STILLNESS

In the pre-dawn when some half disturbing dream awakens me, I become aware of stillness….. I hear nothing ~ my thoughts wander far into the Cosmos and I wonder if all is stillness there as well. I start to wonder if this is what death is like too.

The stillness is inside and out.

A blackbird starts to sing. When I draw the curtain expecting to see a glimpse of the approaching dawn, I am greeted by a full moon shining through slivers of mist covering the town below in the valley. I marvel at the beautifully diffused sight.

Right now I am fully awake and thoughts of writing stir in my freshly rested mind, so I take up my pen and here I am.

There is an amazing happening right here and now…everything lies still, it’s as if the world has stopped turning.

Awaiting the brightness of the day, gratefulness washes over me.

(Inspired by the lockdown of Corona virus)

A WALK IN THE WOODS

A look back at a walk which a few of my grandchildren, my daughter and I enjoyed a few years ago, on a glorious sunny day.

We went for a walk in the woods, the Glengarriff woods, classified as a National Forest, and nature reserved. Some of this forest contains ancient Irish Oak trees (Oceanic Sessile Oak), but there is a great variety of other trees too, like the Beech, Holly, Rowan, and Birch tree. The woodland is extensive, and there are various designated walks. We did the Big Meadow Walk. Some of this walk winds along the river which meanders through this forest, the Glengarriff river. So it is very pleasant and there is quite a lot of wild-life to be seen, butterflies, and other small creatures as well as birds. We mainly saw the butterflies yesterday and they seem to have come out in good numbers due to the warmth of the sun. Peacocks, which are one our most beautiful butterflies. And the little Blues were around also, a pale small butterfly. Of the Peacock my delightful 6 year old granddaughter says that the eyes are on their wings to mislead and frighten their predators! Point well taken Alice. Alice has a great interest in nature, she keeps bringing me all sorts of insects for me to have a look at during our walk.  This woodland is a quiet place, only the sound of the river and of the birds is heard on a calm day.  It’s a place where one can experience stillness, and beauty, it is wonderful!

DSCF6677

Clusters of wild Primroses and Wood Anemones, and some type of Spurge.

DSCF6693
DSCF6690

Some of the ancient Oaks looking very gnarled, like arthritic old men, their limbs contorted but very expressive.

DSCF6706

On the trees grow Mosses, Lichens, and some little plants.  I’ve also seen some young Pines growing on the branches of the older trees.  Ferns soak up the dampness where the wood is more dense.

DSCF6785
DSCF6734
DSCF6727

Willow trees or bushes starting to show their foliage, also the Hawthorn and Birch trees are bursting their buds, I ate some of the young Hawthorn shoots, quite nutty to taste.  In the undergrowth the Lesser Celandine is fully flowering.

DSCF6713
DSCF6687

The white little flower of the Oxalis and more Wood Anemones of which we saw plenty.

DSCF6696
DSCF6684

A woodland beetle, I think, but not sure what type.  And a Sedge plant flowering.

DSCF6718
DSCF6750

Various types of Ferns growing in the undergrowth.  And the Lichens are plentiful, growing on the branches of the trees, I think that they are quite beautiful and intricate.

DSCF6782
DSCF6720
DSCF6704

There are also quite a few Pine trees in this woodland,  In 1955, ownership of 380ha of the woods passed from private to state ownership and Pines were grown for commercial forestry purposes.  Also during the sixties, seventies beautiful purple Rhododendron grew all over the forest, they had invaded and became a danger to the original forest so they were curtailed big time.  Today this forest is managed well, with lots of lovely walks, benches and pick-nick tables for families to enjoy.

DSCF6771