07 December 2018

Much ado about weather

When I told the man who owns the gîte we stayed in near Fontenay-le-Comte, in the Vendée, that we had stopped in the town of Esnandes, he seemed surprised. I didn't ask him why. We had been in La Rochelle earlier in the day, trying to enjoy walking around with our cameras and with the dog on a leash. It seemed like it would be more fun outside the city, where we'd find wide-open spaces.

Many of these fishing piers along the Atlantic coast of France washed away in big storms back in 1999 and again in 2010.

Traveling with a dog is very different from traveling without a dog. There are many things you just can't do because dogs are allow inside building, and there are things that otherwise would be easy and pleasant that become logistically difficult. We figure if we're going to keep a dog, we need to adapt our lives to the animal's needs, at least to some degree.

I've mentioned a couple of times that there were a lot of birds feeding on the mudflats
 in the Baie d'Aiguillon. You can see some of them in this photo.

The weather that day — October 22 — was gorgeous. You can see that from the photos I've been posting. We were so lucky — it could have been chilly and rainy the whole time we were out on the coast. Next week, I'll be posting photos I took a couple of days later of the beaches on the Île de Noirmoutier, a little farther north.

I wonder what this thing is? A road to nowhere? Or what's left of a stone path that people
could walk on to cross the mudflat at low tide and get out to deep water?

Speaking of weather, I should note how strange it is here in Saint-Aignan and in nearly all of France right now. Here we are in December and our morning low temperatures are about the same as we we would expect in summertime. Afternoon temperatures are not much different from early morning temperatures. And it's rainy (but that's normal).

This is the only boat I remember seeing on the bay that day...

I might have mentioned in a comment this week that I was talking to a local grape-grower out in the vineyard a few days ago. I said we were having pretty nice weather. Yes, he agreed, but it needs to be colder. If we have another warm, wet winter, it won't be good for the grapes or for plants and trees in general. He said swarms of gnats were driving him crazy as he tried to work on pruning the vines. In December, swarms of gnats! Weird.


  1. Wow, that is late for such mild temperatures. We're expecting a colder-than-usual winter, I think.

  2. Our low temperature this morning was about 51ºF, and the high today will be about 55ºF according to predictions.

    1. We're ten degrees colder here in Alabama.

  3. Morning lows the same as summertime. That's unusual. Weird weather, warming. A lot of plants need a few weeks of cold to do their thing in the spring, for example daffodils, hyacinths, iris, I think azaleas prefer it too.

  4. It is 63F in Jacksonville Florida .. the cats are cold .

  5. There's a huge storm moving across the southern US, and the prediction is for up to a foot of snow in western North Carolina, with ice pretty much across the state by Monday. Which should be interesting, given that the whole area shuts down and everything closes early when there are just flurries.
    The next-to-last picture looks like some kind of breakwater. Were there any fortifications along that part of the coast in WW2?


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