Sundown – time to get indoors

Unfortunately the photos from this old post have been lost
It’s amazing, we have just had 3 full days of sunshine! We are not talking about just a bit of clear sky every now and then, we are talking about three whole, entire days of sunshine, from sunrise to sundown.

A German friend noted on Saturday, our first sunny day, that we had only had three sunny days in the past sixty days. My German acquaintance tends to make notes like this, as does my Swiss neighbour. They both tend to be mathematical about the weather, percentage of humidity, inches of rainfall – actually make that feet of rainfall, days of sunshine.

Some friends and I were chatting about this phenomenon of being so analytical about the weather and concluded that Irish people don’t have these tendacies because it would be too depressing to know exactly how much rain had fallen last week or that we have had only three whole days of sunshine in sixty days.

It’s much easier to cope when you know that it’s “been awhile since there was a good sunny day” or “there’s been a fierce amount of rain recently” as opposed to the cruel, hard, cold and wet facts.

So, back to the happy, happy fact that we have had multiple, complete days of sunshine. The ground is beginning to dry out, the mud outside our door has dried up. There are wasps flying about, presumably making the most of the last few flowers.

We have been working on the house again, for a while there it was too wet to be climbing up on the scaffolding to do outside work. We kept ourselves busy tidying up the inside of the house, moving the cedar wood indoors to keep it dry, painting the windows that have yet to be installed.

Now, for the last few days we have working outdoors again. We used the cedar to clad another wall, bringing us around to the south facing front of the house. We are about halfway to having the entire house clad and weatherproof.

Water Collection System and Cedar Cladding

It’s been so good to be working on the outside of the house again, even better has been working in a tee-shirt. It’s still a little chilly in the morning however it’s not long until the sweatshirt comes off – yahoo! Soooo nice to feel the warmth of sunshine.

Sundown, however, comes on quickly. The temperature drops so suddenly that it’s a rush to pull on sweatshirts and woolly hats, put the tools away and get indoors to light the fire. I laughed today when I thought about the silly old Vampire movie I saw over Halloween – the townspeople were rushing to get indoors when the sun went down, to avoid being Vampire supper.

We displayed the same urgency for different reasons, bright sunny, cloudless days lead to clear skies and cold nights. It’s time to be back indoors, enjoying the heat of the stove.


Settling in for the duration

Unfortunately the photos from this old post have been lost

We are getting used to this new way of living, going to town one day a week, working outside when the sun is shining then coming in to work on our computers and read beside the stove in the late afternoon.

Snowy Scenes in North West Ireland
Afternoon Snow

Looking through the food stores to see what’s for dinner tonight and wondering how many more dinners the fresh vegetables will do.

Writing shopping lists that take the long view rather than the assumption that we will be in town again the day after tomorrow.

Putting on boots, a warm jacket and hat before going out the door, even for the quickest of tasks, has become the norm.

Freezing snow crystals
Snow Flakes Freezing

On Saturday we had fresh falls of snow and enjoyed a ramble around the forestry lanes and our land.

On Sunday we retraced our steps, we saw fox tracks and enjoyed watching where the tracks lead, where the fox followed in our footsteps and where he (or she, hard to tell from tracks) walked carefully in his own tracks.

Fox tracks on forest lane, Leitrim, Ireland North West
Fox Tracks

He puts up quite a mileage each night, we can see fresh tracks each morning now that we are on the lookout for them. He criss crosses the fields quite methodically and often walks back in his own tracks.

It’s fun watching the trails left behind by him. We don’t keep poultry or fowl so we have no reason to dislike his visits. At one stage as we walked we were wondering what he finds to eat in this weather and then we spotted hare tracks. I am guessing that hare wants to avoid that fox at all costs!

We don’t know much about this business of tracking animals however we are having lots of fun. Usually we can’t see the animal tracks in the rainy weather 🙂

frozen snow, sparkles, snowy Leitrim
Snow Crystals

Yesterday, Sunday, we had lots of sunshine and the snow started to melt a little. It began to freeze quite seriously again in the afternoon which made for a beautiful effect, the snow chrystalised and flattened out into amazing spikes.

Snowy Leitrim, Ireland north west, freezing weather
Snowy Wonders

Last night we walked about with head torches and the snow sparkled like fairy lights, everywhere we looked, it was the most wonderful sight. On Saturday night as we walked to bed we saw four shooting stars in the night sky and last night the fields were filled with starlight.

Stay warm, stay safe and if you have elderly neighbours please chat with them and see if there is anything they need – or indeed anything they can help you with……

Raining Frogs?

We have had a few beautiful days of sun, light winds and starry clear nights. This week in August every year there are amazing night skies with shooting stars (Perseids) in the northern sky. Check out the Astronomy Ireland website for more details.

If you are blessed with clear skies then you owe it to yourself to go out at night, bring a rug, wear a warm hat and settle into your favourite deck chair to watch the show. If you have binoculars they may add to the fun however I often find it less frustrating to just gaze upwards and let the magic unfold.

I don’t think that I will get to see any stars tonight as we had a day of rain, all day…

I decided to make use of the rain to wash the outdoor bathtub so I put the plug in this morning to allow it to fill. After a few hours I went out to check on progress. Imagine my surprise to find two fine frogs swimming about in the tub…

A pair of happy frogs

Here is a close up of one of the swimmers, handsome fella isn’t he?

An Irish frog enjoying the rain

Follow the International Space Station

Are you interested in seeing the International Space Station as it flies overhead?
I have been lucky enough to see it twice recently.

Just last week I was camping at a beach on the west coast of Ireland and happened, by chance, to see the space station pass overhead. I was really amazed at how fast it was as it moved steadily over my tent.

For a moment I thought that it might be a aeroplane however I realised that it was moving far too fast and was also too bright to be an aeroplane.

Anyhow, now that I am wandering through twitter-land I found a great site that will tell my twitter account when the space station is flying over.

I have yet to find out how accurate it is however I will let you all know how it turns out…