Posted in Bealtaine Cottage, Cats, celebrations, Celts, Cottage, Gardens, Ireland, Permaculture, Samhain, Spirituality, Thoughts, Uncategorized

Cottage Industry

www.bealtainecottage.com 001The clock ticks towards Samhain, literally meaning: Summer’s end!

Tomorrow is Samhain, a celebration of the last day of Summer and the beginning of Winter in the Celtic calendar. www.bealtainecottage.com 002Despite cold nights creeping into Bealtaine, all remains green on the ground, with just the trees showing signs of transition into Winter.

Nasturtiums have not yet melted in the frost…it seems the ground continues to put forth enough heat to protect them!

www.bealtainecottage.com 003“I ordered my food ages ago!”

Sammy-Bear waits for his breakfast on the veranda…I have to hurry up with this photography business and serve him breakfast!
www.bealtainecottage.com 007The Wisteria, on the veranda of the Lodge, is showing a last magnificent vibrancy before it sets itself into bed.

The plants and trees are making a fantastic show of colour this season!

www.bealtainecottage.com 011The view from the doorway of the Lodge remains green and tranquil.

The micro-climate created here serves the cottage well.

All is sheltered from the North, West and East!
www.bealtainecottage.com 013We really have been blessed, with perfect weather this year, here in the west of Ireland.

Each season has behaved itself extraordinarily well!
www.bealtainecottage.com 020Despite the fact it was my birthday yesterday, I was sufficiently inspired to work and spent the afternoon crocheting this hat.

www.bealtainecottage.com 003It’s an “Annie Hall,” inspired creation…I adore Diane Keaton!

www.bealtainecottage.com 017I love the “cloche” type, 1920’s inspired, hats and adore working with pure wool and natural fabric.

www.bealtainecottage.com 004This one is made using Donegal Tweed Pure Wool and the colour is just wonderful!

I shall be making many more for the Bealtaine Cottage Etsy shop!

Here’s the link to the Bealtaine Cottage Etsy Shop…

https://www.etsy.com/ie/listing/167531769/cloche-hat-1920s-style-in-pure-irish

Posted in Bealtaine Cottage, Cats, Ireland, Life, Spirituality, Thoughts, Trees, Uncategorized

From Belfast to Bealtaine…

www.bealtainecottage.comFrightening storms have swept southern England over recent days.

Feb 2012 Permaculture @ Bealtaine Cottage 023The extreme weather has reminded us all, once more, that we live in uncertain times, times of change.

www.bealtainecottage.com 015Change is all around us and those who have read comments on the previous blog, will know that my darling Missy has passed.

www.bealtainecottage.com 011Such is life…dealing with the frightening and the painful, but never for too long.

Autumn 2013 at Bealtaine Cottage 024Despite whatever happens in our lives, we are best equipped to deal with all that life offers us, highs and lows!

Autumn in the Permaculture Gardens of Bealtaine Cottage 013Pragmatism and resilience are great gifts to nurture and practice often.

fairies 028In the wake of my grief, I headed up to Belfast with my daughter, who had made the journey down to Bealtaine, to help me put Missy to rest and then whisk me off!

cup of tea!It was just what I needed…a change of scenery…there will be time enough to mourn Missy, in little moments of quiet and reflection, later…

a real sofa bedBelfast is a wonderful city, filled with warm-hearted, resilient and humorous people.

In the Fairy Wood below Bealtaine CottageIt is a city in a forest, for I have never seen so many trees… big, colourful, graceful trees!

Blackcurrant ChutneyI will write more about Belfast…but, tonight, I am home and have lit the stove, walked Jack and fed Sammy-Bear, Che-Mousey and am ready for bed!

sunset in IrelandThe wind and rain are battering the cottage, but the kettle boils on the stove…it’s good to be home!

www.bealtainecottage.com 036Don’t forget to order your copy of the “Bealtaine Cottage Little Christmas Book.”

These are due to be posted out at the end of the first week of November!

