Warmer autumn weather has fooled much of nature in Ireland and Britain that it is spring time.
The Observer newspaper has reported that “Poppies in the long grass, frogs croaking for mates, wasps droning lazily at the window, tomatoes and strawberries ripening in garden pots and crickets buzzing at dusk. They have all been recorded in the last week or so, even as shops are decking out in shiny baubles and cranking out Christmas carols.”
Record temperatures for November have been recorded in parts of Ireland – with Valentia in Kerry warmer than Valencia in Spain thanks to a mass of sub-tropical air.
Malin Head, the most Northerly part of Donegal, even recorded a record high temperature for this time of year as Indian summer style balmy conditions prevail.
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The Kerry island of Valentia recorded a high of 17.3 degrees Celsius, warmed than the 16 degrees recorded in the Spanish city of Valencia.
Summer wlldflowers such as magnolia, apple blossom and honeysuckle are still blooming. The remarkable Indian summer of 2011 is drawing comparison with previously notable years of 1986 and 1975 when summer stayed for most of the early winter.
"Our countryside is much more flowery than it should be," says Matthew Oates, a National Trust ecologist. Swallows have even been reported as arriving in parts of Britain.
“I think what's happened is that that very warm, late spell in October has really fooled a few things into thinking spring's turned up early again – forgetting the fact they haven't had a winter," said Richard Bullock, a professional nature watcher.
“The sea is still warm for this time of year, which helped,” said Met Eireann forecaster Harm Luijkx.
“Temperatures are expected to climb as high as 60 degrees today with a mixture of sun and cloud.”
There seems no chance that Ireland will experience the heavy snowfalls which crippled the country at the end of November last year.