Friday, 22 May 2020

A Spring Storm On Skye

A Met Office yellow warning for heavy rain and high winds is in place for the Western Isles. As we get a lot of rain and high winds quite often, getting a yellow warning is a bit 'special'. Up to 100mm of rain and peak wind gust speeds up to 75mph are forecast. The worst will be here overnight tonight - but at about mid-day today, rain is already lashing against my study window, and tree branches are waving-about pretty wildly.

How will the garden cope? Well, I have issued frogman suits and aqua-lungs to all the runner bean plants, and built scaffolding round the plastic bottle 'greenhouses' that protect my young brassica plants. The recently-emerged midges are out of sight, no doubt wearing galoshes and sou'westers and clinging to undersides of leaves by their teeth and fingernails.

Looking over the rain-soaked garden, I am always impressed by the amazing flexibility of the shrubs and larger plants as they are constantly blown almost inside-out by the gusty winds. Our local deciduous trees usually struggle a bit in weather like this. They have been through it all before of course, but they are still likely to lose some twiggy branches and quite a few of their new leaves will be on the ground by the morning. And how do the birds still manage to fly??? Salt-spray from the nearby rough sea can also cause damage. I have seen trees with almost all their leaves burned-brown by salt, but this early in the year, if this happens, there is time for them to have a 'second spring' and put out a second growth of green.

Joking aside, I am fairly confident that my allotment will cope OK, as nothing has grown big enough yet to be too exposed - though if my plastic bottles get blown-off my young brassicas, I would fear for the ability of the young plants to take the strain of the wind. I'll be out there in my waterproofs soon, to temporarily part-bury the bottles in the hope that that will keep them in place.

Here is a couple of photos of the allotment that I took yesterday, during the calm before the storm. If there is anything new to photograph tomorrow, I will add a new post here to show the aftermath.

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