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Matters Meteorological


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Dirt Digger
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2013 2:43 pm    Post subject: Matters Meteorological Reply with quote

So, here it is; a thread devoted to that one topic close to all gardening hearts, yet distanced from the lips for fear of being derided, yes, I'm talking of the weather and things meteorological.
It’s not exactly necessary you know, but as weather is one of the major factorials in all aspects of gardening I thought, Why Not?; planning around the weather, talking about the weather, moaning and groaning about the weather, and sure when disaster strikes and all else fails, instead of blaming ourselves and our own shortcomings we can always blame the weather. Yes, the weather gets a pretty raw deal sometimes, but sometimes, just sometimes-like today for instance-it deserves all the blame you can heap on it, oh yes!
I mean to say, I only developed a small interest in vegetable growing and allotmenteering 3 years ago, and quite by accident I might add; but since that little seed of interest was sown and germinated we’ve had to contend with 2 of the coldest winters since records began (2010 &2011), the wettest dullest and coolest summer in 78 years (2012), and now it seems we are in the midst of the coldest calendar month in the last 3 years which also happens to be the coldest March since 1970.
What an optimistic crowd we are, eh! eternally so.
And what faith we show in persevering in the face of such adversity: taking teeny tiny seeds, some of them half the size of a full-stop and burying them in tubs of dirt before subjecting them to the harsh realities of ice and frost and snow, in the hope that they will grow and amaze us later in the year with their blooms or bounty for our consumption. Weather?? Bring it on, eh!
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allotment man
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2013 4:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great post, I'm writing this as I'm looking out the window at he snow falling on a half day I took from work to dig more beds in the allotment. Oh well, I'm really holding out for a glorious summer. In like a lamb and out like a lion I'm hoping.
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My Potatoes
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2013 11:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Though not good for outdoor growing, the weather in Cork has been wonderful over the last few days. A bit chilly when the wind blows, but it's easy to cover up.
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Dirt Digger
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2013 4:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Typical o' the Rebel County;
most of Antrim, Down, Louth, Dublin and Wicklow are smothered 'neath blankets of unseasonally crystallie fluffy stuff, and here we hear it's only but a bit chilly in the Cork region. I tell ya, they're damn hardy down there; though things may be looking up at last, for today is the 1st day in a week we haven't had any wintry flurries in the Greater Dublin region, and according to the forecast I may just get my chitted Sharpe's Express' to bed this weekend...I may even get them down before April arrives, and sure after a week or so of normal temperatures wont all this news headlining be but a distant memory
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kindredspirit
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2013 5:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Beautiful, beautiful, blue, blue sky here all day.

No rain for the last fortnight. No snow either.

Chilly and too cold for planting but lovely weather.

And for anyone interested in weather links here's my weather link page. It's aimed at nautical souls but I'm sure land lubbers will be able to pick what they need out of it. It needs to be updated at the moment. Incidentally, the median temperature for March this year has been lower than the three months of December, January & February. I'd say that's a first, I think.

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Dirt Digger
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 7:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Time was when springtime was easily disseminated and differentiated from the other seasons.

It generally began to disclose itself from early or mid February onwards, and occasionally-though not very often- you may have had to wait till mid March before the you could say that the season had well and truly sprung, and to have to wait until April before the 1st signs of a spring would have been a rarity; so, the best way of describing this year’s non-occurrence would be to say it is a rare occurrence indeed.

Compliments of a good CBS education it used to be so easy to discern the 1st signs of spring:

firstly, note the time of primrose and bluebell bloom;

next, note horse chestnut and hawthorn leaf burst as these are some of the earliest to leaf-up;

next, note silver birch and beech bud burst;
next, note change in blackbird song and behaviour, and also note magpie nest building;

next, note disappearance of large flocks of geese and arrival of 1st swallows;

next, note the sound of the 1st cuckoo;

next, note sightings of the 1st orange tip butterflies (Anthocharis Cardmines),

and finally note the bloom of the Maybush (the Hawthorn in full bloom).



Of course, being quite young at the time of this formative exposition, I instead gauged spring’s arrival with the occurrence of my birthday each year, and falling as it does at the beginning of the 2nd week of April, a lot of the trees would be in leaf, and though the bluebells would have come and gone, the primroses would still be abundant, and the blackbirds would, on those quieter mornings when passing traffic would not drown them out completely, mark out their new territory with terrific bursts of song, and if lucky you may even see a swallow this early, although, I’ve only ever seen a swallow this early on one occasion. The constant concrete development of the Urban sprawl that is current day Dublin has practically eliminated the possibility of hearing a cuckoo or seeing an orange tip butterfly at any time of the year, and unless you live on the urban outskirts with hedge lined roadways or in proximity to one of the larger public parks chances are you’ll not see too many Maybushes either.

And why, you may ask, this sudden journey down springtime lanes of old?

