Hoping for drier and calmer times as the harvest looms

Hoping for a drier harvest.
Hoping for a drier harvest.

A two-week break down on the farm and in the heathery hollows of the bog has officially brought the curtain down on the summer season for me with the Galway Races by now nearly a distant memory, although Pateen’s success at the festival left a pleasant little legacy in more ways than one.

The summer overall has gone through something of a degenerative process, the first half of it being more dry than wet, but after two weeks pottering around the farm, puddles and muck have certainly taken over from dust and dry ground.

This time last week, we had very optimistic overtures from all of the main forecasters about a decent spell of high pressure building over us and in fairness all the signs were there, but a mischievous little elf called Gert, put the cat among the pigeons.

Tropical storm Gert spun around from the east coast of America and decided to head eastward across the Atlantic squeezing down the high pressure to more southerly latitudes. By the time Gert reached us over the weekend, she had toned down into a deep area of low pressure, with the powerful winds well moderated, but it did contain bucketfuls of moisture, as we can all testify to.

These are, though, slightly worrying times for the grain farmers of the region who got a right pasting last year from a very wet September with thousands of acres of corn lost due to the saturated ground conditions.

Last Monday, as I drove through the heart of Corofin, I passed a most impressive field of corn, but alas it was quite a lonesome sight with the combines and tractors parked up in the field, badly in need of a fine week to get back into action.

All Summer long, as I’ve mentioned on previous occasions, the BBC weather forecasters have been on about this north-west/south-east great divide, in terms of the weather, and it really does summarise the dilemma we’re in at present.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.