I wondered was this how it began. Imperceptible, a slow realisation that it will never rain again and that, even though the sun shines, there is no warmth because a relentless wind blows from the icy north and dry east. Weeks it had been. Everything bleached and dry. Even the new nettles were going yellow. The fields were - still are - almost colourless.
Last year I planted the potatoes and onions just after St Patrick's Day, but this year there was no point - putting them into the cold cold ground would be a heartbreaking exercise. They would very likely fester providing food for the slugs. Except even the slugs were lying low in the bitter weather (an upside?).
But last weekend, even though the end of the world was nigh, I chanced it.
Potatoes on the right, onions on the left.
And here they are after the big coverup - the potatoes can fend for themselves being a foot under, but deer-trampled onions don't do well (four of the buggers charged across the track in front of me this afternoon as I was on my way out to do the shopping in Scarriff - heading in the direction of the Hollow. I'd better go and check...).
Finally the rain came on Wednesday. Still it looks almost like winter as I glance out of the sitting room window. It's disorientating having the evenings stretching so, but the branches still bare. The crab apple and spirea leaves in the Grove are, however, sneaking out of their buds. Brave souls!