13 May 2014

Les Saints de glace, c’est ça

These three days toward the middle of May — today is the last one — are called “the ice saints’ days” in the Loire Valley and other parts of northern and central France. You can expect the 11th, 12th, and 13th of May to turn chilly and damp, according to popular wisdom. This morning, it feels downright cold outside.

Ice and wind-blown crud on the Velux skylight windows up in the loft yesterday afternoon

In other words, this year the popular wisdom, Farmer's-Almanac-style, has turned out to be spot on. On Sunday afternoon, we had a heavy ice shower that lasted a little less than 10 minutes. And yesterday, Monday 12 May, we had the same kind of ice shower, just a little earlier in the day. More showers are predicted for this afternoon. We'll see if we get rain, sleet, or even hail this time.

I stuck my head out the dormer window up in the loft during the rain shower and
snapped shots left and right of the ice that had collected in the rain gutter.

As the squall started yesterday afternoon, the rain gradually turned into ice pellets. The pellets kept getting bigger and bigger, and I started to worry about the car, which was parked outside. But the ice chunks never got bigger than garden peas, and then they suddenly stopped. This is why we are told it's prudent not to plant tender seedlings out in the garden until after May 15.


  1. For the inquiring minds they are, saint Mamert, saint Pancrace and saint Servais. Knowing this, the reader feels certainly much better.

  2. Well, CHM, wonder if that will provide comfort to the residents
    of Denver and environs where it snowed Sunday.....several
    feet in some areas.

  3. Well, now, I had never heard of the Saints de glace until just a few days ago. Here, too, we've suddenly had a dip in temperatures (50s at night), with heavy rain, but no ice.

  4. Ice days in May? Knowing their names helps somehow lol. Is saint Pancrace any kin to that train station in London by any chance?

  5. I don't plant my Garden until the "Drei Eisheiligen" have come ... an old custom brought with me from Germany to the U. S. It was 28 degrees Fahrenheit last night in our high desert garden.

  6. I remember you mentioning the "Saints de Glace" in previous years. Is Saint Medard already passed?

  7. you are right in my place this popular wisdom also exists. We call these days "cold gardeners but it's the same. Now it's raining cats and dogs.

    1. Thanks, Gosia. We haven't yet had any more showers today -- no rain, no ice. Maybe the warm gardeners' days have now begun.


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