BRACKEN IN THE IRISH LANDSCAPE

Around this time of late autumn, and along the Irish country roads, there is a wealth of bright colours and especially after the many days of rain we have had recently the colours are brought out even more. It is refreshing, bright and yet mellow. I’m inclined to romanticize whenever I’m in nature, colours become very vivid in my eyes. I stopped the car about seven times while on an errand to the next village, it was evening, but not yet sunset time, everywhere was so beautiful.
Bracken, Pteridium aquilinum, turn this lovely rusty colour after the first frost during autumn, and during the last cold spell we have had a little night frost. Bracken is found all over Ireland, probably due partly to the damp climate here. Being a very large fern it is not something to grow in a smallish garden, though I do like some of the other fern species as they can be very beautiful. No this species does belong to the mountain areas and typically to the side of the country roads.
The water is actually the river Ilen almost at the point where the river ends into the sea at Baltimore.
Bridge at Skibbereen town, and close to the potato famine graveyard. This is a most attractive bridge going back a good many years and featuring the lovely arches that you see here all over the place. The bridge spans the same river Ilen.
I so enjoyed my little journey today even though I was driving and not walking every now and then I stopped the car to enjoy the views, to get the scents and to listen to the blackbirds. A lovely late autumn day it was.
I arrived home to a cosy atmosphere where Ian was tinkering away on one of his projects. Soon it was time to turn on the light and draw the curtains, these days are very short now – another thing I thoroughly enjoy…….for a while.

COLOURFUL PERIPHERY OF VICTORIA

A walk to the outskirts of this historical town treats me to wonderful views of the surrounding villages and countryside, places like Sannat, Xewkija and Xaghra can be seen easily, and in between the villages there is a wealth of greenery and meadows full of yellow flowers. It was a cold day, a slight breeze made me put on my hat, but for walking it was excellent weather. I had been to the library, where the librarians were freezing, obviously because their job demands deskwork, it is a fairly small library here but the librarians are very helpful and friendly. The book stock, although some of it is old enough, is very interesting to me for my chosen subject while we are here. So after that visit I decided to head off on the nearest street and see where it would bring me. Interestingly it turned out to be a different area from most of what I have seen of Victoria because up to now I have just hung out in the oldest part of town, here it is very residential. The whole town of Victoria is very residential, a pleasant town to live in I can say from experience, very friendly, always something happening and buzzing with people, yet quiet and peaceful, you feel safe here. It is historic, and beautiful in its limestone buildings.  Here a few photos of today’s walk.
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Looking towards Xewkija, I could easily have walked there if I wanted to, so close to here.

 

2017-01-17-13-21-12                             A beautiful little flower on a patch along the road.

2017-01-17-13-15-52-copy                                  Cats meet you all over Gozo

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HYDRANGEAS FEAST

I thought it a good idea to just flood today’s blog entry with brightly coloured Hydrangeas. The weather is dismal, and I am so fighting a chest infection, without much success, that I just want to share beautiful flowers, it’s uplifting.
So I wish that everyone else enjoy them too. Hydrangeas are a lovely shrub that is more and more being used in Ireland as a road side plant, this is good or at least it is very beautiful, and in urban areas this can make a lot of difference to the landscape and the beauty of the area. The colours are amazing, from deep blue to deep red, or some pastel colours too. Flowering all summer and well into autumn.
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ON THE ROAD TO KILLARNEY

The Caha mountains form a natural border between the counties Cork and Kerry here in South/West Ireland. It is a most beautiful mountain range with plenty of really great scenery, and great photo opportunities.  The N71 runs along some of this wonderful scenery and through a tunnel going under part of the Caha’s.  In late autumn the views are stunning, the colours of the grasses range in colour from burnt sienna, to pale gold, to sepia, and not to forget the deep rusty brown of the Ferns.  I can never get enough of these colours, the colours of the fall, the colours of our earth.
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