Thursday, February 22, 2007

Scotland- Wild & Mild

It’s raining here today but after a few days of bright skies l do not mind so much. l think to myself, how mild this past year has been overall. Up in the back garden the Mallow is still in flower and some Daffodils are already out. In general, January and February are normally the coldest months for Scotland so this is quite unusual.
Given our latitude it really beggars belief that our climate IS so mild. Have a look at the map- see how far North we are!
I've been thinking a lot lately about blogging friends around the world, e.g. Kerri in Upstate NY with so much snow and Alice and others, including my sister 'Down Under' , so hot and in need of rain.
To a large extent, the winter temperature in Scotland/British Isles is influenced by the surface temperature of the surrounding sea. We owe much to the ‘Gulf Stream’ or ‘Mid Atlantic Drift' and its warming effects for this latitude. There’s even a difference it temperature between the West and East Scotland given that the Gulf Stream flows up the Western side. The Isle of Jura is a good example of the 'micro-climate' you can get in this area. The sea is temperate and the climate mild, allowing tropical plants such as palm trees to flourish.
The Gulf Stream is one of the strongest ocean currents in the world. It moves warm water from the Gulf of Mexico north into the Atlantic and eventually flows up to us here. Anyone want to send a message in a bottle? :)
However it must also be noted that with the high latitude of Scotland comes short winter days and long summer ones with extended twilight. The need for heavy curtains is great or else we would never get the bairns to sleep. “Mummy, why do l need to go to bed, it’s still light outside?” On the longest day there is no complete darkness up north at all.
For me a good indication that spring is on the way is the fact that the days start to ‘open up’ again. When this happens l tend to busy myself in the garden. Unfortunately my local garden nursery does not open until March 1st so l have been doing other things like adding manure to the flower beds (fun) and aerating the lawn.

“Whether the weather be fine, Whether the weather be not, Whether the weather be cold, Whether the weather be hot, We'll weather the weather, Whatever the whether, Whether we like it or not”


7 comments:

Connie said...

Wonder whether the weather will be pleasant today??

Hoping for a little sunshine today.
Have fun working in the flower beds.

Hugs,
Connie

Susie said...

I didn't realize just how far north Scotland really was.
Very interesting post. We're pouring rain here today after lots of sunshine.
Loved your little quote at the end of the post!
xoxo

CJ said...

You can't imagine how I love your Blog...I learn so much from it and you always give these wonderful links. Thanks to you, I'm learning about my new home! :)

Kentucky Gal said...

I loved the quote...very fitting!!
I just want to see the ground again...would that be too much to ask...lol!!
:-D

Pamela said...

Horizon, your mention the Gulf of Mexico, which is right out our back door, and the powerful Gulf stream that brings the warm waters up through the Atlantic to you. So the next time I go I will put our two blog html's with a message in a bottle and see if anyone ever comments. It will be like the story of the red balloon! Sound good? lol

Tea & Margaritas in My Garden said...

The weather seems unusual here too in Ontario. The first two months of winter were like autumn and now we have masses of snow that won`t go away and colder temperatures than normal. Yesterday in a snow storm I atually witnessed thunder and lightning! I hope spring hasn`t forgotten about us here.

tea
xo

Kerri said...

Just the other day Ross and I were discussing how the gulf stream affects your weather in Scotland. I'm learning so much from you about your corner of the world...an area that's always been close to my heart (all of the UK). Perhaps I feel a kinship because my dad came out from England to Australia at the age of 8.
The message in a bottle suggestion made me laugh, and then Pamela's reply as well :)
We heard thunder last night too, as Tea mentioned. Our weather has been the same as hers. We're directly below Ontario.
I just now heard the sparrows burst into song..or perhaps they were fighting :) They are the only other birds we can hear sometimes here inside the closed house.
Stay warm! xox

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