At precisely 01.55am this morning we were shocked awake by a wind gust which felt strong enough to shift the house on its foundations. Don’t mock – the local Anglican church, not long after it was built 125 years ago, was shifted sideways in the middle of the eucharist by massive winds (I could make some bad jokes here, but I won’t, because I’m a well-brought-up gal). The winds in the Wairarapa are legendary, and you just learn to live with them.
However, unlike the good parishioners in 1883 who had to erect buttresses to keep the church from moving around, modern technology helps us here in the vineyard to see if the perception is, indeed, the reality.
A while ago I blogged about the high-tech direction we’ve moved towards, installing weather stations at various points around the vines. This is what the main station, solar-powered, looks like:
So now I can get onto the website and dedicated to Redbank is our own up-to-the-minute record of wind speeds, humidity, temperature, rainfall, etc. So what was the speed of our rude awakening? Only 71.2 kilometres per hour, unlike the strongest gust this week which was 97.8 kilometres per hour.! No wonder I sometimes feel as if I’m going to get blown away. I kid you not – pegging clothes on the line is absolutely not possible.
And our temperatures swing all over the place at this time of the year too. In the past seven days, our maximum temperature was 17.7 ° celsius, and the minimum just -0.6° celsius. Yes, a frost, and we woke up at about midnight with the frost machines all down the valley motoring away like crazy, lit up like a runway. I wondered why the light was on down at the barn and it turns out Rowan slept there with his alarms at the ready and when the temperature dropped too low, he went out and lit the frost pots to warm the air.
All’s well now though, as it’s raining. How to go from spring, to icy winter, to summer madness, to the fierce mistral, then back to spring rains, all in the space of seven days. A week for all seasons.