Summertime

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Beautiful blue sky and warm sun shine. We have been very fortunate weather wise for about three weeks here in Ireland and while we had a late spring, summer came in with a bang.

Late in too May there was very little leaf growth on the trees but with this warm sunshine you could all most see the leaves growing.

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The Oak was out before the Ash, so we are only promised a dash rather than a soaking of rain as according to the Oak-Ash folklore. By the way another peace of folklore the Oak tree blooms a tiny white flower at night only for the fairy queen to see. It has turned brown by the time humans get up, which it has – as you can see from the photo, but I live in hope that I may catch a glimpse of its white flower one early morning.

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So everything is coming up Roses

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And the wild Daisy turns its yellow centre to the sun.

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As do Buttercups amongst the Herbs

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In the mid-day sun there is plenty of shade beneath the trees.

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Summertime, and the livin’ is easy

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Mine you things where touch and go for these baby robins this morning. I just caught a cat pulling the pot with nest and babies out from where it was hid. I put it back as best I could and cordoned the area off with sheep wire. And I am so happy to say that both parents are very busy still feeding them and did not abandon them.

Spring is Here

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I am back blogging again after some months of not been really up to it. My other half has not been in great form all over the winter months. He is a Kidney transplant patient since 1993 and the year after that he had a triple heart bypass operation and things had worked wonderful for him. However this winter he had a number of problems which were quite serious but the good news is, his kidney and heart are doing fine now.

The weather is fabulous here in Mayo at the moment, spring has arrived and with the great weather we are feeling well and truly great.

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Dandelions and Daisies are popping up all over the place, their faces following the sun all day.

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Snowdrops

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Primroses showing in hedgerows and beneath trees.

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Birds are singing all day long

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Bees are humming as they busily go about willow buds

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The moon is visible in the day-time sky at this time of year and it will be a full moon Wednesday 23rd March thereby the next Sunday after a full moon which falls on or after the vernal equinox is Easter Sunday.

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Today is the vernal/spring equinox, which marks the moment the sun crosses the celestial equator from south to north.

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Bonnie enjoying the warm spring sunshine.

Merry Christmas From Mayo

My laptop has gone to the computer place in the sky and father Christmas does not have one for me in his sack. so I am hoping that the New Year brings better things money wise, but it could be worse.

We have all we need the tree, the lights, plenty of food and drink, a warm fire and a roof over our heads this Christmas time so much to be thankful for when so many do not so I will  live without a laptop for awhile.

So MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL AND A WONDERFUL NEW YEAR TAKE CARE.

Broken Down

broken down laptop

That’s my laptop at the moment and I am kind of like that myself at the moment. I have not been feeling great these last few weeks with recurring lung and eye infections.

As the saying goes “This too will pass”

So with some luck I will get the laptop and myself together soon.

Haremoon Cottage Now Showing in Australia

I am absolutely thrilled at the moment.

I have been following a fantastic blog by a wonderful person named Rhonda who lives in Australia. Rhonda, some time ago decided to leave the rat race of mindless spending behind and found a much more enriching and meaningful life in her own home.

Rhonda shares this simpler life with us through her informative blogs from baking bread, making jam even making your own soap giving hits and advice about traditional skills which helps reduce you’re spending and cuts down on environmental impacts.  Rhonda does not take all the credit to herself, she often posts blogs about the work her husband Hanno does, such as gardening they are a great team.

So why am I thrilled at the moment? – Well – Rhonda on her blog Down to Earth has been posting other peoples photos of their favourite place within their homes where they “do their thing,” cooking, gardening, hobbies or just spending down time with family and friends.

And My Favourite Place was chosen this week. – Which follows.

my space

I would like to share my favourite place, though it is just a tiny area set-a-side in a corner beside the window in our bedroom. I live in a little hundred and fifty year old, three bedroom cottage in the west of Ireland in a county called Mayo not far from the wonderful wild Atlantic Ocean.

In my little corner space I sit in my rocking chair where I nursed my babies many years ago and where today I like to just read, knit and just lately I am teaching myself to draw and paint a dream I have had for so long and now at last I have the time. Life is good here.

 

Also on Rhonda’s blog you can join a forum with like minded folk with discussions about living simply and Rhonda has wrote a number of books on the same subject all-in-all Rhonda’s blog “Down to Earth” is well worth a visit.

