We've had an unusually warm winter this year. Looking back at my records (yup, I keep records), I count only ten days since the winter solstice when the temperature dipped below freezing. And those were the lows; the highs stayed below freezing only one day, back in December.
People around here say that this winter has been too warm. More specifically, that there wasn't enough cold weather to kill the bugs. We're going to have way too many bugs this summer, just you wait and see, they say. I have heard this once before, but at the time I hadn't really been here long enough to see any difference in the bug population.
Now we're heading into our fifth summer in the Loire Valley. It's only March, but already I can tell that there are lots of bugs flying around out there. The bats are already out and active at twilight. The bees are buzzing methodically around the flowering trees, which, by our reckoning, have flowered about 2 weeks earlier than last year.
So what does this mean for us ? Lots of flying things in the house this summer. Maybe a more devastating attack on our vegetable garden. More moles than usual.
But maybe there'll be more insect-eating birds around, too. You know, high population of food equals higher population of whatever eats it. Old wives' tale, or have I watched too many nature shows on tv ? We shall see.
Weather types are predicting rain/snow/sleet squalls for today given the mass of arctic air that's blowing down over France right now. In fact, we had a little shower of ice pellets just moments ago. It's an annual weather phenomenon known as les giboulées de mars. The Collins-Robert dictionary translates this phrase as April showers. Interesting that they occur in March when you speak French but in April when you speak English. Oh, the power of language. But I digress...
Whatever happens, I know it won't be cold enough on the ground to make a serious dent in the population of creepy-crawlies. I'll keep you posted.
Tomorrow : Kitchen Collection #14.
13 hours ago