river stonesThe summers in the south of France are hot and dry. It means no sticky humidity. No mosquitos.

By hot, I mean mid-80s to mid-90s Fahrenheit, sometimes dancing around 100. Nights usually are cool, in the 60s. Yesterday, the high was 34 C (93 F) and the low 13.5 (56 F). It’s why we don’t have air conditioning. Just gorgeous summer weather.

More stonesBut the last rain that was more than a trace was 4.4 mm (0.17 inch) on Aug. 4. It’s about one-tenth the usual total for August.

riverThis river has dried up. It’s hard to believe that a few years before we moved here it flooded houses in the village up to the upstairs floor.

Now, the little rapids look like ghosts. Will we be haunted by what we’ve done to the Earth?

 

close rapidsAt the beginning of the summer, I couldn’t even see the blocks to cross the passage à gué.

passage a gueFarther downstream, underground springs revive the river to a trickle. Enough for some ducks, who set up housekeeping at the same spot every year.

ducksThe marin has kept the Pyrénées in crystal clear focus. Not a cloud in the sky. Usually the easterly marin brings rain. Thunderstorms are forecast for Monday. Fingers crossed.

 

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16 thoughts on “Ghost River

  1. Your images, and the drought, remind of that great movie, “Manon of the Spring”/Maurice Pagnol. Very good and so touching.
    Of course, here we are so used to air conditioning….it is everywhere. Hoping it will cool off a bit when we are there end of September? We’ve seen it both ways that time of year!

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  2. It was 30° here yesterday. Aparently this has been the hottest summer on record. Hardly anyone has AC….never needed it. Our rain forest is drying up. The Cedar Trees may not recover. We are living in interesting times….hot and dry and blue…blue..sky.

    Ali

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  3. It’s exactly the same in Charente. But our walls are 18 inches thick and so it’s fairly cool inside. We’re hoping for a storm break, though not one strong enough to take our vulnerable barn roof down!

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    1. Yes, we have massive stone walls, too, and employ the shutters to keep the inside cool. But when you get into a parked car or have to do physical effort outside, it’s hot. Not as bad as, say, NYC, because the temps are a touch cooler and there’s no humidity.

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  4. 93 here today, and with 55% humidity, the weather people helpfully inform me “feels like” 102. And that’s considered low humidity.
    Your pictures are gorgeous. In the first one, I’m trying to figure out the strands of whitish stuff, which I took to be dog hair (:-) ) but I’m guessing are some kind of dried vegetation.

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  5. Summer does sound perfect there. I can withstand the heat of the day if the evening brings the coolness. Here, the humidity has been unbearable, but it will eventually pass.
    I hope you get those thunderstorms and the river runs again soon.

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    1. The weather here is really great. The average high in summer is 32 C and the average low is -4.5 C. It’s considerably warmer than the average for France in both summer and winter, but neither as hot in summer nor as cold in winter as much of the U.S. And almost 300 days of sun per year. It’s very livable.

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    1. The river is bone-dry–completely gone–in some places. In others, springs bring it back to life. We had some promising clouds yesterday, but not a drop. Nothing in the forecast until Sunday, when it’s “rare showers.”

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