Click on the link at the top of this page…

Posted in Animals, Cats, Cottage, Garden, Life, Spirituality, Thoughts, Trees, Uncategorized

Juggling, Balancing, Living…

www.bealtainecottage.com 005The woollen blanket dries on the hedge.

The hedge being the perfect spot to hang a woolly blanket that would stretch asunder on a clothes line, or shrivel to dolly size in a drier…not that I have a drier or want to have a drier!

www.bealtainecottage.com 009I agree with Dr Helen Caldicott, in drying clothes in the air and saving the planet from an excessive use of electricity! We need to lessen our daily impact on Mother earth in whatever way we can.

And it’s not just any woolly blanket…it has a pumpkin colour to it…yes, you’ve guessed right, for it belongs to the Pumpkin Mouser, AKA Missy!

Sad to add that she is a sick little peach and is not yet in recovery…we soldier on!

www.bealtainecottage.com 011To balance any hint of sadness, the sun shines and the day is fine.

The trees are beginning to look more mature, since they’ve had a haircut…more a crowning really, as I’ve cut off the lowest branches and thinned out the crowns a little!

www.bealtainecottage.com 015Mind you, it’s just some of the trees…for as you know there are over 900 of them!

I love my trees!

www.bealtainecottage.com 012I have a totally, crazy love for my trees…they are like children, for I talk to them and often times hear their response, in the most sublime ways.

It’s hard to explain, but, I imagine, that as you have chosen to follow this blog, then you understand perfectly!

www.bealtainecottage.com 017I suppose you’re wondering where the title of this blog fits into the overall picture?

Well, for most of the past fortnight, Missy has been quite unwell.

www.bealtainecottage.com 018For some of the time it can be depressing, but then I am mindful of Che-Mousey and Sammy-Bear, as well as Jack, so have to force myself to be a pragmatist…something we women are really quite good at!

Juggling what has to be done, with spending time with Missy, really lightens the burden of a failing animal.

This is something that faces us all, whether it be a feline loved one, a canine loved one or a human loved one…the emotional response is a mighty one!

Juggling keeps our focus wide and not tunnelled.

www.bealtainecottage.com 019The work in the gardens still has to be done…no real burden there as it is a delight to be outdoors!

www.bealtainecottage.com 020And then there’s balancing and that means finding time to ensure love is spread out…not forgetting to include oneself.

We must always be kind to ourselves, as this helps us be kind to others!

www.bealtainecottage.com 026We are better human beings for practising kindness as much as we can, for it is highly contagious!

www.bealtainecottage.com 038Living each day, with joy, is the best way we have to channel kindness…well, have you ever seen a happy person be unkind?

 

Posted in celebrations, Celtic Mythology, Celts, Garden, Inspiration, Ireland, Samhain, Spirituality, Thoughts, Uncategorized

The Celtic Roots of Samhain

www.bealtainecottage.com 001The bright red of the Ruby Chard will add colour to the Samhain feast!

In Celtic Ireland, Samhain marked  the division of the year between the light (summer) and the dark (winter).

www.bealtainecottage.com 054For me, the customs of my ancestors are important to acknowledge and continue.

This time of tuning into the seasonal shift and preparing for the darkness of the winter months ahead, is important.

Even today, as I stacked these logs in the shelter of the veranda, I couldn’t help but think about Samhain and its meaning as a custom and special tradition.

www.bealtainecottage.com 012The Hill of Tara was associated with Samhain in Celtic Ireland, even though it pre-dates the arrival of the Celts themselves!

www.bealtainecottage.com 019The passage to the Mound of the Hostages on the Hill of Tara, constructed some 4,500 to 5,000 years ago, forms the entrance and is aligned with the rising sun around Samhain.

This was constructed even before the Celts arrived in Ireland!

