Sunday, 26 May 2013

Ah, so that's why!

At choir was given the info that the passes in the Pyrenees are still blocked with snow, and that the farmers cannot take their animals up onto the summer pastures in the  mountains because they can't get up there, and anyway, there are no meadows as such because where there should be flowers there are deep snow fields. This info perturbed us somewhat. Sooner or later it will get hot, sooner or later that snow will melt, sooner or later it is going to take a trip out to the sea and a chunk of it is going to come past us. Hopefully it will not linger on our land. A third time of flooding would be a bit silly. Already Home Field is not usable again because the gate entrances are flooded because of the high rainfall, so everyone is out on the Side Field again. Hope we don't crash into a heatwave though. That field has no shade. The sheep can't be sheared because it is too cold and wet, so their fleeces are thick this year. They might get sunstroke, or fly strike, or both, should the temperatures suddenly rocket up, as they are prone to do here.

But at least the bees got out and about today, and the geese had a lovely day romping in the water on the field, and Gussy was happy because we cut his tangled coat off, and I was happy because it was warm enough for me to lay out on my sunbed for an hour, and the piglets were happy because the ground in the pig pen was dry enough for them to have a little romp, and Lester was happy because it was Sunday and he could have a day off. 

And apparently, the upset weather is because: "After an episode of sweetness in mid-April 2013, since May 10th  a major part of France has had cool and dreary weather. Indeed, Western Europe is affected by two anticyclones. The anticyclone "Azores", centered farther north than usual and bordering the west coast of Europe, is flowing clockwise round another anticyclone, the winds this creates bringing in from the north disturbed weather. Further east, another well established anticyclone blocks these depressions on Western Europe while promoting unusually warm temperatures in Russia." (Info from Meteo France, via Google Translate and some editing by me). Ah, so that's why! 

Perhaps these anticyclones will sort themselves out soon, and we can get out of thermals, and the sheep can get out of their thick coats. It will be a relief all round. But we did get a drop of sun today, and it didn't rain at all, although the light in the sky suggested it was more towards October rather than it being the end of May. 

It is an odd year in many ways.


rusty duck said...

It is a very odd year indeed.
I hope the melt in the mountains will be slow, if that is what is needed for the rivers to cope.

Ohiofarmgirl said...

sorry about all the bad weather. my pal, Ken, lives in Saint Aignan and has been telling of the dreariness as well. you can find him here:

they moved to france from the states a while ago.

how are those pups?

Vera said...

Jessica, we hope the snow melt will be slow. Don't really want another huge lump of water on our main field for several weeks again because it puts our Side Field under so much grazing pressure. Ah the joys of being a smallholder!

Ohiofarmgirl, will check out Ken's website. Weather will changed for the better soon, of that I am sure.

Denise said...

It seems so unfair that we are held to ransom by the vagaries of the weather when we are so keen to get on with doing.

Ah well...that's nature for you, I suppose. Glad to hear the bees are flying!

Vera said...

Hi Denise, was relieved to see that the bees were managing to survive this wintry weather, they were even flying in very strong winds although don't know how they were managing their flight paths to and fro the hive! But it is the sheep we are concerned with. They have struggled since January, and it would be nice to see some settled weather for them.

John Gray said...

Re your last statement

Ain't THAT the truth

Vera said...

John, it has indeed been a bit of a 'struggle' year.

Niall & Antoinette said...

Definitely odd. It's been the coldest May since 1987 according to French météo.

I was mowing on Sunday and thought all was dried out enough. But there were still hidden pools of 'wet' under the grass in some ruts--rather like tiny swamps-- which meant islands of unmown grass. We'll just pretend we intended to mow paths :-)

Vera said...

Niall & Antoinette, we are the same, haven't been able to mow any of our paths although have been able to scythe one or two. Looks like better weather next week though.