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Our Weird Weather

This week: Our Weird Weather; A walk on the wild side;

A walk through the maquis
A walk through the Maquis

The clock change last Sunday morning has meant that it is now dusk by 17:00 and dark by 17:30. And that is on clear days.

When there is thick cloud, then I need lights on by mid-afternoon if I am working inside.

I was in the Adriatic Sea again this week and took my pool thermometer with me. The water temperature was just over 22ºC. I have never before been swimming in the sea here in November!

After coming back, I washed my seven metre foil-board wing in fresh water before letting it dry and folding it up.

Drying my wing
Drying my foil-board wing

I have a couple of wetsuits, both “bolero” and full suit size, but suspect it will be next year before I take the board out again.

As well as sunshine, we have had some wet days this week too.

I picked the last of my early Mandarins and turned them into juice, along with some Pomegranates.

Those trees which do change colour are really at their best at the moment. However probably 95% of the trees and shrubs around my home are evergreen, so there is just a barely perceptible change in the shade of green in their leaves.

Splashes of autumn colour
Splashes of autumn colour

I picked my table olives this week. At least I picked some of them, until I realised that every single drupe has been bitten by an Olive Fly.

From a distance the olives look plump and well formed. They are from the variety Kalamata, a Greek brown dessert olive, usually pickled in vinegar or olive oil.

However once I started picking them, there was not a single one which was fit to be preserved. The whole crop is a “write off”.

Diseased olives
Diseased olives

I don’t spray any of my fruit trees, or anything else for that matter with insecticide. However my neighbours use pheromone traps in bottles, hung from the branches of their olive trees.

I think I may need to investigate this next year…

Our Weird Weather

2023 has been a remarkable year for weather, not just here in Europe, but around the world.

The daily temperatures around md-day are still in the mid twenties Celsius. Overnight and as the nights lengthen, they are dropping to 14ºC.

Although sunrise gets later and sunset earlier by two minutes at either end of the day, when the sun is out, there is still considerable warmth to be felt.

Both maximum and minimum temperatures are more than three degrees above the average.

Average high and low temperatures to November
Average high and low temperatures to November

I am still being bitten by mosquitoes – twice just today. Usually the last bight is early October. However with climate breakdown, they are living longer, reproducing more frequently and surviving over the winter.

However here we are in the “Winter wet and mild” climate zone. When it rains, it is often in the form of heavy “thunder” rain. We are more than 200mm above the average for this point in the year.

Rainfall to November
Rainfall to November

The combination of significant additional rainfall, together with warmth has encouraged these Narcissi to flower this week. They are usually in flower at Christmas.

Narcissi flowers
Narcissi flowers

What has been exceptional for the past fortnight has been the coastal flooding.

Multiple times every day, some times for hours at a time, the sea has overtopped the harbour wall in Stari Grad.

I was in town this morning, to check on a friend’s house which has been flooded, and the water was once again flowing across the streets.

I park on higher ground and keep well away from the salt water.

Sea water covers the road in central Stari Grad.
Sea water covers the road in central Stari Grad

However today the water was just a minor inconvenience when compared to earlier in the week.

A cyclone in the Adriatic created strong winds which together with low barometric pressure caused the tide height to be more than 60cm above normal.

This is Marko’s where I usually call for coffee. A surge of sea water raised the water to the height of the chair seats.

Marko's in Trg Ploča, Stari Grad
Marko’s in Trg Ploča, Stari Grad – photo from Facebook

There is little that will keep this volume and weight of fast flowing water out of unprotected buildings.

Not far away, vehicles were up to their axles in 40cm of salt water.

Outside Tommy's Supermarket
Outside Tommy’s Supermarket

A walk on the wild side

With warm sunny days, I have made the most of the opportunities to walk the paths and green lanes around my home this week.

As the sun is now low in the sky, there are huge contrasts between sunlit glades and where the path is in the shadow of tall trees.

I struggle with my camera to adequately capture the high dynamic range between the areas of light and shade.

Sunlight and shadow
Sunlight and shadow

It has been really warm in the sunshine, even though we are already in November.

View through the Olives to St. Michael's Church
View through the Olives to St. Michael’s Church

I regularly check for wild flowers on my walks. All I have found this week have been a few Daisies, bright yellow Hawkbits and occasional patches of lilac blue Scilla.

However when I got home and examined the photo of the blue flowers, they are definitely not Scilla.

Looking closely, the petals have the shape of an orchid, so I don’t know what they are.

Another unidentified wild flower
Another unidentified wild flower

The lichens are thriving in the warm, moist conditions. Everywhere you walk, they are by the sides of the paths.

Lichen by the path
Lichen by the path

Also in evidence are Fungi. There are edible fungi which grow in the Maquis, but I don’t know which is which so I avoid them all.

An edible Fungi??
An edible Fungi??

There is still considerable warmth in the sun and what better way is there to enjoy it but to kick back and soak up the rays. Winter is only just around the corner…. NCG

Sunbathing in November
Sunbathing in November