The day after Hurricane Ophelia
The below images taken during on a walk up in the Grange hills between south county Kilkenny and Tipperary are from lunch time today, looking at them its hard to believe that only yesterday, Ireland for the first time ever in its history was hit by a full Hurricane force storm. Yesterday between the hours of 9am for county’s Kerry and Cork and then around 2pm for ourselves locally we had storm force winds of between 150kph and 130kph.
In the Morning the Irish met office via the media had informed everyone to stay inside and had issued a RED weather alert for the complete country, again for the first time in Irish history. In a very impressive way, almost everyone pulled a chair close to the fire and waited for Ophelia to arrive. When she finally did get to county Kilkenny, she did not come calling slowly or with any manners, she just came at us with full force gusts and left some three hours later. We have had two such storms locally since 2014 with storm Darwin back in February 2014, which I posted on back then, Darwin being however just a very strong Atlantic storm. During both these storms you can do little but sit and wait, however listening and looking out of the window is just shocking and basically very hard to do.
In 2014 when Darwin left she left with many of our local forests lying on the floor, as such I think Ophelia had little left to get her teeth into, as its only just over two years in the forests themselves since, the areas Darwin cleared are still empty of trees.
Yesterday evening we had many roads blocked with roadside trees, along with trees down on the river banks and in public parks .
The main effects this time nationally has been the loss of power with some 360,000 homes left without any electric supply, Ireland’s water systems also works mainly from electric water pumps so this supply for many has also been cut off.
This morning the weather had returned to normal , in fact it was a great and clear and sunny day, walking around at lunchtime for me the most noticeable thing is that the trees have all been stripped of any leaves, they have gone from the start of autumn colors to winter nakedness in only 3 hours, it’s really noticeable that instead of yellow and brown leaves sitting by the road sides, having naturally fallen, we have roadsides covered in green.
So Goodbye Ophelia and welcome to a peaceful sunny Tuesday in the Irish landscape, even if we are still in shock and only just starting to recover ……
Gallery from 17th Oct 2017 – the day after Ophelia
I first came across the paintings of Artist Paul Walls at an exhibition called “Currents”, held in the old friary building in Callan, County Kilkenny 2004, and instantly fell in love with his painting style and the resulting art works he produces.
I think it would be fair to say that Paul uses paint in a very loose and direct way on the canvas, I like this style very much!. Paul is one of those artists who’s work you actual need to see face to face to get a true feeling for their paintings and with Paul the depth and movement that each brush stroke has.
I feel that this style of painting is perfect for the subjects Paul captures, (Irish coastlines and countryside) on wet and windy days, days that we do so often get here.
Even when its not raining in Ireland its often windy and the above painting captures this mood so very well, Paul’s use of paint in the trees above the boats I feel captures the movement in a typical Irish day.
There will always be people who like different types of painting styles, some loving very photo realistic landscapes , others love abstract work, personally what I love most about Paul’s work is the overwhelming sense that he has captures a very active landscape and worked with it in a very pro-active fashion.
When viewing Paul’s painting you feel like you have first hand experience of the rain and the cliffs and the stormy sea.
This is the link to Paul Walls web site : Artists Paul walls
Winter weather predictions 2014/2015
Each year here in Ireland we always get a run pre-Christmas winter weather predictions, some come from a very famous Donegal Postman others from guru Ken Ring, Mostly these predictions are just great entertainment and raise hope of some snow during the dark winter days.
This Morning I read two reports that we are about to be hit with two months of arctic conditions the Article below is predicting a winter as bad as 1963 !!
Well I guess we will have to all wait and see, some snow would be fun but lets hope the weather is not as bad as this report is predicting !!!
From the Irish Mirror :
Ireland could soon be shivering through a repeat of the 1963 Big Freeze – the worst winter for more than 200 years.
A leading weather expert today warned that Ireland and the UK will be hit by an Arctic blast which is set to arrive over New Year and ice blast the region for at least a month. Some parts could be blanketed with up to five feet of snow with daytime temperatures hovering around zero and overnight lows down to a bone-numbing -15C. Forecaster James Madden believes the white-out will rival the infamous winter of 1963 when Ireland virtually came to standstill in a massive freeze-up which lasted nearly three months.
Back then blizzards lashed the country over the Christmas holidays and on New Year’s Eve 1962, 45 centimetres of snow blanketed of the country and several deaths were reported.
Snow fall in Leitrim
The weather expert fears a “colossal” area of much colder than average surface water in the Mid Atlantic will affect the Gulf Stream. This would leave this country and the UK exposed to a prolonged Siberian blast from northerly winds. James said: “This is of quite some significance as the Gulf Stream effectively acts as a heat machine for our shores, in particular, during our winter months.
“Without the influence of this vital heat source, we can expect a horrific winter to develop with frequent blizzards/strong winds and extremely cold conditions.
“During the winter period of 1962/63 the famous big freeze took a hold of the country from around Christmas until the spring of the following year because of a similar situation.
“We could be looking at a very similar time-frame and scale of events this time around.
“I don’t like saying this but the factors are there for an extremely cold spell in January which will possibly extend into February.
On the 12th of February this year Ireland was hit by the remains of a hurricane given the name of Darwin, by the time it hit us it was down rated to a storm but its power was truly stunning.
Locally in counties Tipperary and Kilkenny there was a lot of damage to peoples property and farm building but the forests and their trees where the most affected. Irish Forestry lost almost one years worth of timber , the same amount that would have been harvested in 2014.
It is only in the last month that most of the local fallen trees have been removed, sadly however to do this it has meant clear felling very large areas of our local woodlands.
The images here where taken during the the year and include the after effects of the storm and then images of Forest workers during the process of clearing some one sq mile of Breanomore forest near the mountain of Slievenamon, County Tipperary.
The last set of images show how the forest looks now, a vast area has been cleared. The effects of Storm Darwin are still very clear even now in November and the work to remove damaged and fallen trees will continue for sometime to come.
A true reminder of the power of nature.
The results of the February storms
Forest workers clearing the trees
The Forest after being cleared
This Morning here in Ireland is a very wet one with some 20mm of rain is expected here in county Kilkenny before midday.
So what better way to free yourself on this Autumn day than with a rainy day poem :
The Rainy Day
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
The day is cold, and dark, and dreary;
It rains,and the wind is never weary;
The vine still clings to the mouldering wall,
But at every gust the dead leaves fall,
And the day is dark and dreary.
My life is cold, and dark, and dreary;
It rains,and the wind is never weary;
My thoughts still cling to the mouldering past,
But the hopes of youth fall thick in the blast,
And the days are dark and dreary.
Be still, sad heart, and cease repining;
Behind the clouds is the sun still shining;
Thy fate is the common fate of all,
Into each life some rain must fall,
Some days must be dark and dreary.
After The Storm
By : Boris Pasternak
The air is full of after-thunder freshness,
And everything rejoices and revives.
With the whole outburst of its purple clusters
The lilac drinks the air of paradise.
The gutters overflow; the change of weather
Makes all you see appear alive and new.
Meanwhile the shades of sky are growing lighter,
Beyond the blackest cloud the height is blue.
An artist’s hand, with mastery still greater
Wipes dirt and dust off objects in his path.
Reality and life, the past and present,
Emerge transformed out of his colour-bath.
The memory of over half a lifetime
Like swiftly passing thunder dies away.
The century is no more under wardship:
High time to let the future have its say.
It is not revolutions and upheavals
That clear the road to new and better days,
But revelations, lavishness and torments
Of someone’s soul, inspired and ablaze.