Monday 26th August
And so after the sunshine it rains. Maybe this is (hopefully) the tail-end of the awful rain you have had in England, but it is persistently raining here now. Not terribly heavy, but the sort of rain where you know that it isn’t going to stop for a while.
So far, it has been lovely weather here, days of quite hot sunshine, so a little rain doesn’t hurt. It must be good for the crops too. The farmers all have these complicated irrigation rigs; long cantilevered horizontal crane-like structures, the sort of thing you made with Meccano as a child fixing more and more pieces together so that it bent in the middle with its own weight. There is a flywheel at the end so that it can be tractored around the field in a wide circle. Then it is connected to a hose at the edge of the field and the water turned on. Some clever little valve at the end sends it out in bursts, wide arcs of misty water imitating rain, sparkling in the sunshine. But for now they can let the rain do the work.
The sunflowers are mostly dark faces now and stand row after row with their heads bowed down, no longer turning towards the sun all day. They are harvested when they are completely black. The corn on the cob is yellowing too. Only the grape-vines are still a fresh vibrant green, although as the car dives past you only occasionally get a glimpse of the grapes, still green and small, it is hard to imagine how ripe they will be in October, and again a little rain will fatten them up nicely.