The Black Easterly

Low, atmospheric haze and the darker tone of the sky when the Black Easterly is blowing.

The Easterly winds have not been so prolific the past few years, I really have noticed, but they are back with a vengeance this year.

Along with Christmas, the little black bush flies and the marsh flies, the other regular companion at this time of the year are the strong, dry, easterly winds. They darken the low, blue of the horizon and smudge it with a haze as it sucks whatever moisture it can from the garden, the trees and the bird bath. It’s not uncommon for me to fill the bird bath and find it half full 24 hours later. I know what your thinking, surely we don’t have that many bird visitors. No, we don’t. Just the easterly winds and the hotter, summer temperatures.

This weather phenomenon is usually the result of higher temperatures in Perth and to the north as we enter into the southern summer. Perth has had 39/40 degrees celcius (102.2 F) the last couple of days. This creates a pressure system that scoops down the coast in an anti-clockwise direction past Cape Leeuwin and circles around and along the southern coastline, turning northward and overland and then heading back west delivering strong easterly winds and off-shore breezes to Albany and the Great Southern region.

I have been observing the plantings of bamboo higher up on the slope and have thought about propagating clumping bamboo to grow along the higher, eastern side of the block specifically to shelter parts of the upper garden from the roaring, dry, easterly.

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