Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Cuckoo's have arrived.

I had given up on hearing the Cuckoo's this year but at last they have made it, six weeks later than last year, everything seems to be six weeks late,
1st Strawberries this year.
today I picked the first of our Strawberries, last year it was early in April, the other thing I have noticed is how tall the plants are, reaching for the light I suppose, the light density has been very low for weeks now and the temperatures are still struggling to make double figures.
A carpet of Bluebells.
The bluebells are now blooming, again six weeks later than last year. A lot of damage has been done to the plants and trees by late frosts and the easterly wind that we had for weeks.
The Irish Bee keeper association are predicting that there will be little or no Irish honey this year with an estimated loss of 76% of the hives. I have seen just two bumble bees and no hover flies at all, it is not looking good for crops that depend on insect pollination this year.
Whether the change in the climate is due to man or natural climate change or weather manipulation is anyone's guess. It used to be that the weather forecast could predict the weather for the next couple of days at least, now it seems it is impossible to predict more than a few hours in advance even  with all the technology that is around, maybe it's time to go back to the old seaweed method, at least that could predict a day ahead.
Sligo Co.
We had a trip to the neighbouring county a couple of days ago and although further north was far more advanced than where we live, presumably it is more protected by the mountains and is closer to the Gulf Stream.
Lough Arrow on a dull day.
Co. Sligo is a beautiful county, we always enjoy visiting it, it is full of magic. We lived there for a number of years, but we decided we wanted flatter ground as we were getting older.
Swan id the reeds.
This year there seems to be even more swans than other years I think we have two different types, I'm sure one of them is the mute swan the other ones either the Hooper or Bewick, I must read up on them, such beautiful creatures.
DIY road repairs. Any lingering doubts I had about our governments' sanity has now gone, the latest scheme they have come up with is community DIY road repairs, the councils will provide the material, a bit of gravel and if you're lucky some tar, the community to provide the labour and equipment to do the job. This scheme does not seem to have been well thought out, who would be responsible if a 'worker' injured his/herself ? And should the job not be carried out correctly and an accident occurred, again who would be held accountable? Considering we pay one of the highest road taxes in the EU, and we have been subjected to a property tax, and now the household charge, they now want free labour. I wonder what other scheme they can think of to squeeze more blood out of a stone. They could reduce unemployment or social welfare payments to people who grow their own food, this had actually been suggested some twenty years ago but thankfully came to nothing, however the State TV channel recently did a news feature on people in Dublin who were growing their own on allotments for which there is a waiting list, how long before some bright spark in the Dail decides this would be a good way to take money away from people who need it the most.


  1. Well impressed by your strawberries - ours are still only in the blossom stage. But cuckoos? We win there. Our first cuckoo was 28th April. He's been calling regularly ever since. Interestingly the weather seems to have put swallow nest building on hold. The pair are still about, but nobody is in and out of the barn.

  2. How wonderful that you have Strawberries. I'm really missing my tunnel but we do hope to have one fairly soon. As for the road scheme...fecking mad! What will they think of next. Shocking stats on the decline of bees. There seems to be a lot of Bumble Bees around where we are.

  3. Anne
    It saddens me so much about the bee's. I don't know how things are here but I will ask around.I see yellow jackets and bumble bees but they are not honey makers.
    There are so many folk methods of telling the weather and I think that they work better than the forecasters. What is the seaweed method? I am glad to hear more about Knock Airport.
    The hens and chicks look great, How is Tess?
    Oh the strawberries look so good.

    My best to you and your husband.