Friday 18 August 2023


One of the wonderful things about Ireland is the every day a grand soft day ambience of the weather. Even in No vember, there are No hurricanes; No tornadoes; No ice-storms; No parching droughts. Until there are! 2018 had weeks without rain so that the grass turned beige, yellow and brown. The same thing in June this year; where Met Eireann reports that it was the warmest June ever and dry too with occasional thurnder-storms. But instead of settling down to 'normal', the weather pendulum swung the other way in July giving us the wettest July on record - 4x more than the equivalent period in 2022 and 2x the long-term monthly July average. These big departures from the average are change even if not Climate Change.

It is certainly weird to find ourselves watering [pot] plants out in the garden. Although, obvs, if we choose to cover a 9m x 17m patch of the garden with a plastic poly-tunnel, then it is on us to funnel water to the plants inside. Even if we planted nothing and used the tunnel as an extension of the domestic laundry, we'd still have to water inside to lay the dust. No utility in letting the breeze whisk up a simoom of fine dust while the tea-towels are still damp.

We had a visitor last week who asked whether we had slugs, because their attempts are growing fresh veg were habitually set at nought by molluscan depredation. I demurred: we used to have a lot of snails and slugs. So much so that we would periodically pick a bucketful by torchlight to save the chard. But not in recent years, I added. Something is eating the kale - but that's more likely on the caterpillars. But the very next day I was up betimes to see how much rain had fallen over-night and snapped the picture above. It was early enough that the accumulated humidity had condensed on the inner surface of the tunnel and since the condensation a Piccadilly Circus of molluscs had been cruisin' all over the surface scarfing up the algae. Despite first impressions, those dark meanders are not the reflection of over-hanging tree-branches because there are no trees.

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