Resilience of The Bealtaine Project as Drought and Heatwave Ravage Ireland

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Extreme weather conditions have struck once again here in Ireland.

Planting over eleven hundred trees over fourteen years has meant resilience for Bealtaine Cottage.

IMG_7610This continual onslaught of extreme weather is fast establishing itself as the new normal!

IMG_7611From the normally mild summers of Ireland and the UK, numerous locations in the Northern Hemisphere have witnessed their hottest weather ever recorded over the past two weeks!

This should be a wake-up call to plant…trees!

IMG_7612 Only three months ago the country ground to a halt with severe snow storms and massive fall of snow in 48 hours!

IMG_7613Now we are experiencing a heatwave and severe drought which we haven’t had since 1976!

IMG_7614There was a hurricane here in Ireland last year and a massive six hour thunderstorm that did incredible damage.

IMG_7615The Irish Meteorological service, Met Éireann says there will be ‘practically nothing’ in terms of rainfall for the next ten days!

IMG_7616And so it continues unabated!

IMG_7619There has been less than 20mm of rain since May 1st with twelve days of sweltering heat and temps approaching 32c (90F) with no end in sight.

IMG_7629This is the third major record breaking weather story in just nine months – from autumn hurricanes to winter snow storms and now a summer drought!

IMG_7632Have you noticed the effect of this heatwave and drought here at Bealtaine Cottage? Many of you are familiar with the Bealtaine Project motto:

“Plant like your life depends upon it, for it does!” ~ Bealtaine CottageIMG_7636There has been some leaf drop, but overall the land is in good condition and is surviving the extreme conditions well!

IMG_7639As I write this I am aware of extreme rainfall and flooding in Japan.

IMG_7642It appears that the entire world is experiencing extreme weather.

IMG_7643However, what is happening is a taste of what lies ahead, for whatever we do there are consequences.

IMG_7645Did we not all learn that simple rule as children?

IMG_7644If we fail to look after, respect and maintain our home, then it will fall down around us. IMG_7649The earth is our home.

IMG_7652We have treated Mother Earth with disdainful arrogance!

There is a video on this subject uploaded today over on the Bealtaine Cottage YouTube channel…subscribe for further notifications.

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“A Cottage and Three Acres,” by Colette O’Neill

Please email Colette if you would like a particular inscription in your book. From a desolate cottage set in 3 acres of monoculture sadness, to a vibrant, thriving food forest of life…the journey back to Eden over 13 years… Bealtaine Books and Maps are printed in Ireland and posted from Ireland to support the people of Ireland.

€25.00

In Search of The Goddess Rising

This is the second book in the Goddess Permaculture series from Colette O’Neill at Bealtaine Cottage, Ireland. In this book I explore the ancient landscape, mythology, literature and life around Bealtaine Cottage… in search of the Great Goddess. The price of the book includes all postage and packing to wherever you live in the world! Bealtaine Books and Maps are printed in Ireland and posted from Ireland to support the people of Ireland.

€19.00

Bealtaine Cottage Guide to the Deep Midwinter

A little Yuletide book filled with colour photographs, recipes, reflections, lore, poetry and mirth to guide you through the wonderful days ahead. Fifty pages of sheer delight from Bealtaine Cottage to you. The book is fully bound and can be posted direct as a gift. Price includes P&P worldwide. Bealtaine Books and Maps are printed in Ireland and posted from Ireland to support the people of Ireland.

€13.00

Special Offer

In Search of the Goddess Rising and The Bealtaine Cottage Guide to the Deep Midwinter…both books normally cost €32.00 but can be purchased together for for €28.00 which includes P&P Worldwide. Bealtaine Books and Maps are printed in Ireland and posted from Ireland to support the people of Ireland.

€28.00

Magical Mythical Map of Bealtaine Cottage and Gardens

Beautiful map created by the artist David Gascoigne, especially for Bealtaine Cottage. The picture shows one side of the map…it is printed on both sides, see the photos on this page. The price includes all Postage and Packing to wherever you live in the world! Bealtaine Books and Maps are printed in Ireland and posted from Ireland to support the people of Ireland.

