01 March 2013

Woods, water holes, and vines

The vineyard is at its most austere right now. Pruning continues, but most of the parcels have been cut back. Now we just wait for the new growth of vines, leaves, and bunches of grapes. Before too long, the vineyard will be a sea of green.

In the parts of the vineyard where we walk, there are at least five trous d'eau, or waterholes. I'm sure they're not natural — the holes must have been dug out, but for what reason I'm not sure.

Some of them, like the pond out behind our house, catch runoff from the road when it rains. Others just fill up with rain falling from the sky, I guess. You can tell how rainy the weather has been by how full the waterholes are. Some years and in some seasons, they can be totally dry.

You can also tell how cold it is outside by looking to see if the pond and waterholes are iced over — as they have been recently.

Callie really enjoys walking in the vines, running up and down the rows and under the support wires strung from post to post. The only place she enjoys going more is into the woods all around the vineyard. There's not much undergrowth, so it's easy to walk among the trees.

The weather is still cold, with morning lows just above freezing. By the end of next week, however, our high temperatures will be in the 50s F, and maybe up to 60ºF (15ºC). I can't wait to haul all our big potted plants outdoors for a bath the first time we have a reasonably warm rainy day.


  1. The holes may be from old extraction of pockets of clay or iron ore, or even stone perhaps -- just speculating. Could even be the result of digging out badgers in the past I suppose.

    That first photo, of the ranks of vines, is particularly good.

  2. i love the vines picture too!

  3. I love these photos of the vineyard and the waterholes with ice.
    I also looked at your last post, and those bottles of rose wine look very nice indeed.

  4. Wow, Ken these are really beautiful photos. Lovely!

  5. I do think the place you and Walt chose to live is very close to perfect! Of course, if you didn't pay attention to all that's around you, that wouldn't matter.

  6. I notice in the woods near us they have the very same water holes and often wondered if they were natural, I guess the people to ask would be the hunters who frequent the woods the most. have a good weekend Ken

  7. Great photos.
    It's good to see the temperatures creeping up, at last.

  8. The area I live in is called "Golden Springs". We have little springs that look like your water holes. Your abundance of water must help the vines to stay healthy.

    I love the colors in the first photo.

  9. It is nice to walk in the woods when there is very little underbrush to impede you.

  10. Hi !

    We have a certain number of huge holes in the forestS close to Rouen, but they were made by shells during WW1 and bombs during WW2...

  11. Hi Mary in FSP,

    I don't know if the Saint-Aignan area was bombed in the 1940s, but I know that Tours and Blois were bombarded extensively. Interesting thought.


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