Climate Change?

When, yesterday, we dropped in on a friend, who lives at a mill in nearby Val Fegana, only to find that for the second time this year river flood waters had again attempted to cut him off from the outside world by damaging the footbridge to his property (quite apart from wiping out half his garden) we again realised on a local (as well as a very global!) level that the climate is, indeed, changing.

So far, the temperatures this winter have been well above freezing and the rainfall has been, to put it mildly, excessive. In our own property damp has affected walls hitherto deemed secure from the green peril and I’ve had to salvage several books whose spines had gone black with mildew. I felt sympathy with Shelley who in 1817, while living in a cottage in Marlow by the river Thames, had his library affected by the same problem. I’m sure that Percy’s beloved books would have been safe when he moved to Bagni di Lucca the following year to complete that translation of Plato’s “Symposium”. We are not living in a damp valley but on the slopes of hills that eventually descend to the Mediterranean Sea!

Going back to the photos of that first January of 2006 spent in Longoio confirms, indeed, that the climate has changed…very considerably. Then, the first snows had already fallen, the skies were crispy blue and it was both sunny and icy.

At the time I’d been doing some dog-sitting for a couple and it was, therefore, essential that the weather kept fine as the dog was not small and needed decently long walks. Fortunately, the weather was wonderfully wintery and the dog and I were able to take our constitutionals with ease.

A great walk from Longoio is to a place called la Fredda. The path crosses birch forests and finishes up at a little plateau from whence fine views can be had of the main Apennine ridge including Monte Rondinaio on one side and the Pania della Croce massif in the Apuan mountains on the other. I attempted this walk the other day but had to abandon it because the footpath was so muddy that if I slipped I might have easily fallen into a waterfall’s precipice.

How can anyone deny climate change today? Perhaps only those with vested interests in covering it up or perhaps those who are so removed from the rhythms of nature and the seasons that they are completely unaware of what is happening to our precious spaceship earth …..

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4 thoughts on “Climate Change?

  1. I so agree. We have had huge landslides here in this part of gafagnana caused by all the rain. It is honestly a miracle no one has been killed.

  2. I have been coming to Bagni di Lucca for 10 years and the weather has been different every year. Regular weather patterns seem to have disappeared. When visiting friends ask what the weather will be like I tell them it will be the weather. I have no idea what to tell them about the type of clothes to bring.

  3. Pingback: A Sea Change | From London to Longoio (and Lucca and Beyond) Part Two

  4. It just reminded me of the night that we spent in the Pizzorne so scarey it was too beasties and creepy insects abounded also strange sounds from the forest hardly a wink of sleep and the strange thing was that we could see a traffic light that seemed to be so near just across the valley also the sounds deceived us as they seemed deceptively close (later that day we found out that it was in fact Collodi imagine our surprise!)Luckily too at that it was not raining though it had rained quite heavily earlier that same day so here we were negotiating what we thought was a shortcut to get back home we had obviously misunderstood directions and ended up quite stuck to the point that as I was the advanced party clearing the way of boulders suddenly Francis bike tipped over the edge with him still on it he managed to disentangle himself and I managed to slowly and with great difficulty to haul him back up onto the path with great exertion the moral of the story is do not take shortcuts and wear heavy duty leather belt I deserve a medal for bravery as weighing 100 kilos it was truly a Herculean task.The gratitude and thanks I got was ah well you could have stamped on my feet and let me drop to the bottom of the ravine! Well no matter and I even managed to save the motorino to boot and imagine the shock when we realised that we could have avoided sleeping under the stars as the safe path back was just round the corner and this took us through cultivated vineyards and back through Collodi. Well this certainly beats some of Pinocchio’s misadventures truly a night to remember. I now relies and know that I am very lucky to tell the tale as if I had been riding pillion passenger I would in fact we both would have been at the bottom of the abyss.! Luckily this tale has a happy ending.

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