THAT MOMENT WHEN THE SUN RISES

I was waiting patiently early in the morning, the sky had already begun to have a glow but nothing yet had appeared on the horizon, until all of a sudden there was the first glimmer of a sun.  The moment was magic, and I felt my heart fill with happiness, joy and gratitude, there was another day about to start, another day was breaking and in what a glorious way!  What a powerful moment!
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20171018_154801 Another day has started in which to explore, and see the beauty around me, and be intrigued by all the little adventures that this day would bring.

The gray-green leaves of the Olive tree, a beautiful flower, the bright colours of the Luzzu boat.

20171025_180121The view out of the window of my lace making class in Victoria.

20171025_152530The humour seen in this proud dog trotting beside its owner in the funniest way.

20171025_151014And the funniest of all, me taking the wrong bus on my way to Victoria for my lace class and ending up doing a tour of almost the whole island before I got off the bus in Xaghra and taking another bus to town.  I so enjoyed this little detour and could only laugh at my own mistake!

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And when the day is done and a glorious sun is setting, painting beauty for long moments more, then, well then it’s time to happily be grateful again.

LIFE MOVES ALONG

Summer has come to an end. We are not ungrateful, we had a gently warm summer with enough moist to keep land and animal happy, so, looking at some other countries where people endured hardship because of the weather we have every reason to be happy. Today is dark, windy and very wet. It is time for us to go I think and that is what will happen in the week to come, all going well.

Reflecting on the summer months for a moment, for me personally it was wonderful because of all the activities with my daughter and grandchildren, we went for many walks and explored a variety of wonderful gardens around West Cork. At home also spending a peaceful time with Ian and enjoying many long conversations and discussions on everything under the sun, for some of these my sister Josefine was a part and a great input that was. There were the Art Exhibitions and the Art Festival, also the Historical Festival here in Skibbereen, and the Ellen Hutchins Festival in Glengarriff with an amazing walk in the grounds of her estate, all of which I enjoyed to the full. I’m sorry that I had to miss the Literary Festival in Bantry!   I am also very happy because I was able to connect with all of my siblings (8left), this is something that is both important to me and very dear to my heart.

So I leave some images for everyone to enjoy. As I will be travelling in the next week or so I will again miss checking out all blog entries of my lovely friends and followers , but I hope to catch up soon. It has been a bit hectic around here. Meanwhile I would like to thank each and everyone for your encouraging support of my blog. Take care and be blessed.
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Bantry Bay with the Caha mountains in the distance.

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There was a lot of magic in the garden this summer, the sun on a dew drop early in the morning creating diamonds was just one such moments that creates a feeling of wonderment.

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One of the amazingly beautiful paintings of Maurice Henderson, his works of flowers and his blues especially I love.  We attended a celebration of his life recently after he passed during the summer.

And of course there are always lots of wonderful discoveries in and around the garden.

A MORNING WITHOUT A CAMERA

This morning early I slipped quietly out of the house and drove down the town to the farmers market.  I had arranged to pick up some herbal tea and I thought it better to go early.  I parked a little out of the way and walked the rest over to the market place.  It was a fresh morning, a little autumn chill in the air.  Dark clouds were overhead and the wind was picking up, but other than that it was lovely and sunny.  A local woman walked the same way as I did and we started a conversation – about the weather, then about our blessings here in the little town in West Cork, and then about the market.  It was nice to have human contact out of the blue like that, I always love those unexpected conversations with strangers.

I had not brought my camera and my phone was dead, I nevertheless saw several interesting scenes which I took note of with my eyes and stored away.  There was the old pump surrounded by lovingly placed flowering plants.  There were the old houses and the little bridge that covers the caol stream which runs through the town.

After my walk around the market where the people were only setting up their stalls and struggling with the wind, I decided to have my morning coffee in the old O’Neill shop which opened during the summer as a little coffeeshop.  The coffee was delicious, reading the paper I sat peacefully in what used to be the backroom.  Some of the walls have been left distressed by different layers of earlier occupants’ paint jobs.  I really liked that idea.  The original counter stands.  A local man was sitting at the side reading his newspaper.  My thoughts turned to our departure which is coming close now and how I will be leaving West Cork behind me to embrace new adventures in the lovely island of Gozo for another winter.  Somehow I feel that going away for the winter and exploring a new place makes me fonder of the town which I adopted 30years ago, and that has got to be a good thing!   I see it’s beauty more and can appreciate it more.  We are so blessed in this part of Ireland, while it may be a little damp, after the summer that was in it for some countries I think many people might be very happy with ‘a little damp’.

While it seems that the earth and humankind is in chaos at the moment, it is good to be thankful for what we have and to feel and show empathy for those people that are having a hard time.  I’m not only thinking of the people in the US and Mexico, but also of all the millions that are displaced by the flooding in Asia.  I hope and pray that sanity may prevail on earth and that those that should be our leaders calm down and that peace may be reached in all areas.

