Archives for posts with tag: weather

Feathers in the sky

As some have divining instincts 

For water, gold or diamond,

Can tell by a twitch or a scent,

So others, I among them,

Have a similar gift to tell

Of a season changing. It’s not

In the power of one sense only

Or the habit of memory.

If I could tell the causes

I’d lose the knack or gift...’

Instinct for Seasons

Elizabeth Jennings (1926- )

In Scotland, every day of sunshine is a gift; people flood outdoors, putting on a smile with their warm clothes and walking shoes. Gardeners rush outside in a frenzy of busy-ness, garden chairs swept clear of leaves and turned to face the sun. Overhead the trees are filled with chirping birds, charming their way to avian hearts. Every crevice and axil of the trees winter bark inspected for sheltering  insects; the first sleepy bugs luxuriating in the new found sun…

With warmth and light, flowers open, petals unfurl adding brightness to the muted garden, tired of wintered colour, longing for the return of blue skies and insect drone…

New foliage in stunning shades of green and bronze, petals in perfect pattern, intricate stamens and styles awaiting the pollinators return; Blackthorn and Flowering Blackcurrant unfold tightly held buds in vivid tones…

Under the welcome sun the sea itself is calm and still, reflecting the pale sky and white clouds; as twilight falls and the garden once more resounds with birdsong, filling the tranquil air with melody and counter melody. The weather may be fickle but golden days are rare like Scottish gold; days to be treasured and lived. Tomorrow will arrive with rain…

 

 

 

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Promise?

“There is no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather”

John Ruskin – (1819-1900)

Actually, we have only had one kind of weather – wet weather! Naming storms only seems to compound the misery; when did Abigail become Barney, or Clodagh end and Desmond begin? Wind and rain has battered and beaten the garden into submission. Leaves abandoned the trees, cones the conifers, and petals the last few flowers to brave the elements. We wait for the promise of better weather…

Roses in December

“God gave us memories so that we might have roses in December”

J M Barrie (1860-1937)

Or when December’s roses are pale ghosts of their former selves; shaken and scorched by bitter wind and rain…

 Colourful Calendula

“Flowers seem intended for a solace of ordinary humanity…”

John Ruskin

Easing the drabness of constant overcast days, when sky and sea merge into one and all around is shrouded grey…

Reflection in a toadstool cup

Anything can become a receptacle for rain water, spent puffballs, plant trays, all filled with water, brimming with light and reflections.

And the weather man reminds us that it may have been an unusually warm year, but one with low light levels. The first week of November was so mild that the Cabbage palm burst into flower all over again. Nasturtium and Cosmos kept flowering vying to outdo each other until “the weather” came once more. Surrendering to the storms the garden stands cold, brown and wet; waiting for winter…

Still trying...

Some plants have never caught up, still trying to flower in wintry darkness. The first snowdrops push through the sodden ground, the promise of spring in dark days…

First snows - leaving already

“November comes
And November goes,
With the last red berries
And the first white snows…”

Clyde Watson

~

Friday; bitterly cold and grey but dry, so a quick “recce” to gather up and take stock in the garden after a week of “weather“. Saturday dawned pink and cold with the realisation -“thar’s snow on them thar hills!” But in the dawn light of Sunday morn, snow was already in retreat.

A skein of swans wend their way along the coast, snow white in the morning sun. As small birds fight for food at the feeders, robin chasing the chaffinch and great tits. Wren chatters nervously from the safety of the hedge, as blackbirds gather to strip the hedges of the last few berries. It seems they knew the cold was coming…

Fair weather skies

Sunday bathed in sunshine; blues skies and light cloud.Wrapping up warmly, we receive these days as gifts between the grey, rain-soaked weeks and venture outside. A short afternoon to enjoy the crisp dry day, marveling at the skies and fallen leaves; joining the dog walkers, avoiding the deep, muddy puddles…

Frosty sunset

Sunset falls in brilliant colours; setting sea and sky ablaze, even so the grass and moss are frozen; can we hope for frost or snow? A few weeks hence, sunset will set south of Ailsa Craig, marking the depth of winter and the solstice…

Homecoming

Rooks return to roost, a daily ritual, calling to his neighbors in deep raucous voice, before he too joins them in the fir trees and the garden falls to silent reverie…

Bright moonlight night

Moon-rise behind the trees, casting silver light and pale shadows across the garden. Sky of midnight blue set with a myriad of twinkling stars. Donning warm coats, we step out into the garden, Os held tightly in our arms. Breathing deep the frozen air, with upturned faces, marveling at the inherent beauty of a starlit sky.

Oscar trembles, eyes as big as saucers, sniffing the cold air, amazed at the night garden.  The strange white light and feeble shadows; whispers from the hedge-bank. We crunch over the frozen lawn, setting him down on the freezing ground, he looks surprised. Lifting each foot in turn, before he is gathered up and taken back inside.

Clear and frosty night

Across the bay, lights twinkling in the clear air, making plans to photograph the frosted garden; I wake to hear the wind and rain beating on the roof again. We don’t have seasons here – only weather!

Thanks for stopping by today – enjoy the weather – it’s raining here again !

 

Roaring Water

The wintry west extends his blast,

And hail and rain does blaw:

Or the stormy north sends driving forth

The blinding sleet and snaw:

Wild-tumbling brown, the burn comes down,

And roars frae bank to brae:

While bird and beast in covert rest,

And pass the heartless day…

Winter

Robert Burns

~

November colour

Burns could have been describing the last ten days of weather. The recent squalls and storms; tearing the leaves from the reluctant trees. Stripping the pines of their cones, whipping the leaves from the birch and beeches.

