Wednesday, 29 June 2016

The beginning of the end of the seasons?

OK, you may think the title is a bit dramatic, but from what I've just been reading, some unprecedented stuff has been happening to the jet stream in June 2016, and we really don't know what the end result will be.

As you may know, the jet stream circles the Earth in the upper atmosphere in both the northern and southern hemispheres. Due to the poles warming up, the jet stream has been more erratic in recent years, and been meandering around a bit, sending weird weather further south across Europe and other places. However, heat at the equator causes air to rise, effectively forming a barrier which the jet stream cannot cross, separating the two hemispheres. But not this summer, when a climate-change-boosted El Nino has now transitioned into the related La Nina. The centre of the image below image (taken from here) shows the jet stream crossing the equator from North to South.


There's more info in Robert Scribbler's blog here, but the general idea is that this is allowing summer and winter air to mix, and it has never happened during the time we've been watching the jet stream. The impact is unknown, but it could in theory reduce the differences between summer and winter, and potentially make our climate and weather even more unstable.

If you're interested in further background, there's an interesting 15 minute video here, but be warned it is quite technical!



Mike

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Saturday, 23 April 2016

The woodland turns white and blue...

The woods are now at an especially beautiful stage, where for a week or two there are both Wood Anemone and Bluebells out:

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The whole woodland floor has really greened up:
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The trees are catching up now as well. Birch are always pretty early coming into leaf:
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As is Hawthorn:
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But the Oak is now catching up too:
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And even the Sweet Chestnut has some leaves appearing:
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It won't be long before you can't see very far through the woods, as the leaves fill in the gaps and create shade.

Meanwhile, our tame pheasants are still busy gobbling up any spilled seed from the bird feeder. Here's the male one keeping a watchful eye over his two females!
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Mike

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Sunday, 10 April 2016

Springtime in the woods and a happy pheasant

The woods are finally waking up to Spring! The Wood Anemones have got going, despite my worries they were developing slowly compared to the Bluebells:

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But the Bluebells are on their way out too:
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As is the Broom in the wayleave
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And a wild Daffodil in Sweep Wood:
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The trees are getting going too, the Willow in the wayleave is in flower, with lots of catkins on display:
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The Birch trees are quite well into leaf now:
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And the Hornbeam is getting started:
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Here's the area we coppiced over the winter, which is now looking very green!
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The wildlife is busy too, lots of Bumble Bees around:
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And at least one of our tame pheasants is still around - they always make this noise when they eat the seed we've left for them:


Looking forward to some more sunny days in the woods soon!

Mike

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Friday, 25 March 2016

First bluebell bud this Spring

Last weekend in the woods I spotted the first Bluebell bud! I guess it won't be long now before we get our first flowers...

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The Wood Anemones are still struggling though, there's the odd one around:
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Most don't have any sign of flowers, and a bit sparse this year:
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There's been a lot of boar activity in the wood recently, but I think there must have been some deer around too, from the gnawing on this Ash tree, unless anyone has other ideas about what might have done it?
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The rabbits have been at it too, grazing the Bluebell leaves:
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Mike

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Monday, 14 March 2016

Gravity Light review

Some time ago I got a Gravity Light, having put some money into their crowd-funding project:

Gravity Light

Well, I finally got round to testing it out, so here's a short video review:

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