Shooting the Breeze
February 4, 2011 § 11 Comments
One of the most exciting things in the garden, especially at this time of the year, is snowdrops. But, because there is already enough snowdroppery in the cyber-ether and in the gardening pages, I’m not going to talk about them here.
Instead, I’d like to borrow your attention for just a minute or two, and talk about something else thrilling: the wind. We’re having a rather rousing gale right now. A gale is calibrated at 8 on the Beaufort Scale: winds are 62–74 kilometres per hour and at sea the waves can be 5.5 to 7.5 metres tall. If you’re like me, and are still struggling with the metric system, let me translate that into imperial language for everybody’s comfort: 39–46 miles per hour and 18–25 feet high.
Here is a wobbly sliver of Dublin Bay as seen from our balcony. The steeple is on the Mariner’s Church, which I love, because you can see the sky through its ornate perforations. (Sorry for the buffeting wind noises in this and the other videos. My motion picture skills are minimal, which is why these are all short and sweet.)
Back in the garden, the breeze is doing interesting things to the plants. I’d show you an overall picture, but pride prevents me, as the place was devastated by the snow, and there are far too many bare sticks and blank patches of soil. Instead, let me give you a few seconds of a New Zealand grass, Chionochloa rigida, or the narrow-leaf snow tussock, swishing its tresses in the wind. Incidentally, this plant, which is normally a kind of dim-green colour, went a fetching strawberry blonde after the big snow.
And here we have a few seconds of a bamboo (Phyllostachys vivax ‘Aureocaulis’) doing some fancy dipping and diving:
And finally, I know I said I wouldn’t talk about them, but I didn’t promise not to show them to you: here is a little bunch of snowdrops. They’re Galanthus elwesii, but what cultivar, subspecies or form, I don’t know. The green markings on the inner perianth segments are almost an “x” instead of the usual upturned “u”. If anyone can help me identify them, I’d be grateful. The temperature today, incidentally, is 14 degrees Centigrade (57 F), so the snowdrop flowers are wide open for business. But it’s far too windy for bees to be about, so there will be no customers.
Gorgeous. I like the snowdrop video best, it’s like they’re all having a good chinwag x
What a fab post.
And if you open all your videos at once, half close your eyes, squint a lot and use your imagination a tiny bit, then you kind of have the garden overview that you mention you’re missing.
Love your short videos. The sound of the wind just adds to the effect – wouldn’t be right without it!
[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jane Powers, Ann-Marie Powell, gardenshowirl, Kate Bradbury, Viki and others. Viki said: RT @PowersFlowers: New blog post, in which I barely mention snowdrops, but get rather windy: http://bit.ly/f1Sn2W […]
Thank you, all! I like the sound of some wind, but not quite so much. I was thinking I could stick a bit of sponge onto the camera mic as a baffle, but I have to work out how to affix it without damaging the camera. Might be a rubber band job!
really enjoyed listening to all 4 wind videos at the same time. All the cobwebs are well and truly blown now. Thanks for sharing.
dancing snowdrops to the sound of the wind…delightful
It would be a pity if snowdrops became a garden cliche. In parts of the north of this country, they are nature’s first reassuring sign of winter’s last gasp. Thank you for the joyful reminder of snowdrop’s aspiring garden personality.
What a fabulous view from your balcony! I would be out there all day hypnotised by watching the ‘white horses’ on the sea. Such a shame the atmospheric fog horn has gone.
Thanks Michael, “Peter” and Miss Sock. The view from the balcony is more chaotic than it seems here: I cut out the half-kilometre of buildings that are in the foreground!
I took a walk on Garretstown beach (Cork) during the storm and it was insane; water being whipped across the sand (separate from the regular waves, which themselves were pretty scary), the topography of the beach itself apparently changed by the wind and water, and in the midst of it all one brave fella having a whale of a time kite surfing.
I was raging I hadn’t brought along my trusty camera …