12 July 2010

Rain and Snow

Just a short update, as there's not much to tell... Brilliant rain for the month of June. Hooray! We got a wonderful 71mm - fully 65% above the mean for June. This meant that there was sufficient water in the dam to warrant re-priming the pump. Before the rain the inlet pipe was high and dry.

Now here we are only 1/3rd into July, and a rainfall of 45mm over the past couple of days means that we're already reaching the mean rainfall for July. It's plenty cold, so there's been quite heavy snow on the surrounding mountains. We first saw the snow while returning from a trip to Cape Town for the past week, and, although snow on the local mountains is not unusual for Winters, I doubt we have ever seen snow so low down the slopes! Of course it mostly melted in last-night's rains and today's follow-up sunny and warm weather, but it's still pretty early for snow around here. Small surprise for our many (many!) foreign visitors who thought of Africa as The Hot Continent!

Notwithstanding this great rain, we're still far from confident that the drought has broken. Optimistic, yes. Hopeful, always. But the fact remains that the rainfalls we're seeing still represent "abnormal" weather patterns: Winter is "usually" our dry season.

Oh, well. In hope and optimism I've planted some Swiss Chard, Carrots, Shallots and Salad Greens (Lettuce, Red Mustard and Rocket, semi-mixed-up.) All are up except the salad stuff which still needs a few more days.It's far too late for Cabbage tribe, Broad Beans or grains, so we've mostly missed out on the Winter growing season. Just holding thumbs for Spring. I guess that means I should get busy preparing Spring beds and making compost.

PS: Hard luck, Netherlands! I was rooting for you guys. Spain played brilliantly, though!

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