Sunday, 5 February 2012

Le Grand Froid



The big freeze continues and France has not been spared as Winter asserted herself this last week. Following one of the mildest, least wintry cold seasons thus far, it seems February is doing it's level best to address the averages with a chilly period of correction. Temperatures further east have been particulary bitter, but even here in the usually clement Dordogne, the mercury has struggled.


It fell to minus ten centigrade last night and the temperature didn't see positive territory through today. It's been like this all week and MeteoFrance promise more of the same.


This weather has it's origins in Siberia. Truly brass monkey.


 We had about four inches of snow today. The dry, powdery stuff that drifts at just a hint of a breeze.


'As the days grow longer the cold gets stronger' - so the saying goes.  It's certainly true this year!

34 comments:

  1. Great photos. I could not believe my eyes when I opened the volets this morning !! Diane

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    1. It's very pretty but the temperature dropped even lower last night, minus 12 here!

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  2. Same here, near Riberac/Périgueux!

    While the whole day was grey-in-grey and gently snowing, your beautiful pictures lifted me up!

    Greetings, karin

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    1. Thanks Karin, snow always makes for a good photo oportunity.

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  3. You can take heart though Rob "If February give much snow, A fine summer doth it
    foreshow". Enjoyed seeing your plot decorated with the white stuff. On a serious note my sister is meant to be participating in a charity walk in and around Lourdes this coming weekend - from what she says all her preparations may be in vain as the walk might be called off :(

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    1. It still looks bitter towards the weekend Anna so I wonder if they'll risk the walk.

      I hope a fine Summer 'doth it foreshow'.

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  4. Hopefully your snows will be like those in Atlanta, which come rarely, make for beautiful photos, and leave just as quickly! Europe seems to be having the February we had in the Southeastern US last year....fortunately it's now distant memory. This seems the perfect excuse for great French cognacs in front of a roaring fire!

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    1. Bonne Idée Tim. I've got two woodburners on the go downstairs so I guess that means two cognacs.

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  5. Rob, you must enjoy it a little. Where I grew up, in central Mississippi, we had a snow about once every five years, and it was absolutely heaven.

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    1. I like the snow, it's the severe frosts I hate. Forecast minus 13 in Les Eyzies tonight, we are zone 8 slipping into a zone 7 winter.

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  6. Cold here and yours looks so beautiful.

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    1. Thanks Hermes, whole of Europe is shivering at the moment.

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  7. It's beautiful, though. I hope all your plants survive. Perhaps you could send some to New York about the middle of next week? We need some winter, there. And I'll throw down some Cape Town sunshine as I pass over you on my way back to the Northern Hemisphere.

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    1. Bite your hand off. This is my kind of trade, you get the snow, I'll get southern sunshine, Deal!

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  8. I'm actually ready for winter weather here. We have had an extremely mild and warm winter so far and our flowering trees are blooming. It is insane.

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  9. Hi Phillip, We were very much in the same 'boat' up until a week ago. Things were weeks ahead, and then hit with a big freeze. I like a bit of winter weather, snow's always welcome as long as none of it is in the especially severe category.

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  10. I heard on the local news that Europe has been experiencing a rough winter. Hopefully the warmth of spring will be upon you soon.

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  11. Le Grand Froid smacked us in the face on Saturday too - it was minus 9 with snow here and has stayed well below zero ever since!
    Your new raised beds are going to be great - I love your stone work, but I don't envy you shifting all that topsoil!

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    1. Hi Liz, I saw your snow. Erm, am I right in thinking you weren't dissapointed with the wintry scene???

      Raised beds thanks. The topsoil is all in, luckily before it froze solid. What to plant? that's the question.

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  12. Sorry about the snow. It does look beautiful though.

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    1. Hi Patty, I like the snow, not so much the frosts. As long as everything pulls through OK, it'll all become a distant memory.

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  13. Looks very beautiful and picturesque. Before seeing your post I didn't realize that the cold affecting Europe stretched all the way to the south of France!

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    1. Hi Sweetbay, the cold gets right down into Spain and across to North Africa. They saw snow in Algeria!

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  14. Je ne suis pa froid, ici...http://antigonumcajaneveningpost.blogspot.com/2012/02/squatters-on-road.html

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  15. Your photos are beautiful Rob! I hope the cold will not damage any of your tender plants. I (like Sweetbay) did not understand how large an area the cold mass had settled upon. Hopefully it will pass on soon. We have been having the mildest of Februaries I can recall. Maybe March will drop cold on us. In any case the extremes in temperatures and weather in general is unsettling. Carol

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    1. Hi Carol

      We also have had one of the mildest winters until two weeks ago.

      New growth was appearing on many things and then wham, in came the big freeze. Hopefully everything will recover.

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  16. So odd to see your garden with the white stuff. I'm sorry about your severe cold; I saw a headline that 50 flamingos had frozen to death in a French lake, which made me very sad. Here in the Sierra Nevada foothills we are still waiting for our first snow.

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    1. Hi Charlotte

      That is sad, It must have been down in the Camargue, I know they have flamingos there. The Languedoc and Provence have all been badly hit, it's a question of what you're used to, they aren't used to snow and ice to this extent on the mediterranean coasts!

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  17. Keep warm and think about how much you will appreciate the weather this spring. Courage!

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  18. We love this blog! Congratulations on such fabulous photography and for capturing the spirit of the countryside

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