Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Heritage Notes - 14 January 2011

Weather history

Happy new year to everyone. After many investigations and discussions, it looks fairly certain at this point that the recent spell of cold weather, which caused the Blackwater to freeze at Cappoquin in huge solid masses, was the most extreme on record locally. There were very cold winters in 1963 and 1947, but the freezing river was certainly a new one locally, by all accounts. Celsius and Farenheit measuring scales only go back two or three hundred years and for sure we have no record of anything colder locally from them either.

Our picture this week is of the river as seen from the Rock, looking across at Lefanta. The spot on the far bank where the boat and pontoon are is one of those where the very first ‘Cappoquin people’ operated from back in 6000 BC or so. This has been documented by archaeologists at UCC since the 1980s. At that point, the river also probably had large chunks of ice in it like you can see here, as the ice age was ending and the earliest people began to make their way up rivers to hunt and fish. So, the only thing we can say for certain is that the scene you are looking at here HAS been seen before, except that the boat was probably a dug out canoe, the cameraman (if there had been one) would have been wearing animal skins, and it was at least 8,000 years ago!

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