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Taidong, June 13: Massive meiyu storm in the north at the beginning of the month that caused flash-flooding and landslides - in fact typical typhoon damage - without the day off. About 700 mil fell in around the north coast which was hardest hit. CWB rightfully copped some flak for under-estimating the storm - by rights it should have been a day off work for most of Taipei as conditions were as bad if not worse than most typhoons. Forecasts of the front proved unreliable - was supposed to oscillate down to the south but didn't happen. Another big meiyu front is forecast to cross Taiwan tonight or tomorrow and settle in for several days - there is also a TS to the south west of Taiwan and this looks set to merge with the front - remains to be seen what effect that will have - will it feed rain into the front or suck some of it out? If it's a feed in then torrential rain is again likely for the west coast especially. Full summer heat has arrived - can't complain too much as May was relatively cool given the extended meiyu run here. Racing against the clock to complete concreting of new pond before approaching storm - if the concrete dries in time then it's perfect coz i can fill it - if it's not dry in time it will be a disaster. Strange electrical storm about a week ago - the night sky was pink at around 10 pm - a combination of the full moon and the storm i guess - but the lightning was pretty freaky. Was out on the mountainside porch when tentacles of lightning started flickering around me - with a few feet - and then sparks shot out of an outside power point - at that stage i went back inside - though given it's a tin shed, that didn't feel terribly safe either. This is a phenomenon that i have noticed before. The odd thing was that the lightning wasn't even a direct strike - there were still several seconds between the flash and the thunder - though it was incredibly loud and long. Not a lot of rain associated with that storm here - a few mil - but Chihben got 100+. In a pattern that seems typical for lightning storms here, a system formed off the north-mid east coast and appeared to spear down into Taidong. Tomatoes still producing, amazingly, as well as carrots, eggplant, and spring onions. Monkeys have started appearing close to property each morning - feeding on green mangoes and the seeds of the weed-tree - they haven't crossed the fence as yet but need to be on alert as they are known to kill chickens and ducks

Istachatta, June 17: Typical summer pattern has arrived with afternoon showers most days. Actually nice because every afternoon we're assured of a drop in temps. Far, far fewer Banana Spiders this year, so far anyway. . Usually by now we have a few on every porch, this year none, just one on the garage overhang of the roof. And I haven't seen ANY in the woods or yard, which is highly unusual. I'm guessing they'll come out later. Might be due to the spring drought. Less turtle activity as well, but that could just be my not being in the right place a the right time. But things are different this year, no doubt, animal-wise. Just seems like there's less activity overall. Must be the drought, which ended about three weeks ago. Daily rain now. I sort of miss the Banana Spiders. They're perfect pets. Almost forgot, saw a Black Widow spider today. Actually, it hitchhiked on my rake and I noticed it as I was putting the rake away in the greenhouse. It was carrying an egg sack. So I now have a whole bunch of Black Widows in the greenhouse. Fortunately, the greenhouse is full of lizards and frogs and snakes, so things should balance out.

Istachatta, June 18: Three pineapples this year. Last year we had six. Must be the drought. They are just at the stage when a raccoon will steal them, so it's a bit of a gamble on how long to wait to pick them. Last year, after the first disappeared, I picked the others. This year, I don't want to lose 30% of my crop, but I'd like to wait as long as possible. I might give them another week. They're still very green, but usable. Or, I might just decide to pick them tomorrow. (DD: can you bag them?)

Taidong, June 23: So the days are getting shorter! Summer solstice passed two days ago and was marked by the arrival of the Big Bake - stinking hot, every day, with no sign of rain - unless there's a typhoon. Having completed my list of outside projects for the season, I am taking a week off (might make that two!) - and it's great! Need to make this a yearly tradition. First bloom from Phoenix tree yesterday - much later than last year. The above meiyu front failed to produce any significant rain for Taidong, which has left my new pond empty (thanks to the useless bloody workers taking 3 months to complete a 3 day project). Typical of the media, and CWB, which missed the first big storm to hit Taipei, they wildly overreacted with their forecasting of the next one - in the end it was just a typical meiyu front without major drama - biggest falls of around 600 mil over a few days on mid-west coast. Stuffed up with the mangoes this year - nice crop coming through and I was just thinking 'I better bag them or the squirrels will start getting into them' and then a couple of days later I got around to doing it but it was too late - lost the lot. Need to be more vigilant next year. Fruit flies, which remained at a moderate level, persisted well beyond their normal time this year and have only died off in the last few days. Still getting a few tomatoes, which is amazing - I don't know what the world record is for the age of a tomato plant but I put these in in October - so that's 8 months! Carrots, eggplant, spring onion still going but the problem now is keeping up the watering - there's only a narrow window each day to do it after the sun goes down - and then there's a bunch of other stuff that also needs to be done at that time

Istachatta, June 30: Biting flies are horrible this year, mostly horse flies. Coincidentally, as noted earlier, there are far fewer banana spiders this year. The spider eats the fly, except this year it's not eating enough. Regarding mangoes, well, no mangoes here. but for the last two years somebody's been snatching our few pineapple before I get to them all. In previous years, when one is taken by a critter, I take the rest. I think it's a raccoon. This year, I picked the first pineapple on June 30 before anybody could get it. There are two more left out there, but at least I got the first one. It's quite green. Last year we had six, this year three, on about 8 plants. I don't do a thing for them. They're on their own. I just reap the benefits with the raccoon.

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Page last modified on June 30, 2017, at 05:29 PM