We, and especially the local vignerons, are lucky that our little hail shower on Saturday lasted only 2 or 3 minutes. On my walk in the vineyard yesterday morning, I didn't see any evidence of damage to the vines or grapes. Neither have I heard about any hail over in Chinon or Bourgueil, west of the city of Tours. I did read that down in Poitiers, 90 kilometers south of Tours, Saturdays storm was a major wind event, with branches and trees down, but no hail fell.
Some of the vines in the local vineyards — depending on the grape variety, I guess — already have tiny grapes on them, as in the photo above. Or are these flower buds that haven't opened yet? I'm not sure. Either way, if all goes well they will turn into grapes. There seem to be a lot of them compared to past years, and I guess that's because we've had better-than-decent weather since April. No frost. No black ice. Some chilly mornings but mostly warm afternoons, and not much rain.
Some of the other grape varieties have little white flowers on them, like the one above. I'm pretty sure these are of the Chasselas variety. There's just a very small parcel of them. Some growers around here make wine from Chasselas, but they are also good table grapes. The Chasselas wines are only semi-dry and these days are kind of an acquired taste. Over in Pouilly-sur-Loire, a good hour east of Saint-Aignan, a lot of acreage is planted in Chasselas, and made into a wine called, well, Pouilly-sur-Loire. The more renowned Pouilly wine is called Pouilly Fumé, and it, like the white wines of neighboring Sancerre, is made with Sauvignon Blanc grapes only.
Meanwhile, the frogs are still raising a ruckus in the little pond out behind our back gate. But it depends on the morning. Today, when I took the dog out for a pee, the frogs were quiet. That surprised me, because the temperature this morning is so mild (18ºC, near 65ºF). A lot of our summer mornings are not that warm.
Finally, here's one more insect that I haven't identified. There seem to be a lot of insects this year. I assume that's because we had a mild winter and now we are having a very mild month of May. I haven't seen or felt any mosquitoes, however. Maybe the frogs out back are eating them and their larvae for us.