 

http://down—to—earth.blogspot.ie/2015/10/my-favourite-place-16.html

Autumn Colour in The Woods

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It is a wonderful autumn this year. Weather has been great, sunny and dry with very little wind, allowing the trees to hold on to their leaves. So a walk in the woods is magically colourful at this time of year. Which brought to mind a lovely poem by Mary Oliver called –

Sleeping in the Forest.

I thought the earth remembered me,

she took me back so tenderly,

arranging her dark skirts, her pockets

full of lichens and seeds.

I slept as never before, a stone on the river bed,

nothing between me and the white fire of the stars

but my thoughts, and they floated light as moths

among the branches of the perfect trees.

All night I heard the small kingdoms

breathing around me, the insects,

and the birds who do their work in the darkness.

All night I rose and fell, as if in water,

grappling with a luminous doom. By morning

I had vanished at least a dozen times

into something better.

To unclutter the mind A Westport Trip

I have been busy decluttering my home for some weeks now (years loads of stuff, that is never used – why do we keep things?) and it got to the stage that my mind and body just needed a rest. As the weather decided to gives us a little Indian summer last week we headed over to Westport for the day.

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We stopped first at The Quays area first and had a wonderful lunch I had baked Atlantic trout it really set me up for the day. There were still many tourists from many different countries enjoying Co Mayo and lucky for them our weather behaved.  Silver cars seem to be still in vogue.

seafilled pond

After lunch we sat outside enjoying the sun and watching the world go by beside a sea filled pond . Well with full bellies I was not for walking too far, to quick, too soon.

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We just took a little stroll and watched others taking a jaunt by horse and cart.

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Then spend some more time (sitting) in the beer garden looking over Clew Bay.

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We drove a few miles further along the coast to Oldhead and found a place yes to sit down again and admire the scenery.

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The Reek

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Finally we stirred ourselves and had a long walk around the beach and rocky shore.

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We spent some time studying the sea harvest seaweed which has taken on the autumn colours.

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Shoes off, feeling the warm sand on our feet and admiring the wonderful textures of the beach.

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Feeling the light breeze on our face and hearing the gently movement of the sea while exploring the rocks, finding reddy-brown blubs which are Anemones all closed up while waiting for the sea to return.

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The only other sounds were screeching calls of crows fighting over some, what not.

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And the wing beat of ravens retreating to the trees.

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As the sun goes low in the sky, making sun sparkles in the rock pools.

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And as the tide softly turns back to the shore we walk back to the car and home.

 

Autumn in Co Mayo

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Autumn is well and truly here in Co Mayo. The predominant colours in the garden at Haremoon cottage are lush hot vibrant reds and orange.

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Nasturtium lovely in salads and a great companion plant to grow in vegetable garden.

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I love growing Hops, I make little pillows which I fill with the seed cones a popular folk remedy for aiding a good night sleep. The scent of Hops is lovely. They are used primarily in brewing beer (which I may attempt sometime) and also used for various herbal teas and other beverages. In Sweden and Finland it is a soft drink called “Julmust” popular at Christmas time to the detriment of the Coca-Cola Company whose sales drop by fifty per cent over Christmas.

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Every year I find growing in the garden, Oats, this planted by birds. Not enough grows so that I can make porridge for the whole winter months but enough to make a small corn dolly.

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For the birds I have a number of Cotoneaster shrubs who eat the berries especially loved by the blackbirds and thrushes. The feather is a down feather of one of 12 Collard Doves that visit my garden each day.

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Cotoneasters are wonderful shrubs to grow for other wildlife it is a valuable source of nectar for bees and is a larval food plant for moths.

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Two none native plants in Ireland which grow well and provide a riot of Autumn colour, orange –  yellow of Montbretia and red – purple of Fuchsias. These none natives are not destructive like the Rhododendron and Japanese Knotweed.

blackberry

At the moment around Haremoon Cottage large flocks of Starlings are descending upon the blackberries in the hedgerows, hopefully I will be able to collect some for a few pots of jam.

swallow gather for migration

The swallows are gathering on the lines readying for their long journey back to Africa. I wish them well they so need it.

Three Trillion Trees in the World

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A new study has found that there are over 3 trillion trees on Earth! Is it good news or bad – well it’s not great, – but it’s better than none,

I suppose.

The global number has fallen by 46 percent since the start of human civilization and we are taking down over 15 billion trees each year, showing human impact on these most important organisms for the planet and human survival.

However this study does not take into account the tree species, size or qualities these attributes matter hugely in accounting for the importance of trees and forests.