Showing posts from April, 2012

The Extra Month in the Irish Calendar

Last Monday night we emerged from a music session in Cloghane to find snow on our car. Only a few hours earlier the evening had been balmy. Now the bitter wind cut sharply as a knife. There's nothing unusual in that, though. It's just Scairbhín na gCuach - the time known locally as 'the rough month of the cuckoo'. Scairbhín na gCuach lasts from about mid April to mid May. It's the reason why our potatoes went in a fortnight ago, our onions were set yesterday, but we can't set any seeds yet for fear they might be frosted. The scairbhín brings sudden dips in temperature, unexpected changes in wind direction and violent showers of hailstones, sleet and snow. But it also brings cloudless blue skies and glorious sunshine like yesterday's. It's an in-between time, a recognisable transition between one season and another. And the sharpness of its contrasts make it a time of heightened awareness. In the last two days blossom's appea