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....


  1. Slip sliding finds an audience?

    Thats the way it always happens to be!

  2. Be glad you did not fall in, the you really would have had an audience. We were in a drought last year and it was so bad rationing water was the norm. They even shut down car washes to conserve. Can you imagine those in Africa?

  3. I love that picture of the canal. Lovely!

    Thanks for coming by to see my blog. I posted a comment back to you about "Small Town Snapshot Sunday". All small towns are welcome, not just American. I've changed the post to reflect that more clearly! I hope you'll join us in playing!

  4. It really seems that the river is drying up. About a month or two ago the weather in Singapore was so hot and dry that the bushes and trees are dying. There were also a lot of bush fires occurring then. And now it is raining almost everyday. Such changes are reminding us that we are under the mercy of Mother Earth and not the other way round.

  5. @Adullamite, it seems inevitable. Nobody is ever there to see the triumphs!

    @ettarose, I did have wet feet, and a tidemark on round the bottom of my jeans. I pretended not to notice. I imagine we'll be restricted soon too, at least with watering the garden. Not that I do that often. Car washes seem really verging on the obscene when you put them next to Africa.

    @Wendy, thanks so much!

  6. @BK, we must have been commenting at the same time! The weather does seem to go from one extreme to another. Goodness knows what's in store.

  7. I thought as the snow from winter melts, the river should be flooded. No?

  8. Water levels in various waterbodies are down this year. I know many people would like to link that to greenhouse effects. But that would be scary. Are there other explanations?

  9. @ECL, it all depends on the snow and the weather. Wet, slushy snow does do good to the ground if it melts slowly, but sometimes dry snow followed by bright sunshine evaporates faster than it melts.

    @lvs, I wish I knew the answer. It seems that climate is becoming extreme. Certainly here we have had more flooding and more severely dry weather than in earlier years. I need to read more about the science behind it, because I haven't been wholly convinced that it isn't just a phase. I do think we need to be much more careful of our environment though. Much more.

  10. How depressing. I hope you get some rain soon. I see, as usual, the U.S. major rivers beginning their spring flood season. I doesn't seem fair. The water should be averaged out. Don't be making fun of boiling water with nuclear reactors, for making electricity, if you live in France.

    And stay off those rocks. :)

  11. may be global warming is part of it...

  12. Yeah,
    it's big differnces here. And I'm eager to know and understand why.
    The control from Paris - does it work properly?
    The Climate? Early and then suddenly no snow melting at higher levels?

    We got lot's of snow here in the Oslo area this morning. At this time of year, traffic chaos again.
    Want to see spring flowers now.

    Like your post and photos

  13. @Max, except I prefer the sun. I'm not making fun of nuclear reactors, no. Just hoping the people who work there are better all round than the ones controlling the dam upriver.

    @deejay, it could be but it's hard to tell.

    @Tor, I'm not at all confident that the control in Paris is working well, so it's hard to make a real judgement. Snow again! I think you're right, it's time for spring flowers!

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