Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Not so Scilly

Tuesday 3rd April 2012
Only two days to go now till the hosepipe ban. Of late, my mind has been turning to last year, when we didn't get a drop of rain for three months. After the big freeze, it had seemed that Mother Nature did not approve of our smallholding plans and everything was an uphill struggle. The drought has continued, with the dykes empty and the meadow, last February holding standing water, this year covered in deep cracks. But, since last May, we have actually had just about sufficient rain to keep things alive, if not particularly flourishing. 
However, it has been getting harder and harder to remember the last significant rainfall we had, and the soil is on its way to concrete and dust again.

But today, so promised the forecast, we would get rain by the bucketload, and tomorrow too. 
I was supposed to be in Penzance to see the sun rise this morning, waiting to board the Scillonian III to take me to see a Northern Waterthrush. That's right, I finally buckled. My pager kept telling me it was still there, lurking in those pools at Lower Moors. If it didn't play ball, I was prepared to stay overnight  and give it another whole day....

That was all until we saw the weather forecast for the SW. Gales and driving rain. The Waterthrush will have to wait a while longer.

Hence, I am still here and spent the day sowing seeds, some to replace those I lost and plenty of new ones too. The dining room, the greenhouse, the coldframe, all are now full to the brim with seedtrays.

About five o'clock this evening, the rain (and hail) finally came, and did it come! I felt sorry for the man who got soaked making the short run from his van to the door to buy some pork! Not so sorry for the geese, who seemed to be in their element.
Within minutes the water butts were almost replenished, ensuring enough water for another week or two, whatever the weather. In fact, when it rains I fill everything I can with water. It's much better for the plants and animals when it's come straight from the sky.

As always when I sow seeds for too long, I have given myself an awful back twinge. I can dig all day long but the weight of those seeds!

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