The trees, their canopies heavy with foliage are at their most impressive, not a wind is stirring in their rich green leaves.
There is a different feel to the world right now. The frantic twittering of the young sparrows in the hawthorn tree has eased now that the fledglings are looking for their own food.
Last night, after a really warm day, there was rain and the refreshing scent of earth and herbs is exhilarating.
A light mist hangs over the long valley, the blue sky is nowhere to be seen yet. Cows are lying in the gently sloping fields.
Yesterday I heard the young swifts in the nests under the eaves of our neighbour’s house. The young are being fed by swooping brigades of adults, they are feeding the fledglings’ purposefully so that they will be strong and ready for the long flight to Africa in a few weeks’ time.
Days like this remind me of Constable’s paintings and of Elgar’s music, of the English countryside of years gone by, and of their beautiful cottage gardens.
Many plants are in full bloom, others are busy creating their seeds.
It is mid-summer, nature is coming into its own, rich variety of wild plants and flowers cover the garden around me. I wish that I could stop time right now.
But breakfast has to be made, the day’s work has to start. Thank goodness that there is a moment for everything, for rest and for work, all in its own time.
Looking for signs of life whether in the past or in the now. This is what currently interests me in my photography. I’ve always been shy of taking photos of people, I have felt that it would be too intrusive, and because of my interest in nature I mostly take photos of plants, landscape or insects. This I enjoy. But recently it has come to my attention that I am always searching for signs of human habitation or activity, signs that the land has been worked, of structures having been used by humans; bridges, stone walls, gate posts, ruins, ancient pathways, old churches or houses or other structures. All these are interesting and give pleasure, not only from trying to find out more about them locally, from the internet or from books, but also from the sheer beauty of them.
My attention has been drawn by my friends and followers that you like to see this variety too in my blogs, and I find this very helpful and realise that by blogging and interaction with my other blogger friends I get to know myself better, and I define what I really want to record. I am grateful to everyone.
And so yes also on this walk last Saturday I did come across a broken old iron gate, rusty and fallen down, it has had its use in the past of that I am sure. And then I saw an iron gate post which is quite an unusual find around this area and I wonder how long it has been supporting this newish galvanised gate. Was this always a gatepost? Or did it start its life as something different on a farm in the area?
It is always lovely to see acres of crops, stretches of land that change colour according to the seasons and to what is grown on them, also fields or meadows sometimes with cattle. There is something so soothing and reassuring about a pastural landscape, I think that it goes very deep in a person, to see the land being used and crops being grown, it gives a deep feeling of safety and that all is still well with our earth despite all the environmental problems.
But here are also some of the wild flowers along my path, as always such a delight.
It has been another glorious day today after a real thunderstorm yesterday with a heavy rain shower, but it is this rain that makes the countryside in Ireland so green, lush and beautiful. We very seldom get thunder here usually only one clap and done, but this one took half an hour with brilliant skies and fantastic lightning and afterwards when the sky cleared and the rain stopped all was still, and then a blackbird started to sing!
I woke up early this morning. I found it very quiet, not a sound to be heard, not a car passing, nor a person, nor a dog… even the birds are not singing… Skibbereen seems to be asleep still. I am thinking… what will I do with my day. Suddenly I know what is different, there is not a blade of grass stirring, it is wind-still… quite unusual lately and nice.
I look around my room and I ponder, there are lots of things I could start doing, I have re-decorating ideas. Perhaps I could make a mood-board with colours, new shades for the room, and I plan to re-sew a curtain that covers the hotpress opening. There is an old chair, a delicate one that would look good in a pastel paint and there is the old secondhand desk that I am planning to paint too… I love my room, it is peaceful and looking at things from up here in my high bed this morning everthing looks fine.
The pale cream curtains that I found last year in our fantatic charity shops are just starting to become illuminated with bright rays of sunshine.
It is time to get up and get me a nice cup of coffee.
I strolled around the block this evening. Around the block in this urban area does not mean that I walk totally among houses, no, for a start I walk through the Boreen which is a narrow path where a lot of wild plants and shrubs grow. This 15 minute walk also takes me along a fairly new road which is mostly surrounded by fields. Here I also see a lot of wild flowers, plants and wildlife in general. So it can be quite an interesting walk and all I need is the discipline to do it more often. Today I set off in a mild Irish mist that was softly falling and was hydrating my face, it was gentle and refreshing.
We have been experiencing lovely mild and sunny weather lately, making us think that it is an Indian summer. However, autumn signs can be seen and the lovely bright colours of the berries and the leaves are a pleasure to behold. A mellow early autumn walk was just what I needed after a hard day’s work in the garden.
I was glad to discover that there is plenty of Ivy this year, I always use this to make flower pieces at Christmas time. Apart from that there are moths and butterflies that lay their eggs in Ivy. An important plant. The blackberries are plentiful too and ripening fast now, they are plump and delicious.
