Springtime In The Midi-Pyrenees In France

Yes, it may be a very soggy and gray April, but the trees are simply awash with blooms here in the Midi-Pyrenees. Shades of pink, white, purple, and yellow are right outside the window of our new house in the Ariege. But wait — what is that other thing lurking in the weather outside? Snow??? Rather a lot of snow???
 

View from bedroom window of spring in bloom


 
It began to rain quite hard a few days ago, then the rain turned to hail, and within an hour the mountains that ring our village were practically invisible. I was in the midst of editing photos and the idea of dashing into some warm clothes and driving up the mountains side did not, quite frankly, send a thrill of anticipation up my spine.

But Mark was quite keen to go and see the snow that was probably a mere half an hour from our doorstep, so with a kiss on his dear face, I watched (quite amused!) as he headed off for a wee adventure. And when he returned a mere hour later, he had very red cheeks and a huge smile on his face! He did mention when he saw these pictures that he wished he had not been wearing canvas shoes up there!
 

Mark's fresh footprints in the mid-April snow


 
Let me just mention one thing straight away — these are not black and white photos! These are the actual photos that Mark took with a small Lumix camera up on the mountain road. The colour palette is actually that grey, black, and white due to the lighting conditions as the snow was falling.
 

An April 'Winter Wonderland' in the Midi-Pyrenees of France


 

April snow half way up a mountaintop in the Midi-Pyrenees


 
We have a lovely little van — NOT a 4-wheel-drive vehicle. So I think he was bloody lucky to have gotten safely up and back down the mountain in that snowstorm. And Mark admitted that he had a few tense moments when he had to seek out a gravel edge to get traction.
 

Spring snowfall in the Midi-Pyrenees


 
Yes — we do live in the south of France now and we are less than an hour from the border of Spain! But (as we are learning from our growing circle of friends and acquaintances here in the Ariege), the Midi=Pyrenees has a most unpredictable spring season and as recently as two years ago, it snowed here during the second week of May. Ummmm — this was all rather unexpected!
 

Spring snowfall in the Midi-Pyrenees


 
If you look at those pictures from a few days ago in Mimizan and Samatan as we drove south from Normandy to this new region, it was quite hot and sunny. And has it been like that since we arrived in the south of France? Nope! We had to order a partial tank of heating oil this week because we had three straight nights of sub-or-right-at-zero temps. Sheesh!!!

I’ll send some more pictures this week so you can see the simply stunning region were we now live. It feels simply splendid here and we might actually be stopping permanently and resettling. Come back soon for more glimpses of life in the (ever-changing!) south of France!

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