We are experiencing exceptional high temperatures for the West of Ireland – we seem to be going from one extreme to another this year. Yesterday, we hit 27 degrees and today the forecasters say we may hit the 30s! In the garden, flowers are suffering – not being used to this heat and constant sunshine.
However, one flower is looking pretty groovy. I planted these alliums last winter and am really impressed by the geometric patterns. They really are like fireworks. And I will be seeing if I can get some more this autumn.
Also joining in Cee’s Flower of the Day.
Yesterday, this little wren accidentally got into the house.
Most of the doors and windows are open as we experience exceptionally warm days, with yesterday temperatures reaching 25 degrees Celsius. Normal May temperatures in the west of Ireland tend to be in the mid-high teens.
The wrens had converted last year’s swallow’s nest into their own nest and have been busy feeding the chicks the last couple of weeks. The young appear to have just fledged. This little fellow proved hard enough to catch! But my husband, a trained bird ringer, got him eventually.
We didn’t think it would wait around to be photographed, but either because of the shock of being caught, or the near-by presence of one of it’s parents (with beak full of food), it stayed long enough for me to get a couple of shots, before making a short, yet confident flight to the beech hedge.
During lunch we watched both parents come and go with more food to the hedge. The fledglings remained concealed though so we are not sure how many there are.
Wrens are among Ireland’s smallest birds. The female lay clutches of 5-8 eggs, and she alone will incubate them. They feed on insects and spiders. Both parents will help feed the young. For more information can check out Birdwatch Ireland’s Wren page.
Last week, the whole place seemed to be muffled by a great, white blanket. And for just a short few hours we seemed to have a silent world.
As the year draws to a close it is always a good time to reflect on the last 12 months as well as look forward.
I think this year the weather has really dominated my posts. Our climate influences so much of what we do from gardening to enjoying a day outdoors! And certainly this year’s messed up seasons has had an impact. From days on the beach in APRIL in t-shirt and shorts when it would usually be hats and gloves; to a cool, wet summer that meant a poor harvest; to storm Desmond and the gloom of constant grey days of late winter.
Beach in April!
Floods after Storm Desmond
It is more than likely that the weather is a result of the El Nino as well as climate change but I wonder if what we are experiencing is a glimpse into the future and that there is more of this in store for us. With this in mind for 2016 I need to think more about the crops we grow and how to grow them better and make better use of our space.
White sprouting broccoli
Tomatoes – Gardeners delight
Last of runner beans
I also have been thinking a lot about our wildlife and how we can make more room for it in our garden. More bird boxes are planned. I would love to create a wildflower haven in the area that has been cleared to widen the road at the end of our lane. I also need to get more wildflowers in our meadow and more pollinator friendly flowers into the bee and butterfly garden. So over the next week I will start making plans including the fun part of looking at seed catelogues. This year I’ve been trailing more seed saving too but the proof will come in the spring as to whether this has been a success or not!
Peacock butterfly on calendula
Honeybee on Lupin
Cinnabar moth caterpillar
Bumblebee on comfrey
So roll on 2016 and let’s hope it is a bit drier than 2016! Wishing you all a wonderfully productive New Year:)
This summer wind has been a near constant feature of our weather. Yesterday it was gale force winds more reminiscent of our autumn and winter weather, than August. The brambly apple tree fell victim to the gusts. Today, I had to remove two branches, both with fruit.
Wind damaged apple tree
This is the second time this tree has suffered damage – the first happened a couple of years ago when some cattle got into the garden, and again broke branches. I am hoping it will recover again.
In need of some comfort foot and so not to waste the apples, we made (and enjoyed) some apple and tay-berry crumble!