This last week we've had rain. Not huge torrential downpours, but enough 'proper' rain to allow the vegetation to green up just a little before Autumn begins in earnest.
desiccated corn field not far from the house
We hadn't had any rain since the end of July. Week after week we had mostly hot sunny weather --including a heatwave where temperatures went up to 41C-- interspersed with the odd grey day which didn't produce any rain. The plants suffered and water restrictions came into force. Our grass stopped growing and turned brown and sere. In fact, today we mowed the grass [only in the lushest areas] for the first time in 7 weeks.
dried-out ear of corn
Crops have suffered--round us we saw corn [maize] fields bleaching before our eyes until you couldn't spot even a speck of green. Corn needs quite a bit of water so it was very unhappy in the drought. The dried-out ears in the fields looked more like the decorative bunches of Indian corn you see in the US.
Indian corn hanging by our door
We've had to keep a close eye on our pots as well as our young fruit trees and water them regularly. The rest of our plants have had to just take it on the chin. However, our mini-sunflowers have flowered well. On a whim we had bought a couple of packets of seed in the supermarket and sowed them into pots. The results have been better than we expected and given us late summer colour.
bees making good use of our mini-sunflowers
The sun is back and the temperature is nice this afternoon, but this morning it was chilly. We've seen bottles of Bernache from the grape harvest in the south appearing in the supermarket. A sure sign Autumn is on its way.