€10.00

The Pivotal Point

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The west of Ireland has been drying out over recent weeks, as the drought continues to make it’s presence felt in streams, rivers and, most importantly for Bealtaine Cottage, Spring Wells…mine in particular!

Those attending yesterday’s workshop noted the now empty rain barrels!

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There is rain promised for Friday the 12th of May…the day when a visitor from America flies in to take up a week long course at Bealtaine Cottage…so rain will be greatly appreciated on this occasion in order to facilitate shower facilities in the cottage!IMG_0873

On the plus side, there’s a new wooden veranda to enjoy sitting out on…the lodge is where visitors get to stay, in comfort and, to some degree, independence and privacy…that is unless SammyBear, Beauty or, indeed, Jack, try to barge in, as oft they try!

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Over recent years, this early summer drought has become a feature of our evolving weather systems.

Who would have ever imagined this to become a pattern here in Ireland, but it has!

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More water butts are needed and will be put in place at the end of this year in preparation for next!

Planning and implementing are both important tools in dealing with what appears to be deepening climate change.

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Putting in place as many practices and resources to ameliorate the worst effects of climate change are important to building resilience.

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It is no longer practical to plant trees and shrubs in Spring, as the reliability of previous planting times are now in question.

Autumn and winter are now the only times to plant and be assured of the conditions needed for healthy rooting.

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The dense planting schemes I introduced at Bealtaine Cottage at the beginning of this project thirteen years ago have served the land well!

Plentiful shade and supporting growth has helped establish real resilience!

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What we carry in our hearts and nurture, is either an image of the beauty of Mother Earth, or, one of darkness, and the horror, we, as a species, have cultivated.

To this end, the image of light and joy, I created the stone circle which sits on the outer edge of Bealtaine.

I say this because a recent visitor asked me why I made it.

It is sad to forget the joy of imagination and magic.

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That question asked of me, helped remind me of this beautiful quote, so apt in these times of awakening…

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“I thought that you would be frozen in awe when you found the sequence, when you heard a bird’s song repeating my Morse code, my cry for help, my S.O.S, when you saw the same numbers in the petals of a flower and the structure of a pine cone, when you saw with your own eyes the interconnectedness of all things.
But I was wrong.
You searched for a male god, a creator, an intelligent designer, or you banished the beauty and mystery of the world beneath the cold concrete grave of closed-eye scepticism. The few of you who could still hear my music felt tortured and misunderstood; you reached out for any conspiracy theory large enough to explain your alienated despair, your sense that the Earth was dying and no one cared.
But listen to me — you are not alone.

Run your fingers through the grass and grab it in your fists, feel my pulse echoing through your blood.

You.

Are.

Not.

Alone.

And I —

I am not dead yet.”


~ Sarah Warden, Blood of Earth

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The above quote from Sarah Warden sums up, for me, the reasons for my optimism…or in part at least!

I have witnessed the surge of life across this once derelict, sad and lonely place!

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In a way, my building the stone circle encapsulated the joy and magic I often felt and continue to feel on this land.

Mother Earth is like Sleeping Beauty, simply waiting for love!

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I am a great proponent of technology, as it is through the medium of the internet and a good camera, that the beauty and promise of Mother Earth can be celebrated worldwide from this little piece of her, here in the remote west of Ireland…and using a phone hot-spot as my connection!

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The ancient peoples who built this cairn atop Kilronan mountain would have been  intrigued!

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I am in the process of writing another book, one that may further express the magic and wonder I feel living here.

Added to this the decision to embark on a second print run for “A Cottage and Three Acres,” a book I never imagined would be as successful as it is!

It is wondrous for me to see how many are encouraged and enriched by the story of Bealtaine Cottage.

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Sitting by the stone circle this morning, Jack at my side, snapping photographs as I sipped my coffee, seems so personal, yet this is how many of you tell me you feel when looking at the images on your phones, tablets and computers…now that is magic!