And so, as the leaves fall and cover the earth, we reach Summers End and the beginning of the descent towards Midwinter.

www.bealtainecottage.com 022The Festival of Samhain marked the end of the Celtic year.

  www.bealtainecottage.com 023This is the traditional New Year’s Eve!

www.bealtainecottage.com 038Walking through the gardens at Bealtaine, takes me on a journey similar to the festival of Samhain, for it is all about ending and beginning…as the land pulls its duvet of leaves across its mantle of green, preparing for the beginning of Winter.

www.bealtainecottage.com 056As Samhain marks the division point in the year between summer and winter, it is understood that any point, in the land where there is division or boundary, can be unsafe at Samhain…for it is there that the veil is at its thinnest!

Here at Bealtaine Cottage, the warmth of the sun continues to enchant!

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www.bealtainecottage.com 035

Posted in Abundance, Animals, Autumn, Bealtaine Cottage, Blessing, Cats, Cottage, Country Living, Dogs, Eco-Living, Edible Gardens, Food, Garden, Inspiration, Ireland, Permaculture, Smallholding, Sustainable Living, Trees

Irish Cottage Life

www.bealtainecottage.com 001The permaculture gardens are very wet today…the rain has been quite relentless!

Never mind!

Lots to do indoors and sorting through boxes of “things,” I was happy to find these lovely Yuletide cards.

Doesn’t she look gorgeous in the snow?

As I am receiving orders for the Bealtaine Cottage Christmas Book, I thought that I would add these lovely cards, as a way for me to send the book to someone you love, with a card inscribed with your message.

www.bealtainecottage.com 035Anyway, you can have a peek, using the link at the top of the page!

www.bealtainecottage.com 025Missy continues to make a steady recovery, though has refined her taste-buds to a rather expensive prescription cat food, available only from Suzy the Vet, in Boyle.

When I refer to Missy as a “high maintenance gal!” …I’m not kidding!

Please ignore the clothes drying all over the stove today…it is rather wet outdoors!

Makes it really “Shabby Chic” style!

www.bealtainecottage.com 026I take Jack into see Suzy the Vet, tomorrow morning, to have his “thumb nails” clipped.

Jack loves travelling in the car and tries to snap every other vehicle he sees on the road!

Which is why he can only ever be walked on a lead!

www.bealtainecottage.com 003Dodging in and out, to collect up the logs, my friend Marian delivered to me yesterday, I still managed to get wet!

I’m stacking them under the shelter of the veranda by the lodge.

www.bealtainecottage.com 018Despite the dull, rainy day, the gardens continue to look colourful!

As you can see, the potager beds continue in their abundance, producing herbs, vegetables and flowers.

www.bealtainecottage.com 019There is never any shortage of work to be done here at Bealtaine Cottage!

www.bealtainecottage.com 021Tree coppicing continues along the north bank, in front of the cottage, opening up the view just a little, as well as supplying the stove with kindling and small logs.

www.bealtainecottage.com 016The fact is, no matter what the weather is like, it is simply wonderful to be outdoors in the gardens, working here and there!

www.bealtainecottage.com 004Have a good week ahead everyone…Blessings from Bealtaine Cottage X

Posted in Autumn, celebrations, Celts, Country Living, Earth, Garden, Inspiration, Ireland, Life, Permaculture, Samhain, Thoughts, Uncategorized

The Moon of Samhain

www.bealtainecottage.com 028Leaves are changing the trees and shrubs into their vivid autumn attire.

Spiders are scurrying to and fro, spinning webs and catching food.

Berries hang in abundance on shrubs and trees.

Samhain waits in the wings.

The season makes progress towards “Summers’ End.”

www.bealtainecottage.com 015My friend, Marion has delivered some logs to me as a gift…a true and thoughtful friend indeed!

www.bealtainecottage.com 018Rain has fallen for some days now and the ground is saturated.

www.bealtainecottage.com 034However, Jack must be walked…Walking in the rain is therapeutic and quite humbling, reminding me of the blessings of warmth and comfort in the cottage and the fortune of friendship.

www.bealtainecottage.com 002Last night the moon was full and powerfully bright, illuminating the landscape and the sheep, on the hill behind the cottage.

www.bealtainecottage.com 005I love this time of year, my birthday month…a celebration on the 29th, a Scorpio for sure!

www.bealtainecottage.com 012I am driven by passions and am of the Earth…at times a great strength and others my downfall, though little I care!

