The Days of Light and Dark

willow Bealtaine Cottage March The light filtered in through the window at around 6am this morning.

Willow catkins stood out on the tall sticks that jabbed up into the lightning sky.

cobwebs Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture March Arcturus was the last star blinking in the dawn sky, as drawing the blind scared the fox off the front driveway.

He was there cleaning up the remainder of the dinner I had scattered last evening.

Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture March primrosesThe days and nights are almost equal in length.

The Equinox approaches.

Bealtaine Cottage March woodland mossSeeds are breaking through the earth, Primroses have opened and the beginnings of Bluebells are carpeting green in the Fairy Wood.

Bealtaine Cottage March Ribes blossomRibes flowers are plumping up their blossom to tempt the bees from hibernation.

The cold morning brings the birds out from the trees and onto the frozen ground, hungrily seeking sustenance.

Willow basket making Feb  Permaculture @ Bealtaine Cottage Further down the gardens, tall, straight stems of Willow beckons cutting and stacking into neat bundles, ready for basket making. 

barn window reflection Permaculture @ Bealtaine Cottage 015

The day begins…


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  1. Dear Colette,
    I have become a follower of your blog quite by accident, a few months ago I was trying to find out a little about “Permaculture” when my Google search brought me across your site and a very nice one it is too. Your thoughts are always interesting, your pictures are really very nice and you have the house looking wonderful. And of course I love to see your diverse family of pets. The change you have helped to bring about on your little piece of the plannet is really something, you are quite an inspiration by showing what great rewards personal efforts and time will bring. I was wondering if you have “Open Days” where unknown visitors may come to see your gardens. We live in County Meath and both my wife and I would go to visit if it were possible to do so, but also would completely understand if you wish to maintain your privacy. Wheras I agree with almost all of what you say about the slightly unnatural and lopsided development of our plannet a funny thought struck me about it. You see I agree that our modern materialistic approach to living has caused such great damage to our plannet, forrest depletion, climate change, the destruction of wildlife habitat, the merciless slaughter of wild animals for fashion or trophies or medicine, sometimes the contemplation of which chills l one’s very soul, (and casts great doubt on the existence of a benevolent God or any divine plan). And yet out of this mad modernisation comes the Internet without which I and many others would never have heard about you and your efforts and encouragement to bring about a more sustained way of life, I’m sure you must see the irony of this, and I supose it just goes to show once again what a ragbag of good and bad life is. I do hope you get a chance to send a short reply but whatever happens I wish you continued success with your work both on and off line and I hope that you continue to enjoy every minute of your time in Bealtaine Cottege..
    Best wishes,
    Tom Conniffe

    • Hello Tom and welcome to Bealtaine Cottage!
      First of all, I agree with what you have to say about the benefits of technology…I’m all for any new technology that advances peace, wisdom, contentment, efficiency etc… I have spent a lot of time today shredding prunings for the compost heap using my electric shredder!
      The internet is fabulous, especially Skype and YouTube…I have a collection of videos up there!
      I am always happy to show visitors around and introduce them first hand to permaculture in this long established smallholding. Hundreds have visited and trod the paths around the gardens and many return and return!
      May is a lovely time to visit…the cottage is named after this month when I first walked the bare, rushy land.
      You can email me on to arrange a day and get my phone number.
      Bright Blessings from all at Bealtaine Cottage,

  2. Lovely to see these glimpses of spring. Native primroses are so special with their real primrosy smell.

    Warmest blessings to all at Bealtaine xx
    It’s been a lovely day…worked outside throughout! I posted the willow yesterday! Hope your day has been good too!
    Bright Blessings from all at Bealtaine Cottage,

  3. Good morning Colette. Lovely blogs lately – as usual and I agree with all your politics. Do you think you might have time to do a “how to make baskets video” and show how simple it is once you know how? that would be much appreciated. xxx
    Top of the morning to you too!
    I will make a video on basket making, though I’m least qualified and know there are brilliant vids up there on YouTube…you may have to wait some time for mine as I am video shy…but I will at some point this year, after I’ve built up to it, courage-wise!
    Bright Blessings from all at Bealtaine Cottage,

  4. A lovely description in pictures and words of ‘The day begins’…..may it bring happiness to you, and all the small creatures who greet each day with you 🙂
    Thanks, Christine…and you!
    Bright Blessings from all at Bealtaine Cottage,

Your comments are welcome!