These are lovely memories of our time spent in Connemara. I hope you enjoyed a bit of our journey too.
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.
To my right was Lick Hill, a long hill which is so familiar to me as I can see it from the upstairs window where I live. Its bedrock is made up of purple mudstone and siltstone, behind it and to the South lies the sea, the wild Atlantic Sea. A little more towards the S.West lies the famous Knockomagh Hill, at Lough Hyne. But walking further along this road I passed some lovely green fields, very green, like you only get them in Ireland, typical with Gorse, Hawthorn, and Blackthorn growing in the hedgerows. And today the sky was blue, dotted with woolly white clouds, what a lovely contrast.
Today during my walk around town, I took some more photos to add to my photo database on Skibbereen town. I have made this place my own since I came to live here in the nineteen-eighties. A small market town in West Cork, it has a population of about two thousand. There is quite a bit of history attached to this town, as is natural of course. The river Illen runs through it and is a great asset and could be made an even greater focal point. Anyway, Skibbereen has so much to offer, it has a well run and active Art Centre, beautiful shops, even seven charity shops, and it is quite close to the coast. I have so much I would like to see happening in the future planning of this town.
So I started to make a collection of photos of all sort of corners and angles of this lovely place, actually I have not even started yet when I think of how much I can still do. It makes my walks interesting, a great hobby of mine. Town planning and architecture has always interested me, when I used to paint water colours many years ago I was always excited about townscapes, the shapes of roofs and little corners, so pleasing to the eye.
Harry Clarke is well known for his use of the most beautiful colours, deep blues especially delight the eye. This is one of the stained glass windows in St.Barrahane’s Church in Castletownshend, Ireland, there are three windows designed by Harry Clarke in this little church. We spent some time here last Sunday as my latest grandchild was being christened. Because of the week that was in it there was not much work done in the garden, apart from the hedge cutting. I went on an outing with my daughter and grandchildren one of the days, we did some shopping but also walked along the estuary and bird sanctuary at Timoleague and saw the ruins of an old abbey there (http://www.timoleague.ie/abbey/default.html). And on Friday we had a crafts day with the two oldest girls, we made a treasure box from scrap items which they thought was great fun! Then on Sunday there was yet another outing to the christening, and a stroll along the country road where the starlings were making a racket but otherwise all was very peaceful.
Meanwhile it is the second of November and still the weather is mild and a golden sun burnt away the grey skies this morning. So far we have been really blessed with the weather here which we gratefully accept after a rather cool and sunless summer.