Heat and drought

For us worriers about global warming, this summer continues to sound alarm bells. We no longer have the fierce 40+ temperatures of July, but afternoons are still in the 30s. And, more worrying, after the landscape has been grilled it is now dried out.

I cannot remember a real day of rain for nearly three months. We had one or two drops maybe when the family was here. Then a week ago we had a day of grey cloud and some uncharacteristically light, persistent rain. But each time thunderstorms are forecast, they mysteriously decide not to reach this far, though the weather is uncomfortably humid and heavy.

Yesterday there were a few rolls of thunder and a brief rainstorm. Then again, annoying, nothing. By midnight the sky was clear and full of stars. This morning there is once again a blue sky, just the view from my bedroom of clouds rising in the river valley behind Bréau reminding us that we did actually have some rain yesterday:

We do need real rain badly. There is a watering ban and my garden is looking sad – the bamboo which hides the neighbour’s house is looking worryingly tired. Everywhere you see trees that are in distress and the rivers are extremely low and slow moving. In fact the commune has banned bathing in our local river at the riverside, le Rieumage, where my family loves to picnic. Apparently water samples show it is so low and slow moving it is now polluted.

Meanwhile, my bassin is sadly not operational. The main sand filter – which should have been refilled in the spring but wasn’t because of Jacky’s ill health – had become completely blocked and the pump which circulates the water was sounding strained. So last week, we decided to turn the pump off, which means that there are no longer the lovely waterfalls and the water in the swimming pool is rapidly filling with algae.

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