Scorpio women rarely cast a glance over their shoulder…

www.bealtainecottage.com 011I am blessed in that I love the Earth and her seasons, an endless wardrobe of colours and textures and scents!

www.bealtainecottage.com 008And even here, in my workroom, I can watch her on the stage, through my window.

www.bealtainecottage.com 009The lunar cycle is almost complete, the moon of Samhain is next on stage.

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

 

Posted in Earth, Inspiration, Spirituality, Thoughts, Uncategorized

Energy Shift

Have you noticed this?

www.bealtainecottage.com 006Are you aware of this enormous shift in energy that has been happening since last year?

www.bealtainecottage.com 001Have you shifted your own energy, either consciously or not?

www.bealtainecottage.com 008Do you find yourself being more emotional, more thoughtful, more questioning?

www.bealtainecottage.com 021Are you in the process of implementing changes in your own life that you never thought possible?

www.bealtainecottage.com 035Do you find yourself questioning situations and paradigms previously taken for granted?

www.bealtainecottage.com 012There is an openness and awareness that is being driven, not by the corporate media, or government, but from a source that is difficult to articulate.

cropped-www-bealtainecottage-com-0141.jpgCan you explain this?

Posted in Autumn, Bealtaine Cottage, biodiversity, Cats, Country Living, Dogs, Edible Gardens, Fairies, Garden, Inspiration, Permaculture, Smallholding, Trees, Uncategorized, Woodland

Autumn Seeds, Berries and Lichens

www.bealtainecottage.com 003Harvesting Willow today in the Permaculture gardens of Bealtaine.

www.bealtainecottage.com 004This Willow is pollarded rather than coppiced.

www.bealtainecottage.com 006The day is fine…good for washing to dry out on the clothes line.

Fresh air and sunshine have an excellent cleansing effect on the materials.

www.bealtainecottage.com 012Working so close to the trees, and seeing the lichens and mosses in the sunlight is magical.

Little cobwebs, insects and textures becomes a world all of its’ own.

www.bealtainecottage.com 014An opportunity to admire the berries on the Hawthorn, set against the silver of the bark.

www.bealtainecottage.com 015Clusters of berries on the Ivy continue to develop.

www.bealtainecottage.com 016Not to be out-done…the cerise pink berries on the native Irish Spindle make a show of themselves!

www.bealtainecottage.com 020Seeds on the Alder trees hang low in the bog garden.

www.bealtainecottage.com 021The green of Autumn has a fairytale quality about it…it becomes a woodland green, reflected by silvery, autumnal sun light.

www.bealtainecottage.com 031Where summer sun on trees casts darkness underneath, autumn sun creates shadows…

www.bealtainecottage.com 034The Fairy Wood is timeless with trailing ivy and sunlight.

www.bealtainecottage.com 036Ivy and moss…

www.bealtainecottage.com 038******

www.bealtainecottage.com 042*********

www.bealtainecottage.com 056Jack and Che-Mousey-Bear play in the sunshine.

www.bealtainecottage.com 059***************

Posted in Abundance, Autumn, Bealtaine Cottage, Country Living, Food, Frugal Living, Growing Food, Inspiration, Life, Lifestyle, Organic Garden, Permaculture, Self-Sufficiency, Sustainable Living, Trees

Planning to Beat Poverty

www.bealtainecottage.com 006Pollarded Willow in the upper gardens this afternoon.

Walking around the land gives me an overall perspective of work to be carried out this coming winter.

www.bealtainecottage.com 007The Autumn is prolonged, as the good weather continues and so the coppicing has begun in earnest!

This is an eight year old Birch tree, that was coppiced in year one, to produce multiple stems.

www.bealtainecottage.com 010It’s very dry and still.

