Rain, rain

Last night on the news it said that this January in France has seen the highest rainfall in a hundred years!  I must admit everyone around is bemoaning the clouds and the rain although, as a gardener, I tend to see the bright side of all this as everything was too dry last year.  In addition, we have had no local flooding – not yet anyway.

Most of the winter flowers seem happy to cope with the rain, humidity and low light conditions but not my Wintersweet (Chimonanthus praecox).  The wet fading flowers are being attacked by black mold, however, on the rare days we get the sunshine the wonderful perfume of the Wintersweet flowers permeates the air.

The Wintersweet only started to flower last year and this is last year’s photograph of the beautiful, waxy petals of the  flower.  I will have to wait another year to see it in full flower.

The birds on the other hand do not appear to mind the rain and the Goldfinches (Carduelis carduelis) come down to forage in our “lawn” ignoring the sparrows and the bird food on the patio.  This photograph has been taken through the window while it was raining so the quality is not excellent.

The grass is shooting up as high as the finch’s head and making him bedraggled.

I wondered what they could be eating until I saw that the grass is already producing ample flower heads and the grass seeds are easily seen sticking to its beak.  I had never considered that the grass seed would be so attractive to them.

Hey you two!  There is a new birdhouse all ready hanging in the apricot tree on the side of the garden that you prefer.  Take a look in while you are here.

20 thoughts on “Rain, rain

  1. Regarding the lovely birds choice of grass seed:

    I wouldn’t think of doing it now, but I recall as a child picking the seeds and pulling the stems of grass to eat. I remember them as having a nutty, buttery flavor… that was 60 years ago and my mind may have romanticized the flavor a bit. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Yep! Rain, rain and more rain here in the Pacific Northwest. We are supposed to be used to it, but January has been extremely wet and dark. More rain in the forecast. Makes for wonderful greens in the landscape though. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. On the national news last night (TF2) it was explained that a lot of the flooding in France is caused by changing agricultural techniques. The soil is being worked by machines and the chemicals that are added kill the soil fauna and reduce humus resulting in a harder less porous soil. In addition, the fields are being enlarged and intervening trees and hedgerows removed which leaves less flora to absorb the rains. Flooding will continue if the agricultural practices do not change. Amelia

      Liked by 1 person

      1. For us, agriculture takes so much water out of the ground that the Colorado River is nearly dry by the time it reaches the Gulf of California in Mexico. The Santa Clara Valley actually subsided so that it is closer to sea level. This enhanced the floods of 1982.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I had not realised they could be quite so selective. Those little grass seeds don’t look very nourishing to me but neither does thistle clocks. I leave my asters in seed just in case they go for those but I have never seen birds take the seeds. Amelia


    1. We had lunch at a friend’s house in Saintes today and the Charente had overflown its banks in the centre of the town onto parts of the road beside the river. There is no forecast of more rain for the next few days so I hope the Charente will not rise any further. Amelia


  3. janesmudgeegarden

    It’s almost impossible to imagine having so much rain at one time, although we sometimes have floods, and serious ones in some places. We have been so lacking in rain for about three months and gardening at the moment always starts with ‘what shall we water first’.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s