A MILD WINTER’S EVENING

Today has been very mild (around 6 degrees Celsius, with sunshine, and a little drizzle this afternoon. I was able to go out and give some attention to the garden. There were a few Kale that still needed planting out, so I did that, and discovered that the soil is improving, it has become more crumbly, though in places still very wet. Well I mulched a bit around the newly planted Kale. Took in some bamboo sticks that were still sticking in the soil, and checked how the garlic are doing. I also still harvested some beetroot which is nice and fat. There were two Robins in the garden with me, coming quite close to pick some creatures out of the soil. This evening we were treated to an amazing sunset once again, which I’d like to share with everyone.
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TRYING OUT PERMACULTURE

Having some extra time over these festive days , has got me to thinking about the 2015 growing season, and what I will actually be growing as far as vegetable, herbs, or any wild plants are concerned.  BUT

I have come to see that in my 10 raised beds there are several beds that are now well covered with wild plants such as Dandelions, Plantain, Feverfew, Borage, Cleavers, Nettles, and many more.  I don’t want to uproot these plants to make space for my vegetables, neither do I want to cover the beds with too much leaf mould during the winter months so as not to kill these wild plants (they grow wonderfully well).  I forgot to mention that we are having a very mild winter so far, we only had about two nights of frost, and the temperature is between 5 and 10 Celsius during the day.  Though I am experimenting with permaculture, and so growing everything mixed, I am not sure how it is affecting my soil to have plants growing all winter and all summer.  I am rotating the plants all right.  I think though that for the coming year I am going to experiment with doing just that, grow Bean beside Dandelion, beside Cleavers, beside Lettuce, beside Nettles,  etc…..  I cannot just destroy my valuable wild plants, it makes no sense, no I am going to use them in the kitchen.  I am already getting excited when I think about it.  Cooking with wild plants as part of providing nutrition, vitamins and especially minerals is cool.  I am doing an online herbal course and learning as I go along so it should all fall into place.  Well that is what I am thinking about for the New Year.

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TREE SILHOUETTES AGAINST A WINTER SKY

Last winter visiting near Cambridge, UK.   I was very pleasantly surprised with the beauty of the area there, I had always know the fantastic architecture of the university, churches, and other town’s buildings, it’s interesting to see the natural architecture of the trees, and compare it to manmade architecture.  I love both.
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OLD RED SANDSTONE

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It is old red sandstone that is mainly found on the surface here in West Cork.  And this Red sandstone is covered generally by carboniferous limestone.  There are also areas of Carboniferous shales and slates.  I don’t know that much about geology yet, but I am very interested in learning more, especially as I have an extensive collection of rocks in my living room.  Collected over the years, some from all over the world when I travelled.  I found my first fossil when I was eleven years old.  Rocks are fascinating, they are ancient and their mineral composition is interesting.  I always thought that when I retired I would find the time to take up geology and identify all my rocks.  So far that has not happened in a serious way, but it will.  I will do a course online or something and learn a lot hopefully. 🙂

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These rocks I found mainly at Kilbritain beach County Cork.

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PICTURES OUT OF THE OLD BOX

Many years ago when the digital camera became affordable for me I started with photography as my hobby, before that I used to paint water colours. Today as I was looking through some old CD-ROMs I came across some pictures that I used to like at the time, and seeing that I did not do much else today I thought that I would make them the subject of today’s blog entry.
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This sunset I took on my way home from work one winter’s day, the water is Bantry Bay which is always good for a nice sunset.

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This snap I took while on an early Sunday morning trip around the area here to take photos of wild flowers, I noticed this idyllic farm setting and loved it, so peaceful.

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I found this one among my ‘cat’ photos, his name is Goldberg and he was an amazing cat, always wanted to be close to me, and here I was trying to look over my notes of a course I was doing.

TOADSTOLES

While on a forest walk with a friend who knew about edible mushrooms I came across this tree branch full of (inedible) toadstools, I thought that it was such a nice picture and a lovely find.  We did go on to find a lot of Chanterelles which are very much liked here by people in the know.  (I’m not and don’t trust myself to identify them properly)

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This photo is just of a cow on a winter’s morning, for a while I was put on mobile library duty here in West Cork, I enjoyed it immensely as it was lovely to interact with the wonderful country people and to see all the wonderful nature on the sometimes long journeys around the peninsulas.  It used to be very cold on the old library bus, but there was always the little gems I used to come across.

 

OLD MAN WINTER WAS HERE

We awoke this morning to a sunny but very frosty winter’s day.  Steam was rising from the horse in the field behind the garden, poor animal – I hope it was all right during the night. Frost had covered everything beautifully in the garden, making lovely patterns on water iced over, and decorating the vegetation in pure white and clear crystals, beautiful! It’s the type of morning one loves to get up and go out and wonder at it all.
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KOREAN FIR FOR CHRISTMAS

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Today we went to a garden centre some way from home, we wanted to get a lovely live tree for Christmas, one that we could keep for years.  In the past I have done this but not been successful at keeping the tree alive, So this year I am going to make a very special effort.  So we found this lovely little tree, it is a Korean Fir (Abies koreana).  The small soft pine cones are bluish before they become brown, and it’s a slow growing tree.  There is a silver sheen to the underside of the needles.  We both fell in love with this little tree and hope to have it for many years.  At Christmas it will be decorated and it will be in the place of honour, and then later we will leave it outside albeit with a cosy garden fleece around it.  The above photo shows one of it’s pine cones, there are a few on it and this will make a lovely natural decoration.

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