The weather man says clear today…….

Forecasting is, at best, an imprecise science. Sitting in the garden this evening the light is soft and beautiful. Summer’s end is hard to accept when corners of the garden are illuminated by the incarnadine glow of  geraniums in full flower pushing through a cloud of intensely blue lobelia. The oleander, now a giant, is covered in cream blossom even though the deep green leaves are interspersed with the chrome yellow of the dying which are like the the turned corners of the pages of a book reminding us of our place in the order of things. What would be a perfect blue is marred, or decorated, by the unmistakeable cloud formation known as a “mackerel” sky which, according to old “salts”, can presage the arrival of iffy weather. Or is it “mares’ tails” that serve as a warning of foul weather to come? Computerised weather forecasting seems to be slightly less accurate than holding up a piece of seaweed or rummaging through a chicken’s entrails. To be a weather forecaster must be a sinecure. Being drastically inaccurate in a prediction will, at worst, result in becoming an international “celebrity”.  Your job as a forecaster will, amongst other light duties, entail appearing daily on national television, dressed by a vengeful wardrobe mistress in a combination of strangely tight and ill matched clothes, gamely smiling white toothily through orange make-up, rain, shine and hurricane in a way that suggests you’re the offspring of Jack Nicholson, or a lesser demon such as the Devil, whilst pronouncing, in infinite detail, on the weather that we can all expect to endure or enjoy the following day or, with the more imaginative script, the following week. All of this will, of course, be bollocks. A cursory look out of a window the following morning will confirm the fiction. I have thought of keeping a calendar notating the actual weather that happened in comparison to that which was forecast. Unfortunately, if I did this, I would have to shoot myself as it is such an anally retentive nightmare  that I now wish I had never mentioned it; but the moving fingers tap, and having tapped tap on…..

About Food,Photography & France

Photographer and film maker living in France. After a long career in London, my wife and I have settled in the Vendee, where we run residential digital photography courses with a strong gastronomic flavour.
This entry was posted in Art photography, Autumn, Digital photography, Expectation, Food photographer, France, French countryside, Garden, Gardening, Geranium, Landscapes, Lobelia, Oleander, Photography, photography course, Photography holiday, The Forest of Mervent, Vendee, Weather, Weather forecasting, Writing. Bookmark the permalink.

52 Responses to The weather man says clear today…….

  1. Roger, your summation on the uselessness of weather forecasters is one one shared by my wife and I. It must be great to receive a pile of money and not be accountable to anyone for your “work!” Wonderful picture on this post, we are looking forward to autumn here in the US and a long-awaited break from the heat of summer. Regards, Richard

  2. Gorgeous photo! It’s been so dry here that a lot of trees have already dropped their leaves. No fall foliage for us, which isn’t unusual actually. The foliage bit, not the drought.

  3. Tessa says:

    That reminds me that several years back we had a weather forecaster in our area that everyone called “Lying Leon”. The name fit…

    What a gorgeous photo of the fall foliage and river. No autumn colors here yet…

  4. I could spend the rest of my life in that photo…nothing compares to a perfect fall day.

  5. That picture is stunning, Roger. Where is it? Where I am, we don’t get much fall color, leaving me to savor whatever I can get.

  6. ChgoJohn says:

    This is perhaps my favorite photo that you’ve yet shared, Roger. It almost makes me forget that its beauty is a precursor to Winter’s arrival. Almost.

  7. That photo is just stunning

  8. Now overlay that unto hurricane path forecasts, and you can imagine why some of my friends get anxiety attacks every time a tropical storm shows up in the North Atlantic or Gulf.
    What gorgeous colors, and I imagine the ‘air’ going with it is equally fantastic.

    • Your posts have introduced to me to a completely different way of life in the Keys. I remember seeing lines of cars jamming the highways as they tried to get off the Keys on the news last week. Apparently it wasn’t that bad in the end – they should have held up the eeaweed or rummaged more thoroughly through the entrails to get a correct forecast>)

  9. spree says:

    Loved your commentary Roger…but this photo takes one’s breath away…and then gives it back in great fragrant gulps! Truly, just exquisite! Thank you so much for that!

  10. That is an amazing image; the water looks so sharp.

  11. Eha says:

    And there I was innocently ‘crowing’ about all my wonderful spring growth in the garden and praising the tray after tray of herb & veg seedlings about to be planted! And then you post an maturely autumnal photo beyond compare . . . Oh well, looked up at the sky: both mackerel and having mares’ tails with 90 + km winds forecast for the next three days . . . and know ‘they’ have it right and I kind’of do wish I was in France . . .

  12. I shall grin indulgently the next time the weather comes on, Roger.

    Glorious photograph.

  13. The golden – dare I say it, autumnal – colours are so gorgeous here that you’re forgiven for even thinking of keeping a weather record. When we still lived in Wales we once swapped houses with someone in Marseille and one of our duties was to keep up his weather log – it seemed a bit pointless, each day: maximum 36°, minimum 25°, rainfall zero. But then it was July.

  14. Since I just got back from a trip home to Ireland, I can only join you in bemoaning the uselessness of the weather forecaster. Ireland = 90% chance of some sort of precipitation and yet Irish forecasters still couldn’t be trusted to relate this to you in the form of the daily bulletin.

    • Spending time in Ireland changes one’s view of reality. I did a shoot there in the 80’s for a Chris de Burgh record cover. I remember taking the film to a lab in Dublin and asking when the film would be ready. The guy behind the desk looked at me as though I had asked him for the secret of the philosopher’s stone and quietly said “And why would you want to know that?”.

  15. ambrosiana says:

    What a stunning picture Roger! If fall looks like this, welcome fall long hot & dry Summer!

  16. ceciliag says:

    You are right, your life would effectively be over if you were to begin to chart the forecast against the actual weather.. bloody tempting idea though! And what is it with the outfits!! I do not find pastels calming.. cc

  17. Mad Dog says:

    Beautiful picture – Play School taught me to favour the round window when the square one has a dissipating outlook 😉

  18. Mad Dog says:

    ^ …sorry, disappointing, not dissipating 😉

  19. Oh, gorgeous shot! I will miss the autumn foliage this year, but will console myself with thoughts of sunshine and flowers this winter. 🙂

  20. lovely photos and as ever, hilariously good writing!

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