John's Blog

What a Summer!

by John Lister-Kaye - 09:08 on 16 August 2018

What a summer!  Although spring was late, we've had no rain since early May; grass brown, rivers and burns dry or dribbling low; trees in the garden stressed; constant watering needed; haven't touched a raincoat or worn a pullover for weeks.  It has broken now, early August, and we have had some useful rain at last, but we've still had to put the cattle off to other pastures.  

One benefit has been virtually no midges.  They hate sun and wind and we've often had both together.  But our guests have revelled in glorious long days of sunshine - the common comment has been 'We didn't expect this in Scotland!'

Nature has struggled.  Whether it is accelerating climate change, or just an aberration, we'll have to wait to find out, but our hirundines have been dismally low, especially house martins; spotted flycatchers and blackcaps arrived late and the blackcaps have already gone; now there are greylag geese already assembling on the Firth.  It may be that our seasons are shifting and we may have to shift our ideas and expectations with them.  


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