ODE TO OUR POLLINATORS

This week has been the week that we remember and show appreciation for our pollinators.

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I read recently in the Irish Times that here in Ireland, bees are a crucial link in the supply chain of our apples, raspberries and other soft fruits. and that a third of the Irish species of bees is threatened with extinction. One can imagine what problems this will cause down the line. Personally we are having a great crop of raspberries and the pollination, as far as I have been able to observe, has been done by bumblebees. There is of course a large number of different pollinators, luckily.  I can’t resist taking photos of any wildlife I find in the garden, so here is a series of pictures taken this spring/summer of our pollinators.

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This bee was just lying there, I guess it was almost dead, but it soon revived with a little honey.

Also many other pollinators visit the gardens.

Thanks to Murtaghsmeadow’s blog for bringing Pollinators Awareness week to my attention.  This is a link to her blog.

https://murtaghsmeadow.wordpress.com/2017/06/20/a-week-in-celebration-of-pollinators

Here is another interesting link:  http://www.biodiversityireland.ie/projects/irish-pollinator-initiative/all-ireland-pollinator-plan/

 

 

MIDSUMMER

. “Life, now, was unfolding before me, constantly and visibly, like the flowers of summer that drop fanlike petals on eternal soil.”  Roman Payne

WORK TO BE DONE!

Yes work to be done, and that in our front garden.  The back garden is taking care of itself for the moment, quite wild, but all the same some vegetables are growing and fruit is being harvested already.

But the front garden has hardly been touched for the past six years.  For years I could not do anything much as I had a bad flare up of fibromyalgia.  For the moment that is under control.  And so the work has been waiting and it is a pleasure to do it now.  Trouble is that I have several ‘projects’ on the go at once.  All maintenance has to be done otherwise in this damp climate everything rots, wood especially.  And so, apart from power washing the patio, there are the pillars to paint, the woodwork of the fence to be sanded and treated with Sadolin or something like that, and the hedges need cutting also.  And I have been and still want to introduce more container plants, especially the Hosta which I adore.

Wellingtons waiting!  And as can be seen there is much work, especially the red brick I want to get really clean as it looks lovely when they are done.  All the same I am very aware of not wasting water!!!  But what else can one do, I decided to concentrate on the red bricks.   And to remove the moss, if I could achieve that I would be happy enough.

DSCF2196As can be seen….lots of moss and dirty bricks!

This is the end result more or less after several hours of work and too much water wasted (where is it all going?  Underneath the house?  I have all these questions and in a way I am happy that I am only doing this job every so many years.

These Verbena I potted up the other day, l love the colours and they give a cheerful face to the front garden.  The Buddleia is also almost flowering, that will bring many butterflies!  The Rose pot which used to be in the back garden I am now enjoying when I look out the kitchen window while cooking, it is a joy!

In Gozo, last winter I did see lots of lovely and well kept front gardens, the plants were mainly succulents, often in containers, beautiful.  I started then to fantasize about putting more containers with flowers in our own front garden to brighten it up.

While I am wrecked tonight, it has been well worth the effort today.

I think that I deserve another visit to the Garden Centre tomorrow!

ART EXHIBITIONS IN TOWN

Today there was a bit of a whirlwind blowing through town, at least for us as we wanted to attend openings of three separate Art Exhibitions, one of which above showed the works of Maurice Henderson.  Maurice, an old mate of Ian’s had sent him the invitation, and I was lucky to be invited along.  I have been following Maurice’s work too for a decade or two and have always enjoyed his use of colour.  I was very impressed with his current work, and the above photo is of my favourite painting, makes me think of a bluebell carpet in among trees in early spring.  The exhibition is called:  ‘Light and Atmosphere. It runs for another 9 days.

