Sunday, April 21, 2013

Flowering trees

Here we are, one month into spring, and we're complaining about how it's still cold and not summery. We've had a few very nice days, but also some lousy weather. I have a theory: I think we're having a very normal spring. It's just that we're not used to it.

Trees in flower around our neighborhood, seen from the vineyard.

The past few springs have been unseasonably warm. Last year, March was sunny and warm and beautiful. Then April and May were washouts. We remember the warm and beautiful part, but March is way too early for that kind of weather.

In France there are (at least) two sayings about spring. The first is en avril, ne te découvre pas d'un fil; en mai, fais ce qu'il te plaît. Roughly translated, it means "in April, don't remove a stitch of clothing; in May, do what you like." That's an indication that April can be chilly, but May should be nice.

The other is not really a saying, but a warning that one should not set plants out in ones garden before les saints de glace (the ice saints' days). The saints in question are Saints Mamert, Pancrace, and Servais whose days are celebrated the 11th, 12th, and 13th of May, respectively. The warning originated in the Middle Ages as a rule of thumb that, until those dates in May, there can still be a crop-damaging freeze.

So, I think we're having a normal spring and we just don't realize it. Nor do we like it much.


  1. You may be right. Let's hope that "normal" means we will have a proper summer.

  2. My impression is of a normal spring, but the stats say we are having a cold spring, with much less sunlight. Plants are up to 6 weeks delayed from the average.

  3. interesting french lore. currently 35F at 5:30a here. yeah, winter-like conditions persist.

  4. I like the blooming tree at the end of the vine yard Walt - beautifully framing the shot. I think you're right, we've become used to warm springs, especially further south where you are. Even here in Scotland last March we had 24C which is crazy. I'd rather have a cool spring if it meant a nice warm summer but unfortunately that doesn't always follow!

  5. Your surroundings are greening up quite nicely...hoping everything starts to blossom and turn into a real spring soon.

  6. Red and Green are opposites on the color wheel (always good contrasting colors!) so it's no wonder that the fuchsia of the blooming fruit tree and the chartreuse feeling of the foreground grass seems really stunning to me. Love it! No one needs to tell me about "not removing clothing" now - I'm still wearing turtlenecks and jogging jackets inside because it feels so cold. My car is badly asking for a car wash but since the forecasters are saying that the middle of next week should be in the 70's, I can wait!

  7. The weather in France is generally less than good. I had to buy a (leather) jacket in July one year!!!!

  8. jean, three cheers for that!

    susan, that would follow on the very dark winter we had. Ugh.

    anne marie, here's hoping it warms up for you!

    craig, I'm with you!

    virginiac, me too!

    mary, we're supposed to be warmer by the middle of the week as well. Hurray!

    starman, it always depends on where, and when, you are.


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