Trees are holding onto their leaves and flowers continue to bloom.

www.bealtainecottage.com 011I was shopping in a supermarket in town the other day and noticed a sharp increase in the cost of food.

I really thought that the assistants had made genuine mistakes in the pricing tags on some of the shelves.

www.bealtainecottage.com 001I knew this was coming and have in fact warned about it, but to see the jump in overall food costs is quite scary…it appears to be all of a sudden!

www.bealtainecottage.com 017I am aware that the cost of seeds have doubled in some cases…that was the precursor to the food price jump!

Corn is up 92% and corn syrup is in a lot of foods!

The Times of India reports an overall food price rise of 157% between 2004 and 20013

www.bealtainecottage.com 021If ever there was time to embrace the abundance that grows from permaculture it is now!

Even the collection of this bundle of kindling saves vital cash…a bag of kindling at the shops costs on average 3-4 euros!

www.bealtainecottage.com 022Just cleaning up the lane-way to the cottage will produce an excess of kindling and wood for the stove!

www.bealtainecottage.com 012Last month The Daily Express UK newspaper reported that, “Rising food prices are causing stress for four in ten consumers, while a third say they are struggling to feed themselves or their family.”

According to “The Mirror,” newspaper, Sep., 2013:
“Food bills rising nearly FOUR times faster than wages, figures show.”

www.bealtainecottage.com 032The dry Autumn will see me out collecting as much wood for fuel as possible.

After all, in the depths of a cold, dark winter, what sustains us better than a warm home, hot, home-made soup and pots of preserves, chutney and pickles in the pantry.

www.bealtainecottage.com 034And not forgetting the home made wine!

Warmth and good food remains within our grasp if we plan for it now!

Posted in Permaculture, Sustainable Living, Thoughts, Uncategorized

Crowdfunding?

I have been advised by numerous recipients of my blog, that rather than sell Bealtaine I should consider the potential for crowd-funding, in order to raise the funds to bring the Permaculture Food Forest to fruition.

As you know I am familiar with all Earth based things, but I’m a bit stuck with this crowd-funding idea.

If any of you know about this proposal and what it entails, I would very much appreciate if you could help with some more information, as I’m a bit stuck.

Do you think crowd-funding would work?

Do you think I would get to realise my dream ( our dream, yes that’s you too) of planting  9,000 trees?

Blessings…Colette

Posted in Cats, Life, Lifestyle, Thoughts, Uncategorized

A Sack of Diamonds

www.bealtainecottage.com 010Sunrise is happening later each morning.

This morning was clear and beautiful.

www.bealtainecottage.com 012But also, this morning, I was faced with taking Missy into the Vet…she has not been well and hasn’t eaten for three days.

www.bealtainecottage.com 013Anyway, she is in there for the day and I am at home keeping busy!

www.bealtainecottage.com 030Coming back home, a journey of about eight miles, I stopped several times to take photos…it is really such a beautiful day here in the west of Ireland!

www.bealtainecottage.com 025Mature Beech trees line the road that sweeps along the edge of Lough Key.

www.bealtainecottage.com 026Stretches of blue water can be seen from the car.

www.bealtainecottage.com 028I have to drive back into Boyle to collect Missy at 6pm.

The day continues fine, so the journey will not be too stressful.

I remain on an emotional tightrope and I’m not looking down!

www.bealtainecottage.com 006Last night there was a half-moon in the southern sky.

At 5am the sky was a black velvet sack of diamonds.

The moon had set and the sky was illuminated by stars…endless stars!

The Earth continues to turn.

Posted in Abundance, Autumn, biodiversity, Birds, Cats, celebrations, Celtic Mythology, Country Living, Edible Gardens, Folklore, Garden, Inspiration, Ireland, Permaculture, Seeds, Trees, Uncategorized, Woodland

Country Living and Magic

www.bealtainecottage.com 002Red berries and silver light, weather changing frame by frame and night skies opening up to endless stars…country living, or maybe just observing.

www.bealtainecottage.com 003For as I type, a fierce storm moves across the tree tops, sweeping leaves before it like a Samhain broom!