Borrowed boots

Tumbling leaves scattered across the garden to settle in deep brown drifts against the tufted grass and fences. Dark grey skies heavy with rain burst open over the sodden ground. Pouring off the hill, spilling over ditches, charging down the roadways, pooling in the pastures, flooding the unfortunates inhabiting low lying ground.

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Until at last a patch of cerulean blue, a gentle breeze, a momentary lull, while bird and beast forage and graze. People take stock of washed out roads, overflowing ditches, blocked culverts. The road is silent, no cars pass, closed to traffic because of a landslip further along the road. And while the road is closed, finally much-needed repairs take place; new tarmac outside the house, stripping away the ruts and potholes…

Evening

Evening brings brief respite, watery sunset and quiet breeze. Blackbirds gather in the bushes, feasting on the bright berries and rosehips. The sun may come out tomorrow…

You can’t get too much winter in the winter

Robert Frost

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Winters here are usually fairly benign. Midweek we were promised bitter winter snows; the snow came, the snow left, the bitter wind continued. Beneath the clouds, Arran blanketed in snow, sparkles in the early dawn before disappearing under the clouds.

Welcome snowdropsSnowdrops are spilling out over the garden as the daffodils push through the cold, hard earth. The girls have been busy, scratching in the leaf-litter under the trees and and tidying the “orchard”, cleaning up over-wintering bugs. With the lengthening days they are still busy until dusk. Recent gales and snow have disturbed their laying but four, warm brown eggs were gifted this morning.

NuthatchThe inclement weather has brought new visitors to the garden; usually I hear a new song before finding the owner. As Oscar and I watched the hungry birds; blackbirds eating an apple, a variety of tits and finches dropping feed for the dunnocks; there was something new. Black eye stripe, blue back, huge beak, hanging upside down on the feeder – a nuthatch! Suddenly I see him everywhere, under the beech trees foraging for beech nuts, flitting from the feeder to the cabbage palm and back again. I have never seen a nuthatch before today…

ReflectionBetween the showers and snow, wrapped up warmly, escorted by the chickens, we inspect the plants. Chooks looking hopefully as I empty my pockets; looking wisely as I check the fruit trees. Do you think they will remember how good the raspberries and strawberries tasted, or how to harvest the peas? You bet! There is nothing bird-brained about these ladies!

Whatever the weather – enjoy your day

 

Promise?

Finally stillness, calm blue sea, Holy Isle painted in rainbow colour and snow over Arran. What a week of weather we’ve had! It started quietly enough last Tuesday but by the time I left town to come home, it was blowing a gale with horizontal rain. The road home, deep in standing water as the rain cascaded off the hills. Sheep soaked with misery, facing the rain or sheltering in the gorse, in almost total darkness.

New vocabulary – “weather-bomb” or “explosive cyclogenesis“. Who knew? It just meant exceptional weather and “phenomonal” seas. Thunder prowled around the cottage in a low growl, lightning seared the heavens illuminating sheets of rain. Hunkering down in our cosy beds, hoping some slates would still be clinging to the roof in the morning and the chickens would be safe, we waited for dawn…

Morning opened with yet more more rain; continuing through till Friday morning. Suddenly a dawning, strong silence. The wind had finally worn itself out; not before chilling the cottage to a cool 13 degrees inside, first time we’ve had to light the fire in the morning for a long while!

Next days were spent retrieving plants, pots, fleece. Letting the chickens roam again now that the chance of them being blown away had abated. Songbirds rejoined the  garden, the grass flattened by driving wind and rain, windows covered in salt and debris. Ah, the rural idyll!

We have lived to tell the tale with only a few slates lost, today quiet and clear, time to let the girls out, surprisingly, still laying…

 Thanks for stopping by; have a great day whatever the weather!

Some different views of the storm:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/weather-bomb-storm-above-uk-captured-by-nasa-astronaut-in-stunning-photograph-9925598.html

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-30453216

Because I can’t think of a better title!

A new month opening with blue sky and sunshine; by evening driving rain bouncing off the roof-lights; blustering winds testing the mettle of the ancient trees, bending boughs to breaking point. Pine trees swaying in the darkness, sending needles and cones sailing through the air. In the grey half-light of dawn, the wind quieted, trees stood stark and naked. Ground littered with leaves torn from the trees, piled in drifts against the grassy banks. Last remaining flowers bedraggled but defiant. Grey skies and rainbows, watery sun, ever changing sea. Small birds cluster in the garden seeking food and shelter, wren and robin find solace in the shadowed shed.

As a young child, my sister who celebrates a November birthday, was so disheartened  by “November” poems, whether it was Thomas Hood’s “November” or Sara Coleridge’s “The Months” I can’t recall. Do you have favourite November poems?

I’m looking forward to the frosts when the garden will be magically transformed, clear skies and full moon painting the garden with silver light. The crunch of frosted leaves beneath my feet. Rebellious flowers refusing to bow to winters touch, the flash of yellowhammers in the hedgerows. Rainbows over the sea and cloudscapes. Last leaves turned to reds and yellows while the garden rests in winter’s arms, cradled into the quiet earth till spring’s warmth stirs tender shoots to life…

Thanks for dropping by enjoy your day whether you are in the depths of winter or celebrating spring in the Southern Hemisphere!