I suppose it’s because this year we are into the 1st week of April and there is still very little in the way of springtime activity: bud burst on all tree species is about 3-4 weeks behind schedule, and although the magpies have started to frantically build, there are still massive flocks of Brent geese flying from pasture to pasture, and I’ve not heard Merula song-burst as yet. But then, it seems spring has been interrupted across the whole of northern and central Europe this year, and everywhere April is finding it difficult to shake January from its tail. We have not had a day with a thermometer reading in double figures (Celsius) for over 6 weeks now, but, the promise seems to be that by the start of the second week in April normal service should be resumed, with a provisional forecast of daytime temperature at 10 degrees::: now wouldn’t that be some láthair lá breithe.
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Sive
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 8:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the whole pattern of winter has changed, with winters becoming much milder in the last 20/25 years. One interesting marker has been the Remembrance Sunday ceremony as shown on the BBC..... it is always the nearest Sunday to the 11th November and it used to be that the TV coverage showed a very stark and appropriately melancholy winter scene with bare trees and everyone muffled up in winter coats, looking very cold.
Gradually over the past 20 years, I would notice that the trees were holding on to their almost dead leaves, then, amazingly, still sporting green leaves in the last few years.
No deciduous tree held on to its leaves that late when I was a child.
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Dirt Digger
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 11:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sive wrote:
I think the whole pattern of winter has changed, with winters becoming much milder in the last 20/25 years. .

Perhaps Sive, perhaps; and from our rather niaive human perspective it probably seems like a drastic change, and to a life form with a life expectancy of circa 80-100years max, the subtle variants of change over a relatively short period of 20-25 years will certainly make us sit up and take note. However, I suspect climate pattern change really unfolds over hundreds if not thousands or tens of thousands of years, and though I do not wish to devalue the recently espoused media driven awareness of the human impact on planet earth, I can’t help but feel that the agenda of the hyper hysterical in pointing out modernity’s role in global warming, was always just that, hysterical. Of course if nothing else it has created a growing awareness of our continued impact on our living environment, and that can never be a bad thing.
But I think what has changed most is our expectancy of the weather.
With the advent of cheap and frequent air travel, we can now jet-off to anywhere in the world at the drop of a hat, and in the same January day can have breakfast in Dublin with minus 1 degree, lunch in Paphos with 20 degrees and afternoon tea in Dubai with 30 degrees. And of course before the great mythic Panthera Hibernicus decided to crawl into some bank vault and give-up-the-ghost, generally people would and could expect to have at least 2 or 3 foreign excursions each year, and thus, if they wished to they could leave the reality of an Irish winter back in Ireland. But now that we once again have to reacquaint ourselves with a familiar old reality…well…how different our thinking is become! Perhaps…just a perhaps!

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Sive
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 1:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You're quite right, my personal perspective is based on about six decades, a mere blink of an eye in the overall scheme of things ! I was merely trying to balance out all the moaning that goes on in the media, and to remind ourselves that actually our recent winters have been milder. And to be fair, as humans we can only really discuss a lifespan from personal experience..... we have to let the scientists examine the longer timescale.
I think the really sad thing is that most discussion about weather ( as opposed to climate ) is selfishly linked to human discomfort or inconvenience. Few people see the bigger picture. Urban man has little understanding of where his food comes from........
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medieval knievel
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 2:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i think it's been echoed in an ad for meteor, but it is kinda amusing that most irish people (except for golfers and hillwalkers, probably) do not own decent rainproof gear.
i only got some two years ago when having to endure horizontal rain on holiday in oban in scotland.
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Dirt Digger
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 3:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Horizontal Scottish Rain, now there’s a thought to raise the goose-bumps…
Mind you, many many moons ago, my grandmother (a feisty tribeswoman from Loughrea) would often refer to April as the month of the Straight Rains; referring in part to the sudden torrential downpours which often occur during this month of the year, and it’s only now in trying to pluck that memory from a drowned past that I sense we haven’t had too many of those old familiar massively thundery April showers in recent years. I remember purposefully lingering through those sudden sodden experiences, and thinking there was nothing like it, soaked to the skin, but not cold and feeling the heightening sun on your wet face and head before it had even stopped raining…I tell you, in those days spring was spring and April was April, and you had as much chance of seeing a bumble bee on Christmas day as you had of seeing a flock of sheep snowed in ditch to their death on 1st April, but then, that was before…Ta Dah….
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Dirt Digger
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 3:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

4.35 0n Thursday 11th April, and finally the temperature in the greater Dublin area has climbed into double figures for the 1st time in over a month, 10 degrees Celsius, and what's more is raining, well it's bucketing down to be precise, but that's more like the Aprils I've come to expect, and it's also the weather more conducive to germination and growth, so I dare say there'll be plenty of outdoor activity over the coming milder days
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mustaffatap
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2013 6:51 pm    Post subject: Evening sun Reply with quote

Why have we got evening sunlight on an East facing internal wall on April 18th, the wall that normally only ever gets evening sunlight for two days a year in mid June?
Something doesn't seem right with the weather.
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Dirt Digger
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2013 11:06 am    Post subject: Re: Evening sun Reply with quote

mustaffatap wrote:
Why have we got evening sunlight on an East facing internal wall on April 18th, the wall that normally only ever gets evening sunlight for two days a year in mid June?
Something doesn't seem right with the weather.

Speculating here, but most likely, a light line anomaly; something has been placed in such a way that it sits in the glare of the the late evening sun, and this something -most likely- has a highly reflective surface which reflects the light on it through your window: even a parked car perhaps, or perhaps the window on a house nearby?? Very little to do with the weather I hope, but most likely a trick of the light...

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Dirt Digger
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2013 9:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

10.22am on 23rd April; sighted the first swallows of the year flying over St. Anne's Park. Ever so slowly, nature is catching up...
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