Yet in the stillness of the sheltered gardens of Bealtaine, Perscaria blooms stand tall and erect, like soldiers guarding Summer…but not for long!

(Persicaria amplexicaulis is a species of flowering plant in the family Polygonaceae, native to the Himalayas.)

www.bealtainecottage.com 008Che-Mousey-Bear chases around the gardens, delighting in Autumn and curiously keeping watch as I take photographs this morning.

www.bealtainecottage.com 006Willow arches have thickened this year…something I will plant many more of, as the Autumn progresses and leaves fall away, to reveal the best stems to cut and plant.

www.bealtainecottage.com 017  The fallen Rowan tree continues to grow strong and multiply it’s stems, year after year.

This beautiful tree had fallen in a storm over nine years ago, but now grows in the more sheltered gardens.

www.bealtainecottage.com 020The Rowan tree has long been regarded to possess magical and protective qualities and often was planted near Irish cottages.

www.bealtainecottage.com 028This may have something to do with the fact that there is a small five-pointed star, or pentagram, opposite the stalk of each berry.

www.bealtainecottage.com 023Pentagrams have long been considered symbols of protection.

www.bealtainecottage.com 035The berries’ red colour is also regarded to be the best protective colour against enchantment.

www.bealtainecottage.com 013The covering on the tunnel is in need of washing, for the algae has settled on the outside…a task to add to my weekly list!

www.bealtainecottage.com 031 The berries on the Ivy are ripening fast.

These are a welcome source of food for blackbirds and if not eaten, remain on the plant until spring, providing an important food-source for young birds.

Ivy makes a magical decoration for the home towards midwinter… I always look forward to gathering and decorating the mantelpiece with this wonderful greenery, leaving plenty for the birds!

Posted in Abundance, Autumn, Bees, Birds, Butterflies, Garden, Inspiration, Ireland, Lifestyle, Permaculture, Trees, Wild Flowers, Wildlife

Pulling Down the Sky

www.bealtainecottage.com 010There is a gigantic food festival happening all around Bealtaine Cottage.

www.bealtainecottage.com 011The partying has been going on around the clock for a few days now, with most of it taking place in and around this humble little, easy to grow plant…the Nasturtium!

www.bealtainecottage.com 012Bees and Caterpillars are stocking up on the end of season glut, before the first frost descends, as surely it will this week!

www.bealtainecottage.com 014Once the frost comes then the Nasturtiums will die off completely as they appear to melt in the extreme cold!

And, in the meantime, these beautiful Caterpillars eat their way to transformation, as Small Tortoiseshell Butterflies! www.bealtainecottage.com 013The rain has fallen steadily for several days now, filling containers all over the gardens.

www.bealtainecottage.com 015These shallow containers with rims, are essential for bees to drink from, as many die struggling to climb out from water barrels.

They are also quite beautiful, in that they pull the sky into them, creating magical light in dark areas of undergrowth, like here.

www.bealtainecottage.com 024Whether on the ground or, as here, in trees, little areas of water are welcome feeding stations for small wildlife.

www.bealtainecottage.com 021The season moves gently through the trees and shrubs, creating vibrancy of colour here and there.

This Virginia Creeper stays for much of the year, unnoticed, as it spreads its tendrils through the Rose Arch, only to dance out onto the stage as the curtain falls!

www.bealtainecottage.com 023And likewise the Spindle bush…all plain and coy until Autumn gets it drunk on colour!

www.bealtainecottage.com 030The days may be shorter, but they are packing in the entertainment!

Even the Lemon trees are coming up!

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Bealtaine Cottage is free and has over 850 blogs, as well as over 3,500 photographs.

Bealtaine Cottage Good Life is a mere 12 euros per year and allows me a small income, to keep doing what I love doing most…writing about Mother Earth and photographing her.