Talking about the Boreen, this is the Irish word bóthrín, which is a diminutive of bóthar, meaning ‘road’. It is used to denote a narrow country path often surrounded by hedges, or sometimes by stone walls. Here in Ireland you might often see these paths very overgrown, because nature does take over and if the paths are not used regularly they just close more or less with overgrowth of brambles and other wild plants. However, what is very important about these Boreens is that they are ancient, and in this way they often still contain many native plants. This is important for biodiversity. In this particular Boreen I have found the creeping Hypericum plant, and this evening I checked and found that it is thriving. There are also a few different Ferns, and common Violets. Lots of Ivy, Hawthorn and also some Gorse. All of these are native plants or shrubs. I know that some well-meaning people use the strimmer on this particular Boreen several times every summer and it saddens me, I wish that at least they would let flowers come into seed before strimming.
Meanwhile in the garden lots of work is waiting for me, I did three days of it in the past week, it has only scratched the surface of it. I love autumn though, lots of tidying up, taking notes, and making plans for the next season. All good fun and a great work-out too, especially with nettles that I allowed to grow to 3 meters high!
Sending many thanks this way to all the blessed wishes from everyone on our wedding day.
A visit to Glebe Gardens in Baltimore, West Cork, was on the agenda for a while and finally some days ago we took the opportunity to celebrate my daughter’s birthday with a delicious cup of coffee and cake, and a lovely walk through the flower gardens, the woodland, herbaceous borders, and the vegetable plots. This 5 acre garden is bordering on the sea where the Ilen river enters Roaring water Bay. Vegetables for use in the restaurant are grown organically in the gardens. Because of the vicinity being so close to the sea there is a mild micro climate which makes everything grow very lush. There are again to be found a number of sub-tropical plants, with palm trees and exotic rhododendrons among them. When you walk through the woodland and over the little bridge you come to an open grassland where there is an amphitheatre where music and other entertainment is put on regularly. I’ve not been to anything yet but again it is on the agenda. There is an orchard and we saw several varieties of apples ready to eat and fallen from the trees too. Grapes were a plenty in the tunnel, different varieties of tomatoes and cucumbers too.
I only took a few photos as I was wearing my grandmother hat, but still got quite a collection which made it hard to pick some for my blog! (Much as I would like I never put photos of my grandchildren on internet, it is an agreement between my daughter and I). What the children really enjoyed was the goats and chickens, finding apples in the orchard, and the open space of grassland where they spontaneously started dancing.
It is a garden offering not only beauty but also peace and tranquillity.
There are benches where one can have some time to relax in beautiful surroundings! My partner and I enjoying very much.
This old but lovely doorway – to goodness knows where, I could not resist taking a photo of, thought it looked so lovely what with the fern growing around it too.
If you enjoyed my photos then you might like to look up more information on the Glebe itself. When on holidays in this area it is a wonderful place to visit and have lunch or coffee, a walk in the gardens, and maybe go and enjoy some open air night time entertainment. Here is a website:
The village of Henham lies in rural England, in Essex. We visited there a few weeks ago to see Ian’s delightful grandchild, daughter, and son-in-law. For me it was also another first visit of the village and area and I loved it. Like I have seen in many English villages they are picturesque and peaceful, with many original houses intact or restored, and this village has a great deal of that to show. Above are; left: The old Village school building, right: a sign for the Cock restaurant, and underneath: the village church. This village church has six bells, I heard them (love the sound of church bells). There is a lovely write up with photos and a sample of the bells ringing on this website: http://www.henhamhistory.org/StMarysBells.html
To the left is Cedar Cottage
Listed buildings, some with thatched roofs, timber framed cottages some with casement windows, some of the cottages I recognised from the Henham website, these are Friar’s Cottage (above right), Cedar Cottage (above).
Wild Chestnut tree flower
It was also early spring, and we made a long walk along the fields and roads, there was plenty new growth to be discovered. The Blackthorn was in full bloom, the wild Chestnut tree just about to start opening its flowers, but I was sorry to hear that some of them were due to be copped down because of a disease. The Hazel already had its catkins, and the weeping willow already its leaves.
White dead nettle
Some of the wild spring flowers which were a joy to behold and plentiful.
Henham as a village dates back to pre Roman times, there is mention of it in the Anglo-Saxon period, saying that at that time the village was described as the little clearing on top of the hill. Apparently Henham is one of the highest lying villages in Essex. For more about the history of the place and the parish please visit their website at: http://henhamhistory.org
Certainly England has a lot to offer in well preserved historical buildings, it’s delightful to discover this. It was of course a delight to be taken for this long walk around part of the village and surrounding fields by Susie and Jared, and a very energetic little Phoebe. Thanks again for showing us such a nice welcome, lovely to share time with you.
Under a bright sun on this midwinter day we took a walk among the limestone rocks and wild plants in Xlendi, a seaside fishing village on Gozo.
It feels so good to be among these beautiful honey coloured rocks, and to see the fresh young green after the days of rain we have experienced.
How beautiful this earth really is and how everything regenerates even when the drought of last year threatened to destroy so many trees and plants. It is a joy to behold all this freshness.
My partner said earlier “today is the shortest day, from now on the days are lengthening again”. Yes ‘light’ is coming, that is what we celebrate on Christmas day after all isn’t it, the ‘light’ coming into the darkness.
There is hope yet for mankind and for the earth, I will never give up hope. Every new little plant that comes up out of the earth even through the rock gives me that hope. People are much more beautiful than we think they are. Love to all my friends at this Christmas time.