It may be June, but the River Sorgue is high at Fontaine de Vaucluse this year, rushing and tumbling over the weirs, still full of mountain melt water that tints it glacier blue. On a summer's day, this would normally be a placid emerald pool where clear water babbles over green fronds.
But the cold spring in Provence has meant snow has lingered on the Alps - though we have escaped the terrible rains and floods of central Europe - and the rivers are still lively.
I've written on this blog before about Fontaine de Vaucluse, the village at the end of the "Closed Valley" from where the name of the Vaucluse department is derived. In The Lantern, Dom brings Eve here and they walk to the great wall of rock, at the base of which springs the source of the Sorgue. It's a very pretty walk, not far at all, out of the village past the shops and restaurants and along the river. Even when there are other people doing the same, there are always quiet spots along the way for reflection.
Approaching the source, the sheer force of water being forced up from the ground and pushed over rocks can be seen in churning white falls.
High on a promontory stand the ruins of the Bishop of Cavaillon's palace, giving a sense of power to the isolation...
And at the dead end of the valley is the source, with its fig tree that drinks but once a year, according to local legend. It's said that no one knows the depth of this pool; even today it is impossible to measure. This year, the surface markers on the far wall have been submerged, but the cold blue water that has filtered through hundreds of miles of rock still has an extraordinary quality of stillness as it gathers here.