Second opening was later on in the evening.  I went on my own to this.  A great exhibition called: West Meets West – showing work from three artists from Cornwall.  Phillip Booth, Matthew Lanyon, and Tony Lattimer.  The above large painting is by Matthew Lanyon and it is my favourite, it immediately had a strong affect on me and just gave me such a good feeling.  The widow of Matthew, a lovely lady, told me that this is one of the early works of Matthew.  Very sadly Matthew passed away recently.  Top sculpture above left I was also quite impressed with, very colourful and clever use of wood and metal.  The artist, Philip Booth explained about his work to me which was very enlightening, his primal inspiration is the landscape of Cornwall, and in the case of the sculpture above it was the rocky shore along the coast.  As I have been out of circulation in Skibbereen’s Art world, I am only getting back into the swing of things and was happy that while I was scanning the room for familiar faces several new people just started to talk with me, it felt good and we had interesting conversations.  One of such conversations was with a woman called Anastasia, also an artist, an amazingly inspiring woman.  I also finally got to meet fellow wordpress bloggers Finola and Robert of https://roaringwaterjournal.com.  It was like meeting old friends as I follow there blog closely.  Very nice.

The last opening of the night was at the smaller but nevertheless lovely Art Gallery in North Street in town.  A young woman, Tara Laubach’s work was also a revelation, beautiful works of soft colours, with lots of expressions of emotion.  I need to go back to get a closer look as there were so many people that it was difficult to get a good look tonight.  The exhibition is called ‘Fiery little Ashes – a Cinderella story’.  Much enjoyed the reading by the young artist.

And finally we were treated to poems by two different poets, these were short but good and they wrapped up an evening of culture in this small town in West Cork perfectly.

Afterwards I discovered that there was also a new exhibition in one of my favourite Galleries, the Catherine Hammond Gallery in Bridge street, which I missed the opening of today, but no doubt will visit during the week.

I think that I am finding my feet again in West Cork, saw a lot of lovely people today and interacted with them, always a good grounding method when you have been away for a long time, feel at home again even if it took me the best of two months.

A SENSE OF WONDER – INTENSE JOY IN NATURE

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I just finished reading Michael McCarthy’s book “The Moth Snowstorm” in which he describes and talks about the decline in biodiversity of birds, moths, butterflies, and other creatures worldwide but especially in his own Britain.  He gives examples of his own experiences and that of other nature lovers, where they have witnessed this decline.

His emphasis, though, is on the intense joy that the natural world can and does bring to humankind.  The book is also part memoir, his reasoning about wildlife decline is interspersed with his own memories, and of how his childhood trauma played a role in his discovery and his passion for the natural world, the joy that nature stirs inside us humans.  And this resonated with me so well, I too developed this passion at an early age, not perhaps through childhood trauma, I’m not sure why.  The point that McCarthy makes is that this is something very innate in us, that we have developed this over the thousands of years of life when our ancestors were hunter gatherers, living lives in very close contact with nature.  This joy, I used to think of it as my very own when I was still a young woman until I discovered that it was just out there for anyone to tap into; watching a beautiful sunset, the opening of a beautiful flower, seeing a marvellous butterfly, listening to the dawn chorus, or indeed the sound of the cuckoo in early spring, all of these scents, sounds, observations, experiencing the natural world with our senses can bring intense joy into our lives, the natural world is very good for us, essential even, and studies have showed that too now, scientists agree on this, worldwide there is a trend from professionals to advise walks in nature for mental and physical well being and health, happiness even.

This book also highlights the destruction of our planet which has been going on for over one hundred years and he gives many details of this – but it never becomes a depressing read as McCarthy always bring us back to this joy that nature gives us and shows why he believes we are wired for this and how it will be the best resource for survival in that when more and more people realise this they will unite to save the planet starting with saving its biodiversity, its birds, its animals, its insects, and all the wonderful creatures.

So once again I came to realise that it is not childish or silly to be totally blown away or inspired by the discovery of say a moth, a spider, a butterfly, the sound of the robin or blackbird early in the morning, the first signs of spring, or the sun throwing its first rays of light over the horizon.  All these intense pleasures are deeply ingrained in our beings and if tuned into them they can move us and bring total peace of mind and happiness.

I would love to hear what you feel about this, is having a sense of wonder about the natural world an inspiration in your life?