Yesterday, a glorious sunny day, a few of my grandchildren, my daughter and I went for a walk in the woods, the Glengarriff woods, classified as a National Forest, and nature reserved. Some of it is ancient Irish Oak trees (Oceanic Sessile Oak), but there is a great variety of other trees too, like the Beech, Rowan, and Birch tree. The woodland is extensive, and there are various designated walks. We did the Big Meadow Walk. Some of this walk also winds along the river which meanders through this forest, the Glengarriff river. So it is very pleasant and there is quite a lot of wild-life to be seen, butterflies, and other small creatures as well as birds. We mainly saw the butterflies yesterday and they seem to have come out in good numbers due to the warmth of the sun. Peacocks, which are one our most beautiful butterflies. And the little Blues were around also, a pale small butterfly. Of the Peacock my delightful 6 year old granddaughter says that the eyes are on their wings to mislead and frighten their predators! Point well taken Alice. Alice has a great interest in nature, she keeps bringing me all sorts of insects for me to have a look at during our walk. This woodland is a quiet place, only the sound of the river and of the birds is heard on a calm day. It’s a place where one can experience stillness, and beauty, it is wonderful!
Clusters of wild Primroses and Wood Anemones, and some type of Spurge.
Some of the ancient Oaks looking very gnarled, like arthritic old men, their limbs contorted but very expressive.
On the trees grow Mosses, Lichens, and some little plants. I’ve also seen some young Pines growing on the branches of the older trees. Ferns soak up the dampness where the wood is more dense.
Willow trees or bushes starting to show their foliage, also the Hawthorn and Birch trees are bursting their buds, I ate some of the young Hawthorn shoots, quite nutty to taste. In the undergrowth the Lesser Celandine is fully flowering.
The white little flower of the Oxalis and more Wood Anemones of which we saw plenty.
A woodland beetle, I think, but not sure what type. And a Sedge plant flowering.
Various types of Ferns growing in the undergrowth. And the Lichens are plentiful, growing on the branches of the trees, I think that they are quite beautiful and intricate.
There are also quite a few Pine trees in this woodland, In 1955, ownership of 380ha of the woods passed from private to state ownership and Pines were grown for commercial forestry purposes. Also during the sixties, seventies beautiful purple Rhododendron grew all over the forest, they had invaded and became a danger to the original forest so they were curtailed big time. Today this forest is managed well, with lots of lovely walks, benches and pick-nick tables for families to enjoy.