We are currently enjoying a glorious Indian summer with wall-to-wall blue skies and sunshine. And what better way to illustrate it than with a photo of our hoopoe friends, who will shortly be departing – more of them below. What a pity for the holidaymakers that this fine spell didn’t arrive earlier. July and August have been amongst the gloomiest in our 17 years here.
Back to the hoopoes. They were very vocal in June and early July, we often saw a pair and we were sure they had a nest nearby. Then they went quiet and didn’t reappear until a couple of weeks ago. Several appeared on the lawn then, busily eating. We realised that they were young hoopoes who could feed themselves but still preferred to be fed by their parents. I even managed to get a shot of this happening. The young one followed the parent around and made impatient noises until it got something.
In August, hopeful holidaymakers resolutely went about in shorts, T-shirts and sandals while we locals donned trousers, jumpers and socks and shoes. Not only was it rainy but it was also cool. The upside is that it is very green everywhere. I don’t think I have ever seen our lawn so green at this time of year. Normally, it’s brown and dusty.
Weather assessment for August
A reminder of our subjective weather assessment: we assign each day a plus if it’s fine, a minus if it’s bad and a zero if it’s indifferent or we can’t decide. In August, there were:
Pluses – 15
Zeros – 8
Minuses – 8
The graph shows the percentage of plus days each August for the past 17 years (the line is the trend). Only two Augusts had fewer pluses: 2002 and 2004 with 14 each. In 2013, we had 24 pluses and in 2012, there were 27. So you can see the difference.
Our rainfall stats go back to August 2004. This August we had 105 mm of rain compared with the average of 66.5 mm. It rained on 13 days; you would normally expect it to rain on 8.6 days, hence the impression that it was a dull month.
The total rainfall for the year is still 17.4% above the average: 675 mm have fallen compared with the 574.9 mm we would expect up to this point in the year.
Now for the usual dicton (saying) about the weather:
En septembre, sois prudent, achète bois et vêtement ! Be prudent in September: buy wood and clothes.
We’ve already bought our wood and stacked it away. And the winter woollies will, I hope, repose in their drawers for another couple of months.
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Hi Vanessa, I’m still reading all your postings. Been moving around a bit this last year. Better than even chance we might even be moving to Dordogne, semi-perm next spring. Working on a plan right now. Dont know if it will work out yet, but its looking pretty good. If it does, then now doubt we will finally have some time to come down for a visit and see your chapel project. cheers, Paul
Good luck with your plans. It would be great to meet you if you come down in this direction.
Yes, its been pretty strange here in the Minervois this summer…. very few 30 + days…..but actually, when we have had visitors here, its been good for the children not to have those horrendously hot steamy days. September has so far been gorgeous, we’ve had the wall to wall sunshine too….I love this time of year. It is always fascinating to look at your weather records.
I don’t mind if it’s not too hot, but it is nice to see the sun. We’ve had very little use out of our pool this year compared with an average year. Sept has been great so far, although I think we are in for storms after the weekend heatwave.
I rather like that dicton about September.I’ve been on the hunt for autumn/winter clothes since I culled my wardrobe last year so it’s very appropriate. We’ve had a mild summer too, I haven’t been to the beach once. We have been hit with a wave of humidity this past week but in a few weeks it will be cooler and chilly. They are predicting a similar winter to last year’s which already has me dreading the season. I already saw Halloween decorations in one store which is ridiculously early if you ask me.
I hope you don’t have the hard winter they are predicting. Ours last year was exceptionally mild and we’re unlikely to get two in a row. In the UK, they start putting Christmas decorations in the shops in October.
I was in Dordogne, Lot-et-Garonne and Lot in August, so, unfortunately, I know precisely what you’re talking about…
It’s bad luck for people who had only a limited time down here this year. At least we live here all the time, so we knew that one day it had to get better!
I was told emphatically that this year was the worst for sunshine in 100 years and the worst for rainfall since 1977. Nice to know that there is now an Indian summer when I am a few miles from Pangbourne with my mother!! Love the hoopoes … absolutely delightful 🙂
I’ve heard it was the worst since 1946. No doubt the experts will let us know. According to the forecast, the Indian summer is a short one and we can expect more rain from Monday. 😦
It was wonderful to see the young hoopoe being fed. I couldn’t get closer for fear of frightening them off and my camera doesn’t have a strong enough lens. But at least I got a shot of one with its crest raised.
Give my regards to Pangbourne. I have fond memories of my five years there.
Agreed the weather in Aug was far below normal. This was our 6th yearly visit and its always been scorching hot, but not last month. Warm days (certainly not hot), very cool nights and lots of rain and overcast even when not raining. Still would rather spend Aug is the Dordogne than any other place on earth!
Nice to hear from you, Paul. By a strange coincidence, I was wondering only this morning how you were! The Dordogne is, of course, at its best in the sunshine. But, as you say, it’s still pretty good even when it’s dull. Down here, it is unusually green still. Hope next time you come the weather will be more favourable.