We are now gearing up for a short road trip in March. That means getting the Citroën car serviced and planning the food and belongings we'll take to the gîte rural that we've reserved. The trip has been planned for a while. We'll leave Saint-Aignan on my birthday and drive to the Allier area, north of Vichy, for four or five days.
As you can see in these photos, we've been having a lot of rain (alert the media!) around here. I went out yesterday and was surprised to see that the river is again overflowing. There don't seem to be any houses under water, but the garden allotments and the fields along the river are really flooded. All the little ponds and water holes out in the vineyard are full to overflowing. The ground is sloppy wet, and the jeans I wear for walks with Natasha are splattered with mud.
A lot of bulbs in the yard and vineyard have sent up leaves, and some are even starting to flower. I noticed a few primroses flowering out in the yard yesterday, and ones that haven't yet sent up flowers are like little bushes of leaves (above) already. Unfortunately, it's supposed to turn cold next week, with low temperatures down around –6ºC (as low as 20ºF). I'm sure a lot of the new growth around the area will be killed.
We'll be able to cover some of the beds where bulbs have come up, and we can wrap our little fig tree to try to protect it from frost. But my plum tree, which Walt says is covered in buds, will probably once again fall victim to cold weather. Oh well... I'd like warmer weather for our road trip, but a thaw might mean the rains will return. If it's cold, it'll be clear and we'll be able to do more sightseeing and take more photos. Let's hope the last month of winter won't be too brutal.