Saturday, 28 February 2009


image We went for a drive to Arcachon which is on the Atlantic coast,  2 hours southwest-ish of Bergerac, south-west France. It was a beautiful sunny day for a picnic and a walk on the beach. The tempest or hurricane that lashed south west France a few weeks ago had come in from the Atlantic at about this position on the coast and the devastation is everywhere still. Whole forests of large pine trees are lying broken in half or ripped from the ground, leaving a few lonely specimens to show what was previously hundreds of mature trees. image

All along the roads and in people's yards and on every piece of vacant land now stand piles of logs, ranging from over half a metre across, down to kindling size.


These major roads were closed for days because so many trees had fallen across them and many now lie alongside the road, awaiting the chainsaws.

In the photo below there are many rootballs of fallen trees, as far as the eye can see, and not much else.

Tears of sap.



Near Arcachon is the tallest sandhill in Europe, La Dune de Pilat, at over 100m high and 3km long.image And along the coast are miles of beautiful, white beaches.




Those who were not out dealing with timber today, were preparing the soil in their vegetable gardens for the new season. What a place France is for growing food! Everywhere, people were outside enjoying the sunshine and working in their plots. Many are warming the soil with small, plastic cloches. Some are hoeing weeds or preparing seedling beds. What a sight all they will be in a couple of months, full of tomatoes, capsicums, lettuce etc for the enjoyment of a great percentage of the families of rural France.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Kate,
Exciting news, we have just had our first drops of rain since November, with more to follow later in the week! It's quite wonderful to at long last smell the damp earth and know our plants are getting some much needed moisture!
The gardening girls will be at your place Wednesday,I'm hoping Rodger makes his amazing cake again!Also you will just have to trust us in your abscence not to pull out the wrong things!!!
Hope you are well and learning lots about gardening in the French tradition,
best wishes, Glenys