The Swollen River Martin

A few photos of the River Martin in Blarney, swollen after the rains of Storm Frank yesterday. Not pictured are the broken garden fences I haphazardly repaired in torrential rain last night. At least the rain stopped this morning to let me repair the roof of our shed.

Cold tonight with clear spells and light winds over the northern half of the country with temperatures falling to between 0 and 4 degrees with some icy patches. But further south, cloud and winds will increase with rain developing and pushing northwards through the night (falling as sleet or snow in parts of Ulster towards dawn). Winds will be light variable at first then easterly and increase fresh to strong veering southwesterly in southern counties later in the night. (met.ie)

Ever wondered how climate change is going to affect Ireland? This post will be of interest to you.

In Ireland the average air temperature has risen by approximately 0.8°C in the last 100 years, with much of the warming occurring towards the end of the 20thcentury, all seasons are warmer. Some of the impacts can already be seen; the start of the growing season for certain species is now up to 10 days earlier, there has been a decrease in the number of days with frost and increase in the number of warm days (days over 20°C).
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Over the last 30 years or so rainfall amounts have increased by approximately 5%, and there is some evidence of an increase in the number of days with heavy rain in the west and northwest. Climate projections for rainfall have greater uncertainty than for temperature, they indicate that overall rainfall amounts in Ireland might decrease slightly, summers are likely to become drier while winters may be wetter especially in the west and north. There are also indications of an increase in the number of very wet days (days with rainfall >20mm).

These projections, applied to river flows, show an increased risk of winter flooding, an increased risk of short duration ‘flash’ floods and to possible water shortages in summer months due to higher temperatures and lower rainfall. The rise in sea levels will make low lying coastal areas more prone to flooding, especially from storm surges.

It warns that the changes will happen slowly so we’re not going to notice them year-on-year but it doesn’t look good.

Solving the mysterious light in Blarney

Back in 2013 local school children created a “flash mob” and danced in the village square in Blarney. Local photographer Pat Falvey was on hand to capture the scene on video.

Near the start of the video he noticed a flash of light coming from a woman on the right of the frame. You might have to watch the start of it a few times as it flashes by in about 1.5 seconds. Intrigued, I took a closer look.

Using this site I watched the video frame by frame. You can see an object appear on the right:

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In the next frame it’s after moving over a little bit.

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And again, it has moved.

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Using my advanced photography skills I cropped the location of the object to isolate it and zoom in:

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I thought I could see something there now but it needed further enhancement …

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OH WOW! I couldn’t believe it! I thought it was just a leaf but Blarney had been visited by the Starship Enterprise and nobody had even noticed! I was there that day and it had completely escaped my notice!

It was a seed actually. It was one of those seeds with wings. We used to call them helicopter seeds but they’re the seeds of the Maple tree apparently. You can see the seed flutter to the ground after a few frames.

Cows Loose on the River Martin

The river that runs through Blarney is the River Martin and there’s a nice walk next to it near where I live. There’s a field close by where horses and cattle graze from time to time but I don’t remember ever seeing the animals straying from the field.

You can imagine our surprise when we saw a group of cows walking up the river last night, and then jumping up the bank and off towards Waterloo on the public path. I wonder if they were going to the Waterloo Inn for a refreshing drink?

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My wife rang the Gardai who said they’d deal with them. Cars flew up the Waterloo Road at their usual speeds but thankfully we didn’t hear the crunch of metal or skidding wheels while we were down there…

Anyone in Blarney missing a dog?

Anyone in Blarney recognise this dog? My wife found him wandering around the park a few minutes ago. A woman she met said the dog had been around since last night.

He’s a very friendly dog but we’d prefer to hand him back to his original owners!

Blairs Inn Smile

Duncan of Blairs Inn was giving out free samples of their delicious beef stew along with samples from other local restaurants at the festival in Blarney today.

Delicious stuff, and Blairs Inn is a great place to go for a meal too. Only been there once but we had a great meal there. Recommended.

Patrick's Day in Blarney

We were originally going to be walking in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Blarney but our son fell asleep a few minutes ago, and it wouldn’t be fair on him to drag him out unfortunately. We did visit the “farmers market” this morning however and I took a few photos. They’re really only snapshots but I hope you enjoy them, especially if you have visited Blarney.

This is probably the few times in the year that you’ll see this many locals near Blarney Castle! 😉
Continue reading “Patrick's Day in Blarney”

Some people don't feel the cold

The weather reading on my desktop computer says -3C, that’s the temperature at the local airport I presume. It’s very cold out, but the sun is out and at least there’s no wind.

I took Oscar for a walk, I’m all wrapped up against the cold with a thick warm hat and over that a hoodie (yes, they do have a use!) and finally a light jacket to keep all the heat in. I dodged the ice and enjoyed the lovely sunlight melting away the frost on exposed surfaces. The footpath wasn’t too bad, Oscar was enjoying himself.

Half way down the road I bump into a neighbour. He’s dressed for a totally different season! Apart from his usual black jeans, he had on a nice shirt, but the top two buttons were undone exposing flesh to the cruel winter cold, and his one concession to that cold was a light black jacket, not closed of course. He hurried past, commenting that, “the sun is very bright this morning isn’t it?”

Amazing.

My Christmas Day Adventure

Today was a Christmas Day my family won’t forget for a long time! We had a great time today, heard some amazing news, and then had a bit of an adventure on the way home. The weather has been pretty cold for the last while, the county was covered in a sheet of ice but this afternoon temperatures rose slightly which was great because we were due to visit family for Christmas dinner.

My brother Donal and his wife had ice problems this morning when their car slid out of his estate. Two hours later they got underway when the roads thawed out a bit. That had worried me because there’s a hill into our estate too.

After a great day with family, a delicious dinner made by my brother-in-law Chris and a visit to my own family we returned home, sharing the road with nervous drivers and reckless drivers. The journey home was uneventful but the hill into our estate proved to be troublesome. The road was covered in ice and slush and as we rounded the bend a car slid down backwards and eventually braked and turned back down. I tried to drive us up there too but the car only got so far before wheels started to spin, the car shuddered and we weren’t going forward any more. Kinda scary!

I had to turn back of course, we parked further up the road where I spotted a break in the ditch. In the freezing dark I managed to get up there, and to make what is turning into a long story shorter enlisted the help of our neighbours who were in the same boat. Between us we managed to get the essential bags out of the car, I carried Adam up the road, and we took a short cut through Rosy and Con’s house knocking a good 100m off our journey.

I used the light of my Nokia 5800 in video mode to light the way so I have a record of all that happened, even if it’s more audio than anything else! Must have a listen tomorrow.

Anyway, I’m glad to be home, safe and sound. We’ll get the car tomorrow. Thanks neighbours for your help. Nollaig Shona dhaoibh go leir!

Sorry I missed you Cllr. Dan Fleming

Cllr Dan Fleming

This message from Cllr. Dan Fleming was stuffed into gates all over my estate this evening. I know they only have so much time on their hands but the letter was rolled up tightly and squashed between the bars on our gate and in the gates of other houses. I’d venture to say that it took as long to roll and fold the letter up as it would to walk to our front door. Oh, and yes, we were in when they “called”. The only other people to stuff literature into our gate are those clothes collectors and they’re possibly more popular than Fianna Fail at this stage.

I’m sure he’s a great guy and he’d have a great chat with you and all that but there’s no sign that he’s a Fianna Fail man. The missing party name strikes again! His website is down but his Fianna Fail page is up however.

I’m still not sure who I’ll vote for but you can hurt Fianna Fail without helping Sinn Fein if you vote carefully.