November Sun and Snow
November started off quite unusually, with an Indian Summer, but swiftly changed to a typically damp and rainy month. The first geese showed up by the 2nd of November, and Many plants were still blooming, such as vetches, fumitory and geraniums.
But the stormy conditions quickly stripped the lingering leaves from the autumn trees, and broke branches. However, temperatures remained quite high, between 8 and 12 degrees celsius, and it was even possible to find an unfortunate Flower Crab Spider enthusiastically waiting for insect prey that would never come, on a Sweetbriar rose hip, the only available colour left in the late November garden.
And then, quite suddenly, the temperature suddenly dropped and a Siberian wind blew in from the North East. Snow comes to lowland Wicklow almost always from this direction, and did this time too. But few people can ever remember such heavy snow in Wicklow on this side of Christmas.
It covered the mountains and foothills, trapped people indoors, and made survival difficult for the wildlife. However, snow is always good for the landscap, and cold winters contribute to warm Wicklow summers. Extremes go together. And so November in Wicklow ended very coldly for all of its inhabitants, and many people were trapped in their homes or villages for days on end. It is a time when neighbours must look out for each other, and keep in close contact with the elderly and the infirm.
But the landscape also looks beautiful, although by the end of the month daytime is less than eight hours duration, and that is the hardest to deal with.