Sunday, 4 August 2013

Too hot to make cheese

Summer seems to have been around for a while now. It's funny how you long for it all year and then when it arrives with a vengeance you soon get fed up with it. It has been the hottest and driest July for several years, with temperatures above 30 degrees Celsius on most days.

We have our village summer party next weekend. This is the poster.

 
I put it in in extra large size so you can see the menu. One of the items out of the 7 or so courses is the 'fromage'. This is usually purchased from the local diary who make the cheese from locally sourced milk..and do a very good special offers on their excess produce. However this year there are no deals to be had, as for the past month it has been too hot to make cheese and they are only able to make butter and dried milk products.

The dry weather has crisped up all the farmland nicely and so we are on an alert for fires. If they occur then there are a couple of fire planes that are stationed locally, that will pick up water from the lake to use on the fires. The lake starts pretty much at the end of our field and they have been out practicing. They fly pretty low over the field and it can be quite scary to watch at first as it looks like they are about to land!

Unfortunately they were on their way off by the time I got my camera out!





Anyway, the thing about summer is that eventually it comes to an end, and the cracks are beginning to appear. Such intense heat generates dramatic storms, and on Friday we were on an 'orange alert' for severe storms. That didn't stop us from going out to the local food producers evening. It is an outdoor event held in the summer months, where all the local producers set up stalls. You can choose from hot dishes, salads, grilled meat, deserts etc. all washed down with a bottle of local wine and enjoyed while listening to a local band. We got there early and as we were finishing our food and drink we saw this approaching from the West!

 
 



Fortunately it passed us over, but where it hit the hailstones were the size of golf balls and they destroyed much of the grape crop.