Ballydehob is a small and very charming village on the coast of West Cork, and along the Wild Atlantic route. It was once a thriving mining town, now-a-days it is still overlooked by Mount Gabriel which is where copper was mined back then. Its beauty is superb, and last Saturday we decided to go on the Nature Trail which leads around and over the old railway bridge which leads over one of Ballydehob’s two rivers, the Bawnakeane and Rathravane, but I am not sure which of the two it is! We took along one of my granddaughters, she is a real nature child and took delight in drawing pictures of some of the scenery in her note-book. Ian was well able for this walk and enjoyed it too. I took note of all the new growth along the way, there were several flowers open, Lesser Celandine, Daisies, and Herb Robert were among them. I also noticed young leaves of the March Violet, a wild Geranium, and quite a few very pretty ferns. The walk along the trail is easy for anyone and the views are magnificent. We finished our walk in the village with coffee and delicious cake at a delightful eatery called Budd’s.
A very peaceful afternoon, the sun blazing down and smiling over mother nature and humankind, the birds singing, but otherwise stillness over the land. This was my walk yesterday. I decided that I would go see the meadows that surround the town of Victoria and see close up what is growing and flowering there. The views that greeted me were glorious to say the least, the colours a balm to the eyes, and not alone the dark and different shades of the green grass, but the way this brought out the bright yellow of the various flowers. My eyes had a feast. The warmth of the sun relaxed me and brought more than one smile to my face, oh the good that this does to the mind and the body! A few lizards were of the same thought as they were basking on the warm stones, but scuttled away before I came close. It was lovely to see bees buzzing around, and little snails out in full strength. The sun had encouraged nature to become alive again!
The air was pure, even so close to a major town. I could get the scent of the greenery, with a subtle whiff of flower perfume carried on the light breeze. I stood and enjoyed this for a long time. Spring is always nice, and meadows have always been my favourite, I used to watch a painting while still at school, it were a few children playing in a meadow filled with flowers. It gives a certain feeling of total peace. That peace is still with me and is heightened when I find myself among wild flowers and meadows. Our mum used to take us to a meadow when we were very small, I remember it though was only a toddler, she would sit with us among the flowers and we were allowed to pick some. Glorious days of the past, but yet with us always, renewed in the present day every springtime again and again.
Nature has so much to gift us, feelings of bliss and renewed strength at the end of winter.
A Maltese bee getting nectar from the Cape Sorrel.
Mediterranean thistle – jewk abjad – Galactites tomentosa
Medicago Italica – Hairy medick – Nefel — or Coastal medick ?
Some of the wild flowers found in the meadow and along the road side too.
Sonchus Asper – Prickly sow thistle – Tfief car
Glebionis Coronaria – Crown daisy – Lellux
Below are some of the wild herbs I found yesterday, there is the Goose grass which in Ireland grows plentiful and which I use in soups, there is the Fumitory which is supposed to be a ‘liver’ herb, the Fennel of which there grows a lot around here, Borage which can be used in all sorts of ways, and the Nettle which is a real health giving herb and I use a lot of it in soups etc. It is nice to see all the wild herbs growing very healthy.
Fumariaceae bastardii – Tall ramping fumitory
Today has been a leisurely day and on the way back from the town of Macroom we stopped to make a lovely walk, discovering all sort of treasures in nature, among them quite a few wild Irish Bees taking nectar from the Ivy flowers, a few Himalayan Willow Herb flowers, beautiful late summer Roses, and an area where decades ago the Electricity supply people flooded the river Lee Valley creating an amazing landscape with lots of tree stumps. A lovely warm late September day!