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

                                                          Click on button below to join the website…

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Bealtaine cottage crafts 010Bog Oak Pendants are available from the Bealtaine Cottage Craft Shop.

Each pendant is hand-crafted from locally sourced Irish Bog Oak, an ancient and profoundly mysterious wood that’s been buried in the Irish peat bogs for thousands of years.

These pendants are made from wood dated as 5,600 years old.

Visit:

http://bealtainecottage.com/craft-shop/

Posted in Bealtaine Cottage, Cottage, Country Living, Garden, Growing Food, Inspiration, Ireland, Lifestyle, Organic Garden, Permaculture, Self-Sufficiency, Smallholding, Sustainable Living

Bealtaine Cottage For Sale

sitting room at Bealtaine CottageBealtaine Cottage Permaculture Smallholding is now offered for sale…

www.bealtainecottage.com 030I am hoping that someone, who will continue to love and nurture Bealtaine, will purchase the smallholding and cottage.

spinning wheelIreland has the lowest tree cover in all of Europe, I intend to do something about that!

www.bealtainecottage.com 056I have planted 1,000+ trees here at Bealtaine, and now my dream is to plant 9,000+ deciduous trees, creating a Forest of Bealtaine, somewhere nearby…

www.bealtainecottage.com

I believe that if the Forest of Bealtaine is to come to pass, then a generous buyer will step forward.

Interested parties can contact me via email, at:  coletteoneill2010@hotmail.com

kitchen window May 2014, is the tenth anniversary of creating Bealtaine Cottage.

DSCF1274
To add your name to the list of interested parties and find out more details, please email.

Back door of Bealtaine CottageInterested parties can view by appointment.

cropped-0271.jpgThis will be a private sale.

The IMF has ordered Ireland to cut down her forests and sell her trees.
Ireland already has the lowest tree cover in all of Europe!
My dream is to plant a forest…

The 9,000 trees I intend planting will be totally safe from the IMF …they shall not pass!
And the Forest of Bealtaine will be for all who love the Earth!

Those who have followed the story of Bealtaine Cottage know that I am prepared to put everything I have into this venture…everything, including my home!

This is not for personal gain, but wholly and completely for Mother Earth.

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

Postscript: I have withdrawn the sale and am busy working on an alternative way to acquire more land on which I can continue planting deciduous trees!

Wish me luck!

Posted in celebrations, Celtic Mythology, Celts, Fairies, Folklore, Inspiration, Ireland, Lifestyle, Permaculture, Uncategorized

Half Light and Shadows

www.bealtainecottage.com 039The apricot glow of a fading October sky, merged with the heavy rustling of cows on the field across the lane, drawing me outdoors.

This is a magical time of enchantment, with Nature and late evening light.

www.bealtainecottage.com 027Any noise on such a still evening exudes an eerie quality of something not understood…always best to go out and uncover the mystery.

As it was, the cows and their calves had nuzzled in close to the hedgerow, to bed down for the night.

The heaviness of their bodies crushing branches, as they leaned into the conspiratorial thorn hedgerow.

www.bealtainecottage.com 056The stillness of the evening makes one want to tip-toe on the lane.

Peering back in through the window of the cottage, lit only by a candle, illuminating the kitchen, it is easy to believe in the fairy folk…

It was remarked by many in 1950s rural Ireland, that the newly installed electric light drove the fairies away…

www.bealtainecottage.com 048The light is on its descent towards Samhain and deeper still to midwinter.

This passing of the light should be a signal for us all to slow down and embrace the stillness of the year, allowing ourselves time to reflect on our sacred journey.

www.bealtainecottage.com 031The Fennel looks to all intents and purposes the magical plant it is said to be, in this half-light.

It is so majestic, scented, beautiful and useful, that I have a mind to plant it all over the gardens!

www.bealtainecottage.com 058…the warmth of the kitchen beckons me towards the light, as the apricot shadows fall back into night.

