Saturday, June 18, 2011

Nothin' but gray skies

I'm getting tired of dry overcast days. There are breaks in the clouds every now and then that remind us of what we're missing: the sun. It's not as bad as I make it sound, but for the past week or so it feels as though the permanent color of the sky is gray. Sometimes it's dark like a well used blackboard that's been freshly erased. Sometimes it's lighter, almost milky. And there has been no rain.

Neatly trimmed grape vines under a cloudy sky.

Yes, we did have rain a little less than two weeks ago. I measured forty-three millimeters (a bit more than one and a half inches) of rain in the gauge when it was over. And we got a little more yesterday. But our rainfall this spring has been woefully below normal levels and the drought is deepening across France.

It was nice in April and May. The sun shone brilliantly and it felt like summer. Spring flowers brightened everything and lifted our spirits up and out of winter. It didn't seem to matter that it wasn't raining, even though we knew that it should have been.

But now the mood is different. The news stories remind us daily that farmers are having a difficult time. Crop yields are down and what there is is ready for harvest too early. There's not enough grass to feed the livestock. Water levels in the rivers are down. Necessary irrigation is lowering the water tables even more. And now the sky, like our outlook, has gone from bright and sunny to gray and sullen.

Days on end of gray skies without rain is frustrating. There's no compensation that at least the plants are getting some water; they're not. There's no bright sunshine to make it nice to be outside. In fact, it's not all that warm any more. Just dry. And gray.

It won't last. The sun will come out (do I hear Broadway music?) at some point. Or it will start raining again. But for now, as the summer solstice approaches, we watch and wait under the cool gray roof that nature has pulled over our heads.


  1. Maybe a weekend of sunshine would do you some good. How is Barcelona in June?

  2. This photo of the vineyard is now my all-time favorite of your photos. And that's saying something!

    I hope all of France gets rain soon.

  3. I'll send you a few days rain... free of charge. We have plenty!

  4. We've had strong, severe thunderstorms with torrential rain each day for the past few days. I think of you guys over there every time it rains here, now. Fingers crossed for some improvement over there.

    It sure has been a crazy weather year.


  5. Don't know why, there's no sun up in the sky.

    Hope it rains soon, followed by blue skies, nothin' but blue skies.

  6. Bet your bottom dollar it's tomorrow.... I feel a song coming on.... What a wonderful post. It's not a puppy upper; more of a doggie downer. But hey, we could be working for da man (oh my man I love him so....) and we're not. It's all good!

  7. cubby, for one thing, it's too far away...

    carolyn, so do we. Thanks!

    craig, mighty generous of you!

    judy, and summer isn't even officially here... who knows what lies in store?

    diogenes, me too!

    cheryl, I know. Not really complaining, just grumbling a little. :)

  8. Wishing you healthy rain soon and then glorious sunshine. Farming seems idyllic but can be such a stressful way to make a living. Watching the sky constantly.


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