An early Spring and promise of a hot Summer

It’s always heartwarming to compare, and sometimes contrast, the weather that we’re having here in southwest France to the weather back in the UK and to be reminded that we do enjoy longer, hotter summers. An early Spring suggests that we might be sitting by the pool in the sun from April onwards!

I’m no meteorologist but here are some facts and photographs that have me convinced:

Blue skies and warm sunshine

Sunshine gite

A pretty much cloudless blue sky

You might be thinking that a cloudless blue sky in southwest France in late February is nothing to remark about except that the temperature later on this day, the 28th, was 16ºC in the shade! This bodes well for the days ahead and a warm March. We have had rain, but not on the same scale that has inundated England this winter. Still, it’s the rain that means France is green and lush, even in the height of a steaming summer.

Plants in flower

Early spring in Vanzay, gite rental in France

Vibrant colours of Crocus in flower

After the shorter, sometimes grey days of winter, the arrival of Snowdrops and Crocus flowers in the garden heralds the arrival of Spring. Butterflies have been out in the sunshine and there has even been the appearance of a Humming Bird Moth feeding on the new flowers. Across the commune, Vanzay has magnificent displays of garden colour and the fields are yellow with stray pockets of oil seed rape. Cherry trees are pink with blossom, the days are getting longer – helped by the clocks being one hour forward here in Central European Time ….. Spring is here!

Birds nest building and looking for mates

Barn Owls - roosting in the church belfry in numbers

Barn Owls – roosting in the church belfry in numbers.

Sadly in decline in England, we are blessed with an abundance of owls of many types, the most familiar sight being the barn owls that roost in the belfry of l’Eglise de St Jacques next door. Perhaps because we have a huge open barn and the odd mouse running around outside we see these magnificent birds so very often. Normally they are silent as they fly around but just in the last week the cacophony of noise as they advertise themselves for mating activity begins as darkness falls and continues throughout the night. A pair of Starlings have moved into the hole in the wall above the kitchen window, as is usual each year, but never quite so early. I wonder if it is the same pair as last year and years gone by, busy coming and going with the building materials for their nest. All of this natural activity must surely be another sign that Spring is here……

Compare the weather then and now

I’m now convinced!


So why not book a week or two away in the Spring sunshine of southwest France? Have a look at the many things to do in the area and take advantage of the early season rates with a Spring holiday in one of our gîtes. Thanks to The Barn Owl Centre for the photo http://www.barnowl.co.uk