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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WOW WHAT AN AMAZING SKY THIS MORNING

First thing this Christmas morning I looked outside at the sky, and it was amazing! From horizon to horizon it looked like a giant spider’s web, long bands of clouds with blue sky beyond it. Just amazing! For hours this went on, finally becoming more dense and white. It was a most beautiful show. I am not sure if it were Altocumulus or Stratocumulus clouds, or even a phenomenon called a Mackerel sky, though I am a sky watcher, I don’t know much about the names of clouds, if anyone can put me right, please feel welcome.
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Finally after an hour or so, the sky became more like this next photo.  Very impressive.  I wonder if anyone of my followers is able to identify these clouds, it would be most helpful to me.

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A MAGIC DAY

Between, the baking, the decorating of the speculaas (a Flemish/Dutch Sint.Niklaas spicy biscuit), making the Christmas stars, the story reading, and watching a video about puppies, the girls had a great time, we also sang some songs together and before we knew it the day was over and it was time for the girls to go home.  I’m just sitting down after cleaning up the kitchen 🙂 and now for a relaxing evening.  The stars are still drying and were not ready for taking home.  I also managed in-between to make my wreath for the front door, something that I should have done days ago.  A happy day had by all.

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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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CHRISTMAS MAGIC

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Today was the Christmas play of my four year old grandson.  It’s a yearly wonderful event.  Organised by the two lovely women who run the playschool.   My grandson is special needs and he did very well indeed.  He was one of the shepherds in the nativity play.  After the play and after some carol singing, all the little children walk around the room with a lighted candle in an orange.  It’s such a lovely sight to behold, it warms the very inside of your heart. ( I took the photo out of focus on purpose because we do not put a child’s photo on the internet.)

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