Saturday, 12 March 2016

March has arrived and winter is over

White grape vines still asleep. 

Red grape vines showing signs of life.

It is the 12th of March and winter hardly affected us this year. We had a few days of sleet and hail, lots of rain and wind, but very little snow and frost. It was generally mild the whole way. We did have about a week of cold weather that has just passed when there was frost on the grass so hopefully the much needed snap will have done its duty on insects and sleeping plants.

This week, warm dry weather has arrived. Lots of shrubs and flowers are budding. But the plants in the vineyard are still asleep. It's our first winter and I am anxious about whether the plants survived and if they will produce this year. I am excited about seeing them grow to the height of the stakes Alex erected. He wanted to buy more plants already but I stopped him until we see what happens in this first year.

The strongest El Nino on record and the warmest February ever are wreaking havoc throughout the world but mostly in the Pacific. There was little snow in Europe and we did not go skiing, opting to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary and Alex's 60th birthday with friends and neighbors. I gave Alex a drone for his birthday so hopefully he'll manage to get some footage of the vineyard and we'll even be able to spot some of the plants from up high.

In the meantime, we've been starting lots of plants in the greenhouse and have prepared the vegetable beds in the garden. Alex even moved the lawn yesterday.  The climate report for Ireland was issued by Met Eireann last week and the effects are already noticeable. Our average temperature is 0.8 degrees higher than 100 years ago. The extremes are expected to get extremer. Let's hope that bodes well for our little vineyard overlooking the Holy Mountain and Clew Bay. Our guard cats certainly enjoy it.

One guard cat on the alert.