LIFE THIS AUTUMN

At this time of the year, in this part of the earth, nature is full of vibrant colours, this is just one example of our colourful garden at the moment, .
Around the end of October here in Ireland people celebrate the ancient Halloween, and lots of different pumpkins are for sale, this delights me as I love the soup that one can make using them, and also they are very decorative so when used in that capacity for weeks in our kitchen they paint a lovely picture.
I love our hydrangeas, and have now built up a variety of colours, from lapis lazuli blue to baby pink they flower well into winter here.
Morning dew on the spider webs creating a fairy-land picture, however it also shows us how many active spiders are around us playing an important role in the ecology of things.
Shorter days, longer nights, and lovely sunsets are all part of autumn.

We have been experiencing very wet weather with strong winds during the past two weeks, the front garden is now full of leaves which I do not want to gather yet, they will be used as mulching on the vegetable beds, but I have also recently learned that they can be the homes of many different little creatures and so I want to give them a chance at survival and only carefully lift them at a later stage. I’m also happy to see that our winter birds have returned to the bird feeder, the finches, sparrows, robins, jackdaws, collared doves, all the various tits and the dunnocks are back, and to my delight I’ve spotted a very active wren, one of my favourite birds. Yes for sure this is a great time of the year! Happy autumn to everyone, I hope that you enjoyed the little peek into my life at present.

AUTUMN MIRTH

“To-day I think
Only with scents, – scents dead leaves yield,
And bracken, and wild carrot’s seed,
And the square mustard field;

Odours that rise
When the spade wounds the root of tree,
Rose, currant, raspberry, or goutweed,
Rhubarb or celery;

The smoke’s smell, too,
Flowing from where a bonfire burns
The dead, the waste, the dangerous,
And all to sweetness turns.

It is enough
To smell, to crumble the dark earth,
While the robin sings over again
Sad songs of Autumn mirth.”

From a poem called DIGGING.”
Edward Thomas, Collected Poems

20151024_154310

20151024_153937

20151024_154319

20151024_154205

20151024_153054    DSCF0958

GOATS CHEESE TARTLETS AND MORE HERBAL HARVESTING

Almost coming to the end of September now, and there is already a colourful display of autumn shades to be seen in trees and shrubbery. My grandchildren were collecting some of these bright red and yellow leaves from the front garden yesterday.
And the harvesting in the garden is never ending, it is just amazing what keeps turning up. The leek and scallion seed heads were finally ready for picking and drying, as was the coriander. Also the seeds of the sweet pea, and poppy, all of them are hanging around the place, what an abundance it is.
This morning, after some years of inactivity, I attended my new yoga class, we did a chakra balancing, lovely stretches and relaxation, as well as some meditation, afterward we met up for soups or coffee, I met new people, was warmly welcomed by a group of nice women. Already looking forward to next weeks session. And I felt energised enough to cook up some goats cheese tartlets this evening which is a bit of a miracle in my kitchen! 🙂
20150924_171025     DSCF0211

Goats cheese tartlets,  and fresh coriander seeds

DSCF0207     DSCF0210

A variety of seeds to be dried, and a close up of the leek seeds.

AUTUMN LEAVES

“A moral character is attached to autumnal scenes; the leaves falling like our years, the flowers fading like our hours, the clouds fleeting like our illusions, the light diminishing like our intelligence, the sun growing colder like our affections, the rivers becoming frozen like our lives–all bear secret relations to our destinies.”
François-René de Chateaubriand

DSCF0021

 

AUTUMN LEAVES AND KILLEENA HOUSE

This morning, a most beautiful autumn morning, saw the Womens group in Skibbereen make the drive to Killeena House on the road to Baltimore, for a discussion on Womens Health. The discussion took in such items as, some of the laws that were still prevalent in Ireland during the 20th century, laws that viewed women like a chattel. But I won’t go into that here. Killeena House is a most beautiful place and goes back quite a few decades, it is lying in lovely wooded gardens. I loved the drive there, and made these photos in the gardens.  Quite a few of the trees are Chestnut and this autumn there are giving an amazing show.
20141028_134049

20141028_120840     20141028_134151

20141028_134025

20141028_134147

20141028_134122

LIGHTING THE WOOD STOVE AND OTHER THINGS

DSCF4005

The evening is drawing in right now, and heavy rain has started, so I thought it a good idea to light a cosy fire and relax a little before cooking dinner.  It’s been a day of sun and rain here in West Cork, warmer than is normal for middle of October I guess, but then some autumns are like that here, the real cold weather only starting after Christmas.  But dampness is the biggest problem during the autumn/winter months (and sometimes the spring and summer months as well)!  On the off chance I got a real bargain today, for €7.99 I bought an amazing 438pps book on the Wildflowers of Cork City and County written by Tony O’Mahony, seems very well researched and full of lovely photographs and maps too.  It covers all the native and introduced wild plants of the several forests around here and the coastline plants, and even the wild flowers of the city of Cork.  Very interesting, can’t put it down.

DSCF4017         DSCF4010

Our front garden is becoming beautiful with the colours of the fall.  No gardening done in the past week, mainly due to minding grandchildren twice, and the weather,  but I collected some wild growing Camomile flowers on the Beara peninsula the other day which was a great find.  Plenty of large pumpkins for sale in the supermarkets now for Halloween coming up.