Monday, 12 January 2015

Recovering from the Storm

In  the north and west of Scotland we had a significant storm last Friday, early in the morning.   Wind speeds of 113 mph were recorded in Stornoway on Lewis, whilst our own anemometer, down in a relatively sheltered spot on the croft, picked up 58.8mph.  I think that is the highest we have seen and more exposed parts of the croft on the Loch Ainort side probably had gusts up to 75 or 80mph.

In common with much of the Highlands and Islands our electricity power was cut, and we were off line for 58 hours, back for 23 hours then off for 4 hours.   Our provider Hydro PD was overwhelmed with significant damage throughout the area, so that at the peak 80,000 homes were off-line, but their engineers do a terrific job in often atrocious weather to repair faults.    The power is back now, obviously!  

The house got colder and colder, with a bedroom temperature of 7 degrees.  I took off my fleece only yesterday after 3 days.  Not trusting a little camping stove which we have for emergencies because it has a tendency to flare up,  I lived off  tinned fish, bread tomatoes, fruit, an apple pie from the local supermarket and chocolate.   It's a brilliant diet and I lost 4 lbs.

The roof lost 4 apex tiles which despite continuing strong (40mph) winds I have put back, and a chimney cowl ended up across the garden.  

A rowan tree was uprooted on the croft, giving me a chance to play at being a lumberjack.  A second keeled over a bit but was stopped from going the distance by a fence.  Rowan are shallow rooted and seem to be just about the only tree to take a hold amongst the thin soils and rocks.   When they keel over there is a mass of stone and root, but no more than 30 or 40 cm deep.   Once coppiced and righted regrowth occurs, and I have lots of firewood.   The coppiced trees are a memento of storms past.  The one I cut back today will have the name 9 January 2015, rather like an event commemorating street name in some South American capital.  Some of the branches were dead and there is rot in the middle of the tree (see photo) so I shall look for beetles in the coming weeks.

9 January 2015
9 January 2015
5 December 2013 
Unsurprisingly there is not much wildlife about.   Even if the otters are around it is difficult to pick them out in the swell.

Need to end though as there is lightning about and no doubt  another  power cut on the way.

No comments:

Post a Comment