Monday 21 August 2023

Today, we have naming of storms

We survived Storm Betty on Fri/Sat night last week. Only a few small branches blocking our exit strategy. The evidence of flashing clock-lights on the cooker indicated that we'd had a power outage sometime over night

The 2021/22 season the stormabet [bloboprev] petered out early Arwen; Barra; Corrie; Dudley; Eunice; Franklin . . . with the last three barrelling in one after the other in a single week of February 2022. The current 01 Sep 2022 - 31 Aug 2023 season has been much less fizzy. For a bit of spice we borrowed Otto [16Feb23] from the Danes and Noa [12Apr23] from Météo-France. We didn't start ticking off our own list until the very last month of the season with Antoni [04 Aug]; Betty [18 Aug]; it looks like we won't have to use these boys and girls: Cillian; Daisy; Elliot; Fleur; Glen; Hendrika; Íde; Joanna; Khalid; Loes; Mark; Nelly; Owain; Priya; Ruadhán; Sam; Tobias; Val; Wouter. The Met-wonks are quite proud of themselves to shake up the boy girl boy girl convention with gender-neutral Glen, Sam and Val. Watch this space on 1st September 2023 when Met Offices of UK NL and IE release the names of the up-coming winter season.

I'll share a change in our deliberate practice w.r.t. trees hereabouts. I've decided to girdle the big Ash Fraxinus excelsior trees, especially those which hang over the lane /buildings, in order to kill the ivy Hedera helix. Ivy is A Good Thing: it provides shelter for small birds and it flowers in the shoulder season for honey-bee production. But it is also ever-green and some provides significant windage in winter storms. We're going to bring Sean the Tree surgeon back this fall to take out the worst affected / most awkwardly situated ash trees on the property. Sean hates ivy because it prevents the free-fall of branches as he cuts them. If I kill the ivy now, it will be much easier to remove the entangling ivy upstairs when Sean turns up.

It's rather satisfying: you just have to make sure that there is a clear ring of exposed ash-bark all around the tree at a convenient height. A handsaw will deal with the thick branches and a small hatchet, mostly as a scraper, can deal with the smaller stuff. Every ivy thing above the ring dries out and dies. Within a year, tiny ivy tendrils will start filling the gap. There's enough ivy [flowers] hereabouts growing up small trees to satisfy the bees.

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