A Bad Hair Day

Tree, Caught In The Rain
Tree, Caught In The Rain

We’ve had some very heavy rain the last day or so. Thunder, lightning, the works. This is quite a change from the blistering (relatively) heat we were subjected to for the previous week or so. Now, I know I was chiding Global Warming for his laid-back approach, but I didn’t mean to upset him. I obviously touched a raw nerve. At this time he could probably do with sympathy, not nagging. He has been handed the sticky end of the stick, you know. With the thousand and one things that go into the pot when you cook up a batch of climate, it’s hard to get the recipe just right. If you have too much of this and too much of that at the same time you end up with an Ice Age. A few (tens of thousand) years ago there was too much pepper. The pot held swamps and ferns and palm trees and it was splashed around liberally all over the world. Just recently, we’ve added more water and it has started to cool down, another eon or two and we’ll be back in an Ice Age again – all mammoths and fur coats and igloos. Poor old Global Warming is completely out of his depth, he was born too soon – or too late.

The Dog and I walk past this tree often and I’ve never noticed these markings before. We had waited for the worst of the rain to stop and then made a quick dash up the road and back. It took me a minute to realise that the tree, in common with everything else, had accumulated a coat of dust in the hot weather and being caught in the downpour had caused the colour to run.

It’ll be needing to make an appointment at the hairdresser.

Dog’s Dinner

Rosebay Willowherb About to Bloom
Rosebay Willowherb About to Bloom

As you can see the Rosebay Willowherb is just about to burst into flower. Rosebay Willowherb is called a first coloniser and it likes nothing better than a good fire to clear the air. In autumn they produce a mass of fluffy seeds for the wind to disperse. The seeds then lie around, sometimes for years, waiting for a nice comforting blaze.

Back in 1700-ish, Rosebay Willowherb was pretty rare here in the UK, but then they started building railways. It is entirely possible that the Rosebay Willowherb actually invented railways and just allowed Stevenson et al. think that they did it.

Just think about it. The swoosh of the passing train to carry those thistle-downy seeds far and wide and the sparks from the engine, starting fires along the track to exterminate the locals. They don’t call them colonisers for nothing, you know.

Wikipedia mentioned that the Dena’ina people of Alaska mix Rosebay Willowherb with their dog food. Dan Wall over on northierthanthou lives in Alaska. He pops in here from time to time. Hi Dan. Perhaps if you bump into a Dena’ina who is feeling conversational you could ask him/her if this is true – or do they just pop to the supermarket for a tin, like the rest of us?

I know the locals over there are supposed to have wandered across from Siberia, but we also know that in this part of the world, during our Ice Age, we lived by hunting and fishing along the edge of the ice sheet. It wouldn’t surprise me to find that when the ice sheets melted away (what a disaster global warming turned out to be) some of our relatives were left trapped on that side of the Atlantic.

You might like to mention that they left some of their bone sewing needles behind. We could post them on, I suppose.

May Not

Almost May Blossom
Almost May Blossom

Google and I were looking around for something interesting to say about May Blossom without having to go into all that “Ne’er cast a clout ’til May is out” thing. The latest advice, by the way, is not to do so until June, as there may be a sudden cold snap in May. A sudden warm snap would be much more welcome, if you’re listening, up there in the meteorological department.

As I was saying, there I was, paging through list after list of reasons to keep your clothes on when I noticed something interesting. In amongst all the items that Google had managed to find, were quite a number suggesting that we should change the words to say “Ne’er cast a clout ’til April was out”. This was because the May Blossom was appearing earlier and earlier and now the Hawthorn trees were mostly in flower by early April. Then I noticed that the date of all these posts, calling on the Gods of Global Warming, were from 2007.

Here we are in 2013, with May almost over, and it doesn’t look as if this tree, at any rate, will manage to produce blossom in the next week. May blossom in June, whatever next?

There are those who believe that the next Ice Age is on the way. There are those who are convinced that Global Warming will destroy life as we know it. There are those who believe it all went wrong when we stopped exploding atom bombs in the atmosphere. Then, there are those who believe that there is no long term strategy and we just get weather.

First Footing

Marsh Marigold And A Robin
Marsh Marigold And A Robin

Lament (Part XVIIII)

If your Ice Age went away and didn’t tell you why,
someone must have said something to make it say goodbye.
It would leave the place tidy, scrapped nice and clean,
a little damp here and there perhaps, but not a trace of green.
As all that water drained away you’d just have one big bog.
Not much to write home about unless you’re a duck or a frog.
You really wouldn’t want to live in all that wet and cold,
unless of course you’re a King Cup, a Marsh Marigold.