Thursday, August 23, 2007

Rising damp?

The summer, such as it was, draws to a close. Showers still sweep in off of the Atlantic with predictable regularity, as they have been doing all summer long. The grass in the upper field has a harried, hangdog look. The seed in the bird feeders is sprouting. The ground is sodden.

My walking boots haven't had the opportunity to dry out. They have a fine wet stink to them; I might as well walk the bogs in my socks. As I write, Mount Eagle spreads its usual blanket of grey mist over the parish. They say the sun will be out for the next few days. We'll wait and see.

My writing studio is snug and dry. It is built into the hill and covered with earth, like a Hobbit house. At the front, big windows look out over Ventry Harbor, Dingle Bay, the Atlantic -- a panorama of dubious weather.

The plants at the windows press their leaves against the glass as if begging for a few rays of sunshine. The morning glory leaves are bigger than ever, but not a blossom to be seen. The tomato plants are falling into themselves under a weight of unripened fruit. The cukes and peas and leeks have made but a grudging return on what they must surely feel was an underabundance of warmth and light. I keep them watered. Their roots are as waterlogged as my boots.

Even the Met (the Irish Meteorological Office) has taken to blaming the wet weather on global warming. I would be more circumspect in assigning cause. The Irish weather was never good. I recall many Julys and Augusts wetter than this one. Time to start thinking about tossing the plants into the compost. Give them another chance next summer.