

    Lucky you as far as rain is concerned.
    Yesterday morning we woke up with the sound of the grésille against the windows and there was snow in some parts of the province ( fortunately not on the island). Today it is cold and windy

  9. Ken, your comment of the other day about needing another 25mm to make it a normal April must have been listened to by the Gods... we had 34mm in the last 36 hours... and Meteociel predict another 48mm before Mayday!!
    Nature evens out in the end... wonderful planet... even if we complain like mad when it does!!

  10. Tim, since the 16th of the month, 9 days ago, we've had 36.5 mm of rain. Over the first two weeks of April, we had only 8 mm. It's supposed to be rainy and windy again this morning. Thundery showers went past to our south yesterday afternoon. Maybe you got those.

    PG, we haven't had frost this month, at least not up here on the highlands. It's colder in low valleys.

    TB, I see where parts of PA and NY got a lot of snow the other day. At least we don't have that kind of cold.


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