Summer 2023 Continues
Well, the weather seems to be showing no signs of breaking yet. Every day for the past 3 weeks has seen wall to wall sunshine. Strong NE winds blow all morning as well and often continue to blow all day until evening. We’re talking 30 knots plus all day long here in Ynyslas. Of course, it’s quite a localised effect and you don’t have to go far to find calmer conditions but it just hasn’t stopped here. The few days over the past 3 weeks where the wind has dropped, it soon fills in from then NW as a sea breeze replaces the NE’s. I did manage to make the most of this whilst by windsurfing a few times, but I’ve had an infection in my finger and haven’t been able to get out over the past few days.
The solar panels have been doing well in this weather. I actually need to clean them off as they are quite dusty but we made 29.6kWh the other day, a new record for us. I reckon if they were clean we could top 30kWh. The max power output each day has been very stable too – topping out at around 3650 Watts which is the limit of the inverter. (You can see this in the red line on the chart below.
The monthly yields have picked up too with a good month in May and June off to a good start as well. What you’d expect at this time of year really.
We’ve had no rain at all for over 3 weeks either.
The lack of rain, the strong sunshine and the winds have all led to everything becoming a little parched in the garden. The grass is quickly becoming a brown dust bowl. The water butts are running dry. The level of water in the pond has dropped and all around things are beginning to struggle with the drought-like conditions.
Birds in the Garden
The birds are beginning to struggle too. The dry conditions make it difficult for them to find food so they have been more visible than usual. The water feature in the garden seems to be a godsend for them. They literally queue up to use it all day long and then take turns to drink from and bathe in it. They sit right on top of the bubbling water and use it like a little jacuzzi.
There hasn’t been anything too exciting using it this way, mainly sparrows, starlings and the occasional blackbird. I have also seen the goldfinches bathing in the pond, which is nice to see.
We’ve also got a pied wagtail nesting in the new log store, a blackbird nesting in the hydrangea and magpies nesting on top of an ivy-covered post. There seem to be birds everywhere at the moment.
I haven’t been able to do much in the garden this week thanks to a finger infection (more on that in another post!). I did clear a whole load of nettles from around the new hawthorn trees last week. They were completely smothering the hawthorns but now they’ve gone the baby trees seem to be doing quite well.
If they carry on like this we should have a nice hedge along the back of the garden in a couple of years – lots of new nesting sites for the birds and hopefully plenty of flowers for the bees.
The pond is coming on nicely. There’s nothing new in it this week, but plenty of invertebrate life so I’m ever hopeful that an amphibian will turn up at some point.
It’s been too windy or too sunny to really sit out in the garden. The chairs in the shade also get the full force of the wind at the moment. But here’s a photo from the bottom of the garden looking back towards the house – a view I don’t share that often and probably where we’d be sat if it wasn’t always so windy!
So, with the garden a little too windy to sit in we’ve been making the most of the new conservatory ceiling and sitting there instead. The cat seems to like it too. Although she refuses to use her new cat tree!