A ‘balancing of the books’ as Summer rides into town

THE SUMMER COMETH: Soaking up the sunshine on the banks of the Corrib in the Claddagh Basin against the backdrop of the Long Walk. PHOTO: JOE O'SHAUGHNESSY.
THE SUMMER COMETH: Soaking up the sunshine on the banks of the Corrib in the Claddagh Basin against the backdrop of the Long Walk. PHOTO: JOE O'SHAUGHNESSY.

Country Living with Francis Farragher

It is quite amazing what the impact a good spell of weather can have on the humour of people and especially those who tend to be more in touch with the great outdoors like farmers, gardeners, sportspeople and simply those who just like to be in the fresh air.  Just over a month ago, the sight of Winter fodder being transported along country roads was a common one, as farmers ‘scraped and scrounged’ to feed their stock until the spurt of Spring growth arrived.

The transformation over recent weeks has seen nature at its best, with fields that had been grey-brown and lifeless, now lush with grass as soil temperatures jumped up by 10 to 12 degrees over a relatively short space of time.

Early silage is being cut, the local bogs are a hive of activity, and the local shops have sun tan lotion displayed close to the check-out areas where hot-water bottles used to be, as the fairer skins are creamed to cope with the onset of ultra-violet rays.

After our wet, cold and marathon Winter, there is almost a certain justice about our little treat over the past couple of weeks, and after a particularly harsh Spring in 2013, we did end up getting a decent enough Summer in its aftermath. So we hope that history will repeat itself.

Meteorologists are adamant that there is no seasonal balancing system in our weather with our forecasts still limited to five to 10 days ahead, but there are a couple of encouraging signs that at least our early Summer period will be quite decent.

Over recent weeks, the flow of the wet and windy Atlantic systems, that bring us most of our rainfall, has been stopped by a coalition of high pressure systems broadly spanning from the Atlantic, across to Scandinavia, and over Russia.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.