8 November 2011

Nature - What's Going On ?

We’ve had a torrent of rain over the weekend. Reports of flooding and many properties being inundated with water are remote from our thinking as, being on the side of a mountain, the water just disappears down the hill with our only evidence of the floods being the fact that the gravel pile at the top of my drive eventually ends up at the bottom of the slope, but this is nothing compared to the fact that the aftermath of six months of rain falling in less than 24 hours is that at least 20 people have died and many thousands of householders are left without homes.

It was forecast that we’d have about 1.5 inches per day but in fact according to the water level in Tan’s pool, we actually had more than 6 inches over Saturday and Sunday, and as I sit on the terrace, particularly at midday when it is quiet, I can hear the river Loup about 2 miles away, raging through the valley.

It’s been a strange old year with regard to nature. My long dead pear tree burst back into life last year and was covered in fruit this summer until our visiting deer decided that they would make a tasty dessert and stripped the tree of every single pear, completely ignoring the quinces on the adjacent tree.
Magnolia Tree

My treasured magnolia trees also did strange things. The large one in the garden did not burst into flower in Spring as it is supposed to do, whilst the one on the terrace, which again only ever flowers once a year, decided to produce beautiful flowers in February and also in September, and even stranger is my Brazilian vine, which bought as a pure white flowering plant, has now decided that it will produce both pink and white flowers – on the same stem!
The rain has started to make the grass grow on my newly ‘strimmed’ terraces and I suppose after ten years of neglect, it is delighted to be able to poke its head above the perennial weeds.

Green (ish) Terraces
The oak trees down on the terraces, which by now are usually turning brown before shedding all their leaves, are greener than I’ve ever seen them. It’s amazing to think that in a few weeks the branches will be bare – although who knows this year?

So, things are strange this year. Maybe it’s going to be a cold winter with more than our normal two days of snow? 

Who knows with nature? 

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