Friday, May 14, 2010

April Showers - in May! Whats up with that?

When people ask me when is the best time to travel to Ireland, I always say “Go in May.”  At this time of the year the weather is pretty good, though in Ireland that is never guaranteed, but at least the rain will be warmer.  The apple blossom will be out, and County Armagh turns pink and frothy with it - beautiful.  In green fields,  hillsides and mountains, the dark yellow gorse flowers spill their sweet, coconut scent into the air.  Bluebells blossom in drifts on woodland floors.  Am I sounding homesick?

Newcastle, Co. Down, Ireland, May 2009
Back in those days this blog wasn't even a twinkle in my eye, so unfortunately, I have no photos of these blooms from home.  Instead, I shall sprinkle this post with a few pictures that I took last Sunday in honor of May's Bloom Day.
Last year, I went home in May for my Mums birthday, another reason why I hate to miss May in Ireland. The weather was awful!  At one stage I was wearing every single item of clothing I had packed and brought with me.  I’m a shameless wussy – Note, I did say Wussy!  
It was also the first time I noticed just how optimistic the Irish are.  As I shivered my way around high street shops, I noticed that the clothes on the racks were more suitable for hot summers and Tropical climates.  Where were the layers of sheep’s wool sweaters to keep these 'poor creathurs' warm in the summer rain? 
As I tried to commiserate with them about the gale force winds and horizontal rain we encountered in May, 2009, the standard reply was, “Sure, a bad spring means a hot summer!”  The rumored heat wave never did strike last year, as it rarely does, but still the Irish live in hope that some summer it will be warm enough to wear their strappy dresses and high heeled sandals (and that’s just the guys!)
I’ve softened to the easy climate of California, and though it’s May, I’m still wearing socks and shoes…In Ireland, I’d have ditched the socks in order to feel that summer was just around the corner.  Chilblains or no chilblains, I’d sport those blue feet with pride and the attitude “I’ll look summery, even if it kills me” (pneumonia most likely)!
This is the only the second time I have ever spent May outside Ireland.  The last time I was in the South Pacific.  It was hard - missing my mum’s birthday, feeling guilty, lying on the white sand beaches, by the Blue Lagoon (from the movie), swimming in bathtub-warm, azure-blue water.  OK - so it wasn’t that hard.  Who am I kidding?
Even with the above average rainfall this month, May is beautiful in California too. Ironically, last weekend, after my husband installed the drip irrigation system in the garden, it rained for two days!  Even in California the weather is out to spite me.  In 2007, back when I still lived in Ireland, we had a lovely sunny day and I, realizing that I didn’t have a sun seat, ordered one to be delivered to my apartment.  From the day it arrived, it rained – I left for California before I ever got a chance to take the plastic wrap off it!
That wasn't the first time I experienced weird rain Karma.  In 2003, I toured the Australian Outback – they’d had years of drought – no rain at all.  We weren’t even allowed to flush the toilets for Number Ones!  I was there a day – and it rained…And Rained…AND RAINED!  At least we were permitted to flush the loo!
After the rain on Sunday, my poor husband, who was trying to finish off a few bits and pieces of the irrigation system (in the rain - go figure!) called me out with the camera to take pictures of the rain drops.  As an Irish person, I've probably never appreciated rain as much as I do now, in California.
 Byddi Lee

15 comments:

  1. No matter where we are, we still talk about the rain, without it, we probably have nothing to talk about, mmm... actually, without it, nothing will live :) fantastic pictures....

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  2. I guess rain is pretty important - though, knowing me, I'd find something to talk about! LOL!

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  3. Sounds like you make the best of the weather where ever you are. It's hard to be away from home but by the looks of things you are enjoying a nice garden, rain or shine.

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  4. You can't change the weather! So it's best not to fight it - though we can moan about it plenty. You're right about being away from home - it has its good points and its bad points...

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  5. I do enjoy your sense of humour about the weather in Ireland. And all the lovely blooms in your photos are certainly sporting have rain drops which looks rather lovely actually. Here in Victoria, we get rain all winter and then switch to drought for the summer. Personally, I'd love it if it rained in the evenings a few times a week but that's just dreaming.

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  6. Hi Byddi just wanted to say hello as I see its your first GBBD post and you have some lovely blooms in the garden.


    I don't want to make you homesick! thinking about where the Mountains of Mourne sweep down to the sea!

    I was over last month and its wasn't pink but yellow with all the gorse bushes out in bloom. I took a photo from the same spot but it was a beautiful sunny day that day. If you go over to my blog and check out my Narnia posts I've loads of pics including my favourite of all places Tollymore.

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  7. Wonderful blooms in the garden, you need to stop your rain dance. Have a wonderful weekend:)

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  8. I loved the photos of your blooms with the raindrops still clinging to them. I was so enraptured by your story of Ireland. We have been there twice in September both times. I would so love to go back soon. It is my favourite place to visit. Valerie

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  9. I know what you mean Helen. If I could control the weather it would rain every night but be sunny all day - that works well, even if you are camping!

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  10. Rosie - your photos are beautiful! They make the place so mystical. I too love the Chronicle of Narnia. I liked your articles very much. I love the graphics in your Blog! What a happy place to visit!

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  11. A Garden of Threads - I've been trying to stop dancing altogether but it gives for more rain tomorrow!

    Valerie - I'm so glad you enjoy your trips to Ireland. I know I shouldn't give it such bad press re weather. It is a great holiday destination and the craic is ninety! :-) I must write more posts about Ireland. When Global warming makes it too hot to live in California maybe we'll move back...

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  12. I discovered your blog through BlogUpp and I love it. I love the happy bright colors. Your writing and your photos are extremely lovely. Great job.

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  13. Leeuna - thank you, not just for visiting my site but for leaving such a lovely comment. Plus it's good to know that blogupp is actually sending folk my way! The biggest plus was getting to link back to your site - congrats on your sunshine award and I loved your post about eating pork. Good luck with that - I give you until the first time you smell bacon again.... :-)

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  14. Hi Cuz, sounds like you have a talent for bringing rain with you where ever you go! Maybe you picked up the rain 'gift' a long time ago back on the reservation in Canada? Beautiful pictures, BTW!

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  15. I think you could be right, Greg! But it also works in ski resorts, and I bring snow instead of rain which makes me much more popular! Probably a Canadian thing too...

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