How dry we are …

Rain obviously plays a critical role in the Greater Daglan Area, not only watering our many forests and fields of corn, sunflowers, tobacco and walnut trees, but also feeding our creeks and rivers. But it’s not exactly Mr. Dependable.

This spring, for instance, was incredibly wet. We had so much rain  that once, when I was driving friends to Bergerac, I could see that the mighty Dordogne River was running a rusty red colour as we approached Lalinde. The cause? All the reddish mud being carried into the river from streams, creeks and tributaries along the way.

It’s always a bit surprising how quickly our rivers fill up — to the point that the Dordogne usually overflows its banks at least a few times a year.

Just north of Daglan there’s a small bridge over our little Céou River, itself a tributary of the Dordogne, and I typically cross the bridge to get to the bicycle path and walnut groves where I regularly walk. Just a few weeks ago, I could look down from the bridge and see trout swimming. But not now.

Along with a very long spell of ferocious heat, we’ve had virtually no rain for several weeks. And here’s how that little bridge over the Céou looked on Sunday morning:

Once a small river, now a pond.

All that remains of the Céou in this area are a series of small ponds, and large stretches of rocks, logs and branches. Here’s another photo of the bridge, a bit closer up:

No water, but lots of rocks, branches, and logs.

That may look like fast-moving white water in front of the bridge, but I’m afraid it’s just a bed of limestone. However, we are supposed to get at least some rain, later in the week. Phew.

This entry was posted in Agriculture in the Dordogne, Flora and fauna, Life in southwest France, Walking in the Dordogne, Weather in the Dordogne and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to How dry we are …

  1. Deb Laing says:

    We only had a trickle from our taps all morning, back to normal now thank goodness. It comes from Bouzic, don’t know what happened

  2. Susie Wilkinson says:

    Sounds like your weather is pretty much exactly what we’ve had this year. Unfortunately, it’s the worst year on record for forest fires. We were breathing the smoke in for about 10 days.

  3. Joe says:


    I have seen several photos of the results of the drought in Europe this year.
    Enclosed is a web site which has some notes about the “hunger stones” in the Elbe.
    It must be pretty bad.


    “When you see me, cry”. This is just one of the ominous messages carved into the medieval ‘hunger stones’ that have been revealed by sever drought in the Elbe River, near the northern Czech town of Decin.

    The idea behind hunger stones was to warn people that a drought and famine similar to those of the years carved into the stones were coming. This way, they could prepare for the worst, stocking up on food and fodder for their cattle. Over a dozen hungersteine have been spotted in the Elbe river this year, an eerie confirmation of Europe’s record-setting drought

  4. Joe says:

    Another comment from the previous web site:

    Hunger stones, or ‘hungersteine’ as the Germans call them, are carved boulders or river plates that only become visible in severe droughts, when water levels drop particularly low. The inscriptions chiselled into them are believed to have once been used to warn people that hard times and famine were coming. The Elbe river, which starts in the Czech Republic and flows into Germany features dozens of hunger stones with inscriptions dating back to the 17th century, but other European rivers feature such ominous stones with carvings from as early as 1417.

  5. Loren Chudy says:

    Interesting! I’d never heard of these before. Thanks.

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