For several days last week, the weather reports said we were having our last warm days of the year. The weather, they said, would turn rainy and chilly on Sunday. Then Sunday came, and it was still dry and almost hot. I think the rains passed to the north, falling not on northern France but on England. Typical, no? (We did get 3 mm of rain — 0.12 inches. On appelle ça du pipi de chat.)
Yesterday was again warm, and then it got windy in the afternoon. The wind was warm and dry, and it didn't really seem all that strong. It was just a little gusty and breezy. I was upstairs watching TV after lunch, and Walt was downstairs sitting out on the front terrace.
Suddenly there was a loud cracking sound. And then another. What was that? I called down to Walt. He had of course heard it too. I think a tree fell, he yelled back up the stairs. He said he'd go out and see if that was what had happened. When he came back, he told me about it and said I should go see it when I took Tasha out for our afternoon walk.
So there it is. A very big tree just broke off and crashed to the ground out on the edge of the vineyard parcel closest to our house. Maybe trees are fragile because of our long dry spell. It's amazing that it didn't really fall on anything. The top of the tree missed the closest row of vines by about 10 feet. This happened just a few dozen steps from our house.
It's hard to take photos of the wind, but you can sort of see it in the ones just above and below. Well, you can see its effects. How many more of these trees might just come crashing down one day?
I've seen trees being uprooted, but that was when winds were at hurricane force, back in North Carolina. I've seen trees uprooted here in Saint-Aignan by hurricane-force winds— we lost two plum trees in a storm in 2010, and several big trees fell out around the edges of the vineyard. And I've heard of trees just coming down for no obvious reason. That's what seems to have happened here yesterday.