Monday, 23 March 2009
We need rain
When we arrived back in France two weeks ago, I thought the river level was rather low. In the picture above, the area behind the large rocks at the bottom left is normally flooded, and the "island" is nearly, if not completely, submerged.
This picture was taken today, showing the water barely falling over the weir and a large expanse of "island" showing.
The canal running from the mill two weeks ago.
The same canal yesterday, with the sides exposed.
The stepping stones crossing the river, partially exposed in a way generally seen only in the summer.
The same view today. No problem to cross right over today, or so it would seem, but they are very slippy in the middle.
Yesterday, intrepid explorer that I am, I took this photo from a close-to-central stepping stone.
The same view today. At this point I found a foot slip-sliding into the water, mercifully shallow. Why is it the whole place is deserted until you do something stupid, then an audience appears as if by magic?
The level of the river is obviously a large part due to the weather, but not entirely. Up river there is an enormous dam with associated hydroelectric power station. The people who control it are in Paris and can't look out of the window and think, "oh dear, I've overdone that". It works both ways: I've seen the river flood badly as the result of a mistake, and I've seen it totally empty. The flood, in particular, was a disaster when houses all along the banks were ruined. You can only be grateful that the same people aren't in charge of something more lethal, nuclear energy for instance, of which there is a super-abundance here in France.
Now, whether nuclear energy is the way to go, is another big debate, and that seems to be the path Max is taking to boil his water....