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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