21 May 2014

Le déluge

It rained steadily all day yesterday, and heavily at times. Well, there was one dry period — around 5:45 p.m., I noticed the rain had stopped. It was just the right time for my walk with Callie the collie, so out we went. We slogged around on a looping route up and down rows of vines, covering a lot of ground but staying pretty close to the house in case the rain started up again. It didn't, or at least didn't start falling again until about 10 minutes after we were back inside. It's amazing how often that happens.

This morning it's still raining moderately. But don't be fooled, the weather report says. We will have steady rain all day today, with especially heavy downpours in the afternoon over our part of the country. We're going to Blois for lunch with friends, so we'll just hope for the best here at the house. I still worry about the roof over the kitchen, but so far so good. It was last May when water started gushing in there.

This artichoke plant is enjoying the soggy weather.

South of us, the Dordogne (the towns of Périgueux, Sarlat, Bergerac), Charente (Angoulême, Cognac), Haute-Vienne (Limoges, Rochechouart), and Vienne (Poitiers, Châtellerault) départements are under weather warnings for heavy rains, hail, and violent thunderstorms. I think we will be on the very northern edge of that system. With any luck, we won't get the worst of it.

My little grapevines keep producing more and more leaf buds.

Last night around dark, I had to go out in the rain to open the valve on our rain barrel. As I suspected, the barrel was overflowing, and I'd rather have all that water run off farther from the house through a garden hose than just hit the ground right up against the foundation.

I didn't get too wet, even though it took a minute or two to hook up the hose, which we had disconnected during drier weather so that we could more easily run the caught rainwater into watering cans and other recipients, and not waste it. Our minor May drought didn't last long this year.


  1. The analogue rain gauge is reading 29mm since yesterday morning...
    I have positioned it where I can read it with the telescope!!
    But the soil needs it...
    and it has saved me watering in the spuds...
    so all's not so terrible.
    It actually got so dry on Sunday that the digital weather station couldn't cope....
    it was showing a couple of dashes for the %Humidity all afternoon....
    and only got to around 7% by the time we went to bed...
    surprisingly, though, it is showing 99% at the moment!!
    Can't think why? ;-)

    The analogue rain gauge is reading 30mm now....

    1. I just poured 21 mm out of our gauge. Still raining...

  2. I dread hailstorms. They did so much damage last year. Fingers crossed - stay in Vienne if you have to hail anywhere!

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  4. The grapevine photo is neat. Our fig tree is putting out leaves all along it's main trunk and spouting in strange places. It is clearly in survival mode. And it looked like a goner last month. Nature is wonderful.

  5. My daughter is home from the Dordogne now, (nearly 2 weeks) but I will relate the deluge she barely has missed. Her Icelandic flight was cancelled out of Paris due to the pilot's strike, then it was held back 5 hours from the departure time, thus they had to find a hotel in Seattle after missing their connecting flight to Eugene. Two of the group came down with flu-like symptoms during the trip , but no MERS, according to their local Doctors.

    Glad you avoided the deluge on your walk with Callie! Always a concern here as well during spring. Your flowers and that grape bud are beautiful!


  6. I haven't ever seen an artichoke plant. Obviously I have eaten artichokes here in Sicily many times. We cook them grilled, with breadcrumb and more. They are really delicious.


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