Monochrome images in shades of green. Today, it rained. That’s it. It’s big enough news for me to warrant a post and a few shots 🙂
This is monsoon season in Green Provence, the little corner of Provence that receives enough rain every year to support huge forests. There are stretches of the motorway that takes you from Marseilles to Nice that could pass as Jurassic. All you see is forest from one horizon to the other. It’s unknown to mass tourism and honestly one of the prettiest parts of the world I know.
All this prettiness is sustained by spring rains. This is the wettest season of the year, usually so wet that June cannot come soon enough to rid us of the cold and humidity. The rest of the year will see the occasional downpour, and end of summer (which can be as late as November) typically brings intense thunderstorms that usher us in winter quite abruptly. But spring is where most of the H2O action takes place.
Usually, that is.
In Perpignan, where I grew up next to the Spanish border, it hasn’t rained properly (ie more than drizzle) in 30 months. That’s the sort of stats we usually associate with arid areas of the world, not a fertile plain.
Over here, there was some rain in November, a fierce thunderstorm in January that flooded houses and devastated agricultural infrastructure, and the occasional drizzle, here and there. Nothing meaningful since. 4 villages next to ours no longer have running water and are supplied via trucks and cisterns. In ours, the source of clean water has run dry, and authorities have diverted the water ordinarily used for agriculture to temporary filtration facilities, so taps still work. It’s the driest period ever recorded locally.
Surprisingly, everything still looks green, in the usual intense spring colours that fade when the summer light turns everything to brittle grey and my camera might as well be a Monochrom.
But, after those solid 3 hours of rain, green took on a whole new meaning (maybe the rain cleared dust off the leaves?). Here’s a sight my eyes haven’t witnessed locally for close to two years. I just couldn’t resist grabbing the camera and sharing the intensity of the scene.
None of those images have been saturated in any way.
They are straightened up to compensate for my innate wonky horizon and switched to a lovely neutral profile kindly provided by colour science wizard Adam Bonn (thanks Adam!!). Some stitching here, some shadow lifting there, … no saturation.
Sadly, you can see the signs of drought in some plants already, the brown patches aren’t decorative. And the centuries-old plane trees that served as my lens testing facility for years are now all dead. Chopped down. Gone. This …
… is no more. Dozens of them gone. It kills me.
The little river on the right hasn’t seen water in 18 months.
But today is a good day. And worth celebrating in words and photographs. Of course, in my typical display of poor taste, I couldn’t resist the overcooked b&w treatment.
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