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February Didn’t Live Up to It’s Name

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February even with its extra day is gone. Locally at least it hasn’t lived up to its name of “February Full Dyke” because the amount of rain which fell was rather small. It must have been an Irish poet who called February “full dyke” because it is only the Irish who can torture and distort the English language.

An English dictionary will tell us that a dyke is built as a division between patches of ground or a barrier to keep water at bay or to separate fields from a roadway. A ditch is the channel between along which water is to flow away or rubbish is to be dumped (in recent times).

 However, we Irish reverse the meaning of the two words.

 Back to the rain or lack of it in February. Only 24.4mm or less than an inch fell on the 29 days. It was one of the driest Februarys since records began to be kept locally in 1980. only in 2005,1998 and 1993 was the February rainfall in the 20mm range. If one is looking for a sign the driest February of all was in 1986 when only 2.7mm of rain fell during the month.

However, later in 1986 in August, “Hurricane Charlie” burst on top of us. Back to February and its tradition of the 29th in a leap year, we didn’t hear of any local young ladies proposing marriage to the men in their lives but maybe some such story will emerge in time.

March 1st should have seen the crows (rooks) beginning their nest building but maybe the high winds of the previous night might have put them off starting. I’m sure that they didn’t start on Sunday as I never heard of crows coming under the Sunday opening rules. For the last worked on “dykes and ditches” we return to the bible “if the blind lead the blind, do they not both fall into the ditch”.


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