Life Sounds…

Gentle rain falls from the sky between bright sunshine and winds that swirl the clouds above.

This is a lovely weekend.

 Flowers and seed-heads adorn the interior of the cottage.

Lovage wine is being prepared in the kitchen.

 Today’s video is simply the sounds of a day in late June, 2012, as the heavy rains subside and the sun breaks through. Enjoy!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WQdz32XJZnY

After the Flood…

The rain has ceased.

The sun has made an appearance and the streams are gushing forth from the hill behind the cottage.

I have just been out and captured the sights and sounds of the water on video.

The stream bed that snakes it’s way through the Fairy dell is brimming with sparkling rainwater.

It’s hurtling along and moving through the Spring Well in the wood.

This usually only happens during the winter months, but Ireland is seeing more and more heavy, monsoon type rains fall during the second half of the summer.

In a land noted for it’s “soft rain,” this is a clear indicator of Climate Change…from whatever cause!

I am not prepared to argue something that is quite tangible and evidential for me!

I am adapting to this and preparing for this downfall each year.

The water barrels are full to the brim and drawing down the afternoon sun.

Happily I live on a hill  and have constructed ponds on the low ground to capture and direct the excess water.

The first pond acts a silt-catcher and I harvest many buckets of wonderful food for the gardens there as the summer ends.

It also provides a huge crop of wild mint…the strongest and purest one can get anywhere on this sacred Earth!

So, rather than moan about the heavy rains and complain of flood, find ways to divert this excess water into useful projects, for that is the permaculture way forward!

Next?

Water-cress beds!

In the meantime, here is today’s video…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h8hE5czFLcE

Reflections on an Irish Hedgerow

Flo has taken over Jack’s home…a girl after my own heart…and poor Jack, he looks so downtrodden!

As soon as he dares to exit the basket, Flo spreads out so as to deter Jack from even getting his paw back in!

I’ve been out looking at the hedgerow and the incredible growth so far this year.

I’ve made a short video that you can click on at the end of this blog.

It’s an observation on how to make the hedgerow deeper and a safe wildlife corridor, as that is what the present day hedge has evolved into.

Indeed, without hedgerows, wildlife are left incredibly exposed as they traverse the land from place to place.

Our own habitats are easy to protect and enhance, but there is nothing so beneficial to the health of the environment as the common hedgerow.

As I spin wool, the hedgerow on an Autumn morning, is spun over with silky threads and webs by spiders inhabiting within.

Last evening it was very warm and balmy, so, I opened the windows in all rooms throughout the cottage. The lamps were lit and I waited for the expected visitors…Moths…but there were none! Not one! I simply cannot understand it and am somewhat bewildered. I stepped outside and switched on the lamp on the west gable end of the cottage…but still, no Moths! So I went looking for the Bats that have always inhabited the eaves of the roof. I love to watch then swirl around the cottage through the night air, feasting in flight, but…none could be seen! What has happened?

So, here is today’s video…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zaIYfdURBHo

Edible Permaculture Gardens at Bealtaine Cottage

It is early evening as the clock shows and the day has been long.

I was up and working by 6am, so this evening will be early to bed!

Summer is like that here in the west of Ireland.

Much work is finished by early afternoon, so the evening is a time for gentle reflection on a working day.

One of the jobs I managed to get done today was that of polishing the stove in the sitting room.

It’s a long, messy job, but gives the stove such a mighty face-lift that it’s worth it!

Oh…is that one of the cloths on the mantle-piece…?

I walked out into the garden at the back of Bealtaine and was surrounded by Valerian, which is heavy with flower and as long as the seed-heads are picked, will stay in flower until September.

And as I turned around from the Valerian, there was Missy, sitting regally on one of the benches under the Cotoneaster, enjoying the sun as only cats seem able to do, despite their fur coats!

Most of the lettuce in the first vegetable bed is ready for eating and there’s some Chard growing alongside it, ready to occupy the empty space…

Rosa Rugosa in flower behind one of the sheds…Such a vivid Cerise Pink!

An abundance of young apples on the trees in the orchard…hard to believe that this was planted 6 years ago and has fruited every year!

And several hundred pounds of Blackcurrants almost ready for harvesting!

More visitors to the Permaculture Smallholding of Bealtaine Cottage tomorrow.

There are so many people now into growing food and living sustainably.

Permaculture is the ideal way to do both in Ireland, as they are linked into a living circle.

A recent visitor brought me some interesting books and C.D.’s so I shall curl up into a cosy bed to read and listen, earlier than usual!

*********************

Thank you for supporting this blog

A Few Minutes of Truth…are you ready for this?

Rio+20.

The truth is more terrible than we could have imagined.

The truth hurts.

The truth will set us free.

Yes, that is true…for it will set us free, but only after a terrifying journey headlong into the abyss.

That is what I encountered after listening to Dr Vandana Shiva say a few poignant and awfully truthful words outside of the Rio+20 Summit.