Posted in Autumn, Celtic Mythology, Celts, Folklore, History, Inspiration, Ireland, Permaculture, photography, Spirituality, Thoughts, Trees, Woodland

The Girdle of Green

www.bealtainecottage.com 002An old castle on an island in the forest, not far from Bealtaine Cottage, and where I walked today with my daughter, Cara, whose birthday we celebrated, with a walk through this magical landscape on a glorious autumn day.

www.bealtainecottage.com 007This is Lough Key and the castle once belonged to the MacDermott clan who lived here hundreds of years ago.

www.bealtainecottage.com 003The castle is mentioned frequently in the ancient annals, being a focus for both fighting and partying.

Brian of the Carrick, Chief 1585-92, is reported to be last head of the clan to live on the island.

www.bealtainecottage.com 004 There is reference to Castle Island in the annals of Lough Ce as early as 1184.

During this time the park was called Moylurg and the Kings of Moylurg were the MacDermotts.

www.bealtainecottage.com 017The real pleasure lies in walking among the mighty Oaks that guard the Lough.

www.bealtainecottage.com 031This Oak tree was warm and welcoming…an ancient heart holding the history of the land within.

www.bealtainecottage.com 021Just resting against this tree made me feel joyous…what amazing energy and strength emanates forth from trees like this!

The mighty  Oak has had importance and great significance to the Celts, from ancient to modern times.

www.bealtainecottage.com 034This is where the ancestors worshipped and held important events in the old calendar, for the Oak Grove was considered sacred.

www.bealtainecottage.com 048Oak trees grow in almost every part of the world.

The Druids made their magic wands from only three woods…Yew, Oak and Apple.

www.bealtainecottage.com 054

As the sap begins to drop in the trees and the leaves turn colour, Ivy, that has previously been shaded out by canopy, emerges into its own, as a permanent reminder to us all that spring will return.

www.bealtainecottage.com 057The evergreen girdle of Ivy, on many trees, keeps a host of small birds and insects warm and fed over the dark days of winter.

www.bealtainecottage.com 043Similarly, the girdle of Moss, around the base of the mighty Oak, will secure the winter for many small creatures.

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Posted in Cats, Permaculture, Samhain, Spirituality, Uncategorized

The Promise of Mist

www.bealtainecottage.com 001The evening falls a little faster, the light fades in the west and the cottage warms up to greet the night.

www.bealtainecottage.com 011Missy has been reluctant to go outside today, as the rain fell steadily all afternoon.

The warm air ensures a light mist will rise from the valley tonight.

If the morning is clear, the mist will rise up through the valley and embrace the mountains of Arigna.

www.bealtainecottage.com 021Rose-hips are flopping out from hedgerows…is this the sign of a cold winter to come?

We shall see!

www.bealtainecottage.com 048Tea, lovely hot and comforting, the cup that cheers…thank you Jane for the beautiful mugs you made for me in your Bandon Pottery.

Crocosmia Montbretia in the rainThe flowers of the Crocosmia are in their final stages of bloom.

The vibrancy of this orange flower was brought to Ireland from South Africa over 100 years ago and have become naturalised here in the west of the country, where the Gulf stream makes the climate that little bit softer!

Che Mousey Bear relaxes on the benchThe days of sitting on the bench are not yet over, for the seasons here in the magical west of Ireland, never played by the rules.

www.bealtainecottage.comHere, Mother Nature goes her wilful, wild way, delighting in surprises that open into warm January days and balmy February afternoons in sheltered places like the south side of Bealtaine Cottage, set here in its own little micro-climate.

www.bealtainecottage.com 002Tiny pumpkins decorate the sitting room, reflecting the season of fruitfulness.

www.bealtainecottage.com 003The light play of Autumn continues…

www.bealtainecottage.com 025Bunches of drying herbs, cast shadows on the wall, as the season begins its final lunar cycle.

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I write and post about Bealtaine Cottage, on this website and YouTube (ad-free) videos.

  Making this (almost daily), commitment is simply to provide inspiration and empowerment for all seeking a better way of living on this precious Earth. Donations help me do that :)