After a dry May 1st, continuing from the very dry April, some welcome light rain fell over the first week of the month, including an unexpected cloudburst with around 7 mm falling in less than an hour. A considerable relief for stimulating grass growth for the sheep, and easing concerns about household water supplies.
Otherwise the weather for the beginning of the month was benign, with no frosts, generally light winds, and much light to get the next wave of garden flowers to shine, even if early May often sees the terrace garden pass through a temporary lull. The daffodils have lasted really well this year, but it’s always a shame to see them and the tulips finish for another year.
As always, there was a fair bit of wildflife activity to observe as we headed towards summer, including the Swedish butter churn honey bee hive breaking through their blocked base entry early in the month, thus allowing an easier route for them to clear out debris and dead bodies from the hive.
The early part of the month was enlivened by me observing and filming a common wasp, beginning construction of a nest on the main apex roof purlin above the foot of our bed.
The theme of sunshine and showers continued through the month, with never very heavy rain, but enough to keep things fresh, and temperatures occasionally warm, but never hot.
Mid month, the next wave of flowers in the terrace, tyre garden and copse all began to emerge to reach the high point that often seems to arrive around the end of May, whilst at last the meadows began to bloom with buttercups, yellow rattle and pignut, around May 20th.
The lambs all continued to grow apace and we were indeed fortunate to have enjoyed such a benign lambing season after several years’ break.
The month ended with shearing on May 31st – very unusually a day which was really chilly (12 degrees C) with a brisk Northerly wind, (perceived temperature of 10 degrees C) but as always, the sheep were relieved to have lost their heavy fleeces before the weather turned warmer.
The PV inverter record shows a mixed bag of sunny and cloudy days, with an acceptable, though not really exceptional, total of 436 KWH. Interestingly, this was less than the May 2021 figure of 440 KWH, which had a massive 290 mm of rain – the wettest May ever in Wales. The Met Office monthly summary shows that it was the 5th warmest May on record, by mean temperature; had the highest average daily minimum temperatures for May on record; but below average sunshine hours, for May. The rainfall total for the month of just 71.51 mm continued the theme for all of 2022, (except February) with below 100 mm totals, a situation which hasn’t occurred before. Which all shows just how variable the weather can be from month to month, and year to year. A really hot spell would create huge issues for the land, garden, stream and indeed our own spring water supply.