Now With the Coming of Summer….

As you do on days like this: Abbeyfeale women, Maureen McAuliffe (left) and Margaret Harnett enjoying some seasonal fare on Tomo Burke’s window in Castleisland while waiting for their bus on Friday afternoon.   ©Photograph: John Reidy

Is it my imagination, or is the ground really far drier this early in the year than it was at this time last year?

There is, I think, less water in rivers and streams and they seem to be running low faster than in recent years.

If that is so, we could be in for a summer of severe water shortages in places if we get anything like last year’s truly amazing spell.

The signs are well and truly here. The most obvious is the sight of people walking around in shorts and tee-shirts and getting burned and the ever popular and seasonal ice cream cone or 99.

Butterflies and Bees

Around all of this, growth is sprouting forth in all its seasonal beauty and farmers are reaping an early harvest of fodder – and that can only be good for the sector and for the country.

The scents and signs of summer are well and truly here. Bees and butterflies are going about their business with more global consideration, environmental friendliness and far more importance than anything our own, comparatively destructive, human species engages in on a daily basis.

Growing Awareness

Having said that, there is a ‘growing’ awareness of what we should be doing and how we can all do our bit for this amazing planet.

Not cutting lawns or even ‘wild areas’ too soon is a great bit of advice from the local Tidy Towns group earlier this year.

The Thought that Counts

The group’s policy of letting a generous margin along by the river walk is an example.

While the grass has to be cut along by the river-side paths for the ubiquitous health and safety reasons, the remaining wild margin represents the thought that counts in this instance.

Strimmers and Weed Killers

The strimmer, in the world of men’s toys, and its vroom, vroom appeal to some, has signalled the downfall of many ditches and hedges in rural Kerry and its rarely acknowledged disastrous consequences.

I bet we’ve all noticed stretches of roadside ditches – usually at either side of a new bungalow, killed off and taking on the dying, raw sienna with turkey umber streaks and flecks appearance after being dosed with weedkiller.

We’re All Environmentalists

We’re all environmentalists. We have no choice as we were born into this environment.

However, we can be good environmentalists by simply taking in the beauty of our surroundings and acknowledging and considering the multitude of species with which we share this space we occupy for little more than the blink of an eye in the greater scheme of time.

Enjoy your ice cream, your summer and your wine with a little pause for thought for the environment around you – while you’re here – anois ar theacht an tsamhraidh.

With that in mind I took a look at the Met Éireann forecast for the week ahead and it’s only charming.

Today – Monday 13th May

Today, Monday will be a dry and mostly sunny day. Temperatures will be a bit higher, between 16 and 20 degrees in the afternoon. Southerly winds will be mostly moderate, and a little fresher near some coasts.

National Outlook

Dry and settled weather for most of the week ahead.

Tuesday and Wednesday
Tuesday and Wednesday will be dry days but there may be more in the way of cloud. Highest temperatures of 14 to 19 degrees, coolest along east and south coasts and warmest in western and northwestern areas.

Southeast breezes will be mostly moderate in strength but fresh along the southwest coast.
Thursday and Friday
Thursday and Friday are also looking largely dry with sunny spells, just a chance of some rain on west coasts and a few isolated showers elsewhere.

Winds will turn more easterly and afternoon temperatures will generally be between 14 and 17 degrees.
It looks like it will become a bit more unsettled next weekend with spells of rain moving in from the east, though current indications are that rainfall amounts will be generally small.

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