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DEW DROPS AND SPIDER WEBS

This beautiful, calm and wind still Sunday morning, the garden has been transformed into what reminds me of fairy land, the reflexion of light in the dew drops makes the spider webs shimmer and reminds me of fairy lights or even the Christmas tree and brings me back to early childhood days, innocence and happiness. I wander around the garden with my camera to capture this beauty and these feelings. Autumn leaves have been brushed up yesterday, but it is the spider webs that really herald the beginning of autumn here in West Cork. There is not a sound to be heard, all the neighbours are still sleeping, then a robin takes the floor and cheerfully sings its heart out.
Wind still and glorious, another day has begun.
My heart fills with gratitude.
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DRYING – STORING – SOWING… FOR WINTER STORAGE AND GROWTH

It is this time of summer again when thoughts turn to harvest, saving seeds, drying herbs, sowing winter vegetables, and pruning some of the soft fruits. It is also time to make a note of what to, and what not to do next year, and where to grow what. Every season I learn more and so the garden is ever changing as I try to make it all better and more productive for us and also for the rest of nature, so incorporating plants, flowers, and berries for the birds, the bees and for any other creatures in the ecosystem that this urban garden is.
So the last few days I collected different leaves, among them dandelion (leaf and roots), mint, lemon balm, hawthorn, and nettle. I am working towards having a good store to see us through the winter months, and as these plants contain lots of valuable minerals and vitamins I think that it will be a valuable addition to our soups and stews. Some I will also use as teas.
Last week I sowed some winter vegetables, kale, salad leaves, and beetroot mainly, they are coming up well and some I potted off in order to become stronger so they can go into the soil outside. I will make use of the cold frames this winter. The temperatures drop to around -0C or just below it during the night, and daytime temperatures mainly around +5C so it is an ideal climate to grow winter produce. Leeks do very well here in my garden and I have planted out dozen of them during the past few days.
This morning, being Saturday and time to take a stock of what I have been doing and looking for ideas and information, I went to the library and again got a great selection of books, among them, two that I want to mention, one is about Winter vegetable growing by Linda Gray,  and the other one is a book to relax with at night, it’s another memoir of a gardener, (Just Vegetating by Linda Larcom),  I have read some good memoirs lately and enjoyed.  Great inspiration can be got in books, it is a never ending pleasure.
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Mint, delightful scent!

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Nettle, and lemon balm, great for teas, and or soups, broths etc…         And more seedlings, I am looking forward to winter growth.  Making meticulous plans right now, find it exciting and motivating.  Taking the providing role very seriously, that is, providing or rather enabling mother nature to provide us with lots of lovely foods.  So enjoyable, and good for the soul.

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Garlic, and dandelion leaves, very fond of both.  A huge crop of dandelion leaves this year, due to the rains.

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Peas and broad beans, it was not a great harvest this summer and so I will need to change the type I am actually growing, though I think that this year’s bad summer had something to do with it too.

BEAUTY OF SMALL CREATURES

“This curious world we inhabit is more wonderful than convenient; more beautiful than it is useful; it is more to be admired and enjoyed than used.”
Henry David Thoreau
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“There is not one blade of grass, there is no color in this world that is not intended to make us rejoice.” John Calvin

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“It is interesting that Hindus, when they speak of the creation of the universe do not call it the work of God, they call it the play of God, the Vishnu lila, lila meaning play. And they look upon the whole manifestation of all the universes as a play, as a sport, as a kind of dance — lila perhaps being somewhat related to our word lilt” Alan W.Watts
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“Imagination is a very high sort of seeing, which does not come by study, but by the intellect being where and what it sees, by sharing the path, or circuits of things through forms, and so making them translucid to others.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

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“Looking at beauty in the world, is the first step of purifying the mind.”  Amit Ray
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“Beauty is the purest feeling of the soul. Beauty arises when soul is satisfied.” Amit Ray

CONVERSATIONS WITH A PEACOCK BUTTERFLY

Today, while waiting for Ian to finish some stuff he was doing in his boat, I noticed a butterfly caught behind the glass of the cabin, fluttering fiercely was one of our most beautiful butterflies, the Peacock.  It caught my attention. Gosh it was beautiful to get such a close up of this wonderful creature, I watched it for a long while but became worried that it could damage it’s wings even further than it had already done. After some time it settled down, I was able to gently pick it up and decided to free it into the lush fields beyond the boat yard. But how to get down the ladder with a butterfly in your hand? I decided to put it on my jumper and to my amazement it stayed there, even climbing a bit higher to just under my chin. I climbed down carefully, and it then flew off and onto some gravel which is where I made some photos with my phone (good old phone!) It then flew off further afield, I hope happy to be discovering the wider world.
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These butterflies hibernate during the autumn/winter months, usually in woods, sheds or hollow trees.  You often see these Peacock butterflies on the Buddleia shrub, I once counted many, over twenty on our bush.  Their larvae are black and often found on Nettles.  I am guessing that the specimen found on the boat was just out of hibernation, and I wonder if it will last another summer.

I got some of my information about the Peacock from the book ‘Discovering Irish Butterflies and their habitats’ by J.M.Harding.