I was surprised yesterday to see my first swallows of 2020, 3 of them hunting in the garden for a few minutes. We’re experiencing the coldest weather this late in spring in my lifetime according to an article in the Trondheim newspaper yesterday, translating as “This burst of cold air from the North Pole is giving the coldest weather this late in the spring in 65 years”, my own arrival on this planet on 29th April 1955 coincided with this. In the UK “On the 17th May 1955, the heaviest SNOWFALL in London in May for about 100 years occurred when snow fell for 2-3 hours across practically the whole of England, accompanied by a widespread SEVERE GALE. One of the LATEST SNOWFALL events across southern England known”. I apologise for the disruption ;) I’m one of the few who enjoy this weather as it means that my perennial vegetables grow slower and actually yield more over a longer period as it’s too cold for flowers to appear but perfect for leaf production! I do feel sorry though for gardeners at higher elevations who will be getting a lot of snow this week :(
The swallows probably arrived on my birthday when the temperature crept over 10C! In this video they were flying over a maple tree whose flowers were trying to open! The 8 day forecast is just as cold with not a single day above 10C!
After the storm some days ago now, it was interesting to see how evenly the seed from Norway maple / sycamore and birch (spiss- og platanlønn og bjørk) was spread evenly over the whole garden…it’s easy to imagine how the more open parts of the garden would quickly transform to forest given the chance!
Most trees had an enormous production of seed and berries this year following the hot summer in 2018 and mild winter last year.
While most of the citizens of Europe and its plants are “cooking” in the heatwave, we are struggling to reach double figures up here and me and the plants are very happy with that :)
Our resident robin (rødstrupe) was nevertheless singing, balancing at the top of this spruce tree last night!
I was woken this morning to the sound of swallows (låvesvale) outside and a flock of some 15-20 birds were feeding low over the tree tops encouraged northwards last week by the warm weather over the whole of southern Norway and a week of temperatures close to 20C and a maximum of 22C in Trondheim. The temperature has now plummeted 15-20C and it’s rained! The hazy dusty warm weather due to farmers ploughing the dry land (a month of drought) in combination with the arrival of Saharan dust and pollen laden air is replaced with a heavy snow warning, although it’s unlikely to be a frost here on the coast. So, those swallows are in for a shock!!
There was a little sprinkling of rain in the night again (here on a pot grown Phormium from NZ)! Although everything is still green, another couple of weeks of drought will stress the trees on my shallow soil….but hope is in sight with 4 rainy days forecast next week!
We’re enjoying record warm days for the first half of May….today is the 5th day above 20C…. enjoying an early breakfast in the garden …..and I can hear new arrivals whitethroat (tornsanger) and lesser whitethroat (møller) singing…
There’s an unusual wind direction, blowing a gale from the north east today, a sign of cold weather on the way as a low pressure system currently centred over southern Norway moves eastwards allowing high pressure to descend on us. The forecast is for cold stable weather for the next week with temperatures dropping to -15C at night, the coldest this winter..