Whatever the etymology, the haar is the reason why for the last couple of days, while most of the rest of the country is enjoying a minor heatwave, we have our central heating switched back on and the view out of the window stretches about as far as the trees on the far side of the nearest field.
One of my older sons visited North Berwick on Sunday, and he reassured me that Edinburgh was also cold and misty that morning, but yesterday, when my wife returned from a shopping trip, she arrived at the end of our farm road in bright sunshine, and could see our very own haar sitting like a pancake on top of our woods, so it is probably OK to take it just a little personally. Microclimate.
My first memorable experience of such weather came when I first moved here, in 2000, and my parents came to visit - all the way from (warm, West Coast) Liverpool, during a remarkably fine, warm spell in October. One late afternoon we were sitting on the terrace, with glasses of chilled white wine and straw hats deployed, when suddenly the mist began pouring down from over the trees at the bottom of the garden, and it became gloomy and bitterly cold while you watched. Show over - remarkable. [As a footnote, I have to say that my parents were not put off, and they duly upped sticks and came to live in this area the following year.]
The haar, as I'm sure you are aware if you live on the East Coast, anywhere from Norfolk to John o' Groats (or could care less, if you don't), is the result of warm air passing over the cold sea - the water vapour condenses into thick mist, and the sea breezes waft it back in over the coastal land - the fog obliterates the sunshine, the temperature drops, and we start wondering about the heating. It's always been like this here.
|We have had a good number of bright days, too, of course. Here is a swallow resting on |
our electricity cable, gathering his strength for nest-building in the woodshed...
|The Contesse continues to produce some terrific wildlife photos - here's a very |
scruffy robin at his ablutions.
We've also had some remarkable exhibitions of raw aggression recently from those icons of peace, the Collared Doves. They have been beating up the wood pigeons on a regular basis. They have now been seen chasing magpies out of our garden - very scary - they really are surprisingly vindictive little beggars. We're still trying to get a photo of that - maybe even a little video, but no luck yet.