I am not going to paraphrase any of what this mighty woman had to say.

It has touched me deeply and I am still in shock.

Take the few minutes to listen to her.

Please.

Let me know what you think?

I feel upset and even terrified.

It is the truth, but so very hard to come to terms with!

Click on the link below…

Her name is fitting. She is a destroyer of lies and a preserver of truth.

http://current.com/technology/93815835_dr-vandana-shiva-on-rio-20.htm

Midsummer in an Irish Permaculture Garden

Fruit, flowers and vegetables are all in abundance in the permaculture smallholding of Bealtaine.

Roses are in over-production and some are well on their way to becoming the wonderful, vitamin-C packed hips of harvest for the Autumn.

 Missy continues to direct operations, while listening to the calls of the Pheasant on the hill behind the cottage.

Pumpkin plants are making their way up along bends of Willow, as Peas vie for their territory along the same climbing frames.

All is in full growth and bloom as the day turns into a weekend of stillness and calm after the high winds and heavy rains of previous days!

Today’s video link…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C_x8EII9J_c

The Breaking into Two Pieces of the Mayan Calendar…

The wind has risen around Bealtaine Cottage, paying no heed to the time that is Midsummer.

Rain and high winds have battered the west of Ireland.

The air is cold and woollen jumpers are the order of the day that’s in it!

The south side of Bealtaine remains sheltered, so it came as a surprise that an errant gust of wind managed to destroy the Mayan Calendar that hung on the south wall of the cottage…

Even in Winter, this area remains still, calm and protected…

More surprising is that one half remains on the wall…

The other on the ground!

Although the cottage is well protected by Nature, the sound of the wind as it whips across the tops of the protective trees is awesome…

Valerian has taken the bicycle into the ground…

One has to look at the Earth and the growth to determine the season.

The copper Celtic Cross will not be reflecting the sunset this evening…the sun is nowhere to be seen…

The Angel of Bealtaine sits quietly amid the Valerian, as Missy, turned feral, runs and dashes about in the bushes, in time with the chaos of the wind…

Visitors to Bealtaine Cottage on the Day of the New Moon

I am over-whelmed right now.

My visitors have left.

It is always sad to say goodbye and even though I had never met these lovely people before, I feel as though I have known them all my life…

Monika and Rita had travelled all the way from Austria, with their driver, Sigi to visit Bealtaine Cottage.

Both have followed the Bealtaine Cottage blog and YouTube channel and got in touch with me some weeks ago to organise the visit.

We have shared a most beautiful and interesting afternoon, walking through the gardens and talking about permaculture, life and sacred journeys. Monika lives near to Sepp Holzer and has visited his permaculture farm.

It is awesome to realise that many of us share so much, even though time and distance keeps us apart.

Life is indeed a sacred journey.

 On leaving, they both presented me with this exquisite Amethyst horn, for a long time my most favourite of gemstones.

This day unfolded with a beautiful message from another visitor, Sharleen who lives on the west coast of the USA…leaving me some wonderful words to energise my day.

I’d like to share them with you…

“Thank you so much for your blog.

I came across it quite by accident, that is if you believe in accidents.

You have a wonderful blessed life!

Please do not underestimate the affect you are having on people’s lives.

Your blog and videos bring peace and happiness to many people from all over the world.

I live in the central coast of California and live a very hectic life.

Every morning before the day starts I check your blog and for videos, for a while I can leave my world behind and breathe and enjoy nature and your hard work.

Thank you so much!” …thank you Sharleen 🙂

************************************************************

Today’s 5 minute video…enjoy

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ckVxQrcaMs

Making Elderflower Cordial…Summer in a Bottle!

The Summer harvest has begun in time for the Solstice…Elderflowers are in abundance and the making of Elderflower Cordial captures the energy of the summer solstice in a bottle of sweety goodness!

30 heads of flowers, 4 lemons, boiled spring water, sugar and citric acid to preserve the cordial well into the dark days of midwinter.

It’s a very simple process.

First boil the one and half litres of water you will use, then stir this onto the 1 kilo of sugar and leave to cool.

Then grate the lemons and slice into thick slices.

Add all to the cooled sugar water, along with the Elderflowers.

Stir well.

Add 50g of citric acid and stir again.

Cover and leave to infuse for 48 hours or so, then strain through muslin and bottle in sterilized glass bottles.

Mmmmm….

Any leftover flowers can be dried in a cool oven and kept in a clean glass jar for making Elderflower tea with during the winter…

This makes a delicious, organic tea!

I love the abundance of summer…

Bealtaine Cottage website is free, with over 1200 blogs and 5,000+ photographs.

However there is a new website for lovers of all things Bealtaine…

” Bealtaine Cottage Good Life”

To subscribe, a small donation of 12 euros per year, will add your name to the subscriber list.

Click on button below to make your subscription.