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I believe that we have evolved to this point where Mother Earth can be seen, in detail, close-up, by all for the first time!

This is the pivotal point in our own evolution…we either fall in love with Her or keep to the path of egotistical destruction that is the corporate madness of the latter part of the twentieth century and the utter stupidity of the twenty first!

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I will leave you with these photographs.

No doubt you will look at them and admire the beauty of our incredible Mother and the joy she exudes.

But there is something I have come to understand that I want to share with you…

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Just because mankind has wreaked havoc and destruction upon her, does not mean she is dead or dying, despite the images of the horrors we often see.

Indeed, the arrogance of many is verbalised in their dire predictions for Earth!

Even Stephen Hawking recommends that mankind move to Mars!

I say no!

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Bealtaine Cottage is proof, if ever there was needed, that she sleeps below us, waiting, waiting patiently to be awoken with love, tenderness and joy.

In our arrogance and hubris, we have been led to believe that we can destroy Mother Earth!

It’s time we grew up and left our spoiled and petulant childhood behind us and, instead, start to take care of our Mother!

Mars indeed!

Look at the photographs…

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The book “A Cottage and Three Acres,” is now available to purchase…with 71 colour photographs!

 

The cost of the book is 21.00 euros, plus 5.50 P&P for addresses in Ireland, 6.50 P&P the rest of the world.

Thus books posted to Ireland, total cost 26.50 euros

All other countries worldwide, total cost 27.50 euros

Once through to Paypal, currency conversion is worked out for you. I will acknowledge your order ASAP.

To order and pay, use this button…

 
 
 You can also pay by cheque, made out to Colette O’Neill and posted to:
Bealtaine Cottage
Ballyfermoyle
Keadue
Boyle
County Roscommon
Ireland
 
(Don’t forget to include your name, inscription if wanted and full address.)
 
 

A Lifeboat For Humanity

DSC01956It was James Lovelock who first suggested that there would be a very few countries which would escape the worst vagaries of the oncoming Climate Change…

DSC01955Much of our media remains silent about the problem and there hangs an eerie silence in the air around centres of political machinations.

DSC01954Our extractive mentality and the demand for higher profits combine to destroy our very own habitat..this is the truth of what’s happening worldwide…we cannot escape our acquisitive nature! DSC01953We appear to be caught in a vicious circle of greed versus need…and we know which one of those two is winning! 

DSC01951DSC01950This is another Bank Holiday weekend here in Ireland and the pubs, takeaway food shops and restaurants are doing a roaring trade! 

DSC01948Over 56 billion farmed animals are killed every year by humans.

DSC01946DSC01945These shocking figures do not even include fish and other sea creatures whose deaths are so great they are only measured in tonnes…has anyone else noticed the scarcity of fish like Cod and Haddock  in our supermarket deep freeze and the sly introduction of Pollack?

DSC01944DSC01941DSC01940Yes, fish stocks are in decline, as evidenced in the supermarket offerings!

DSC01939We are gobbling up our habitat at an alarming rate! 

DSC01937Throughout the world, about 900 million trees are cut down annually, as of 2014.

That equates to about 2.47 million trees cut down every day.

DSC01936But, hold on, I hear you say…what was that you said about James Lovelock and…? 

According to The Irish Times report in 2009: James Lovelock is perhaps the world’s leading thinker on environmental issues – and his prognosis for the future of humanity is grim. In Ireland to speak at University College Dublin this week, he tells RONAN McGREEVY why he thinks climate change is irreversible and why Ireland may become ‘a lifeboat for humanity’

DSC01927 Yes, that’s right, ” a lifeboat for humanity!” 

DSC01926According to scientist James Lovelock, we are on the cusp of a global catastrophe that will make the present recession look trivial.

Within 30 years, he believes, the Arctic’s floating summer sea ice will all be melted. The polar caps will no longer reflect sunlight back into space and, instead, the ocean will absorb sunlight, heating up. The permafrosts in northern Canada and Siberia will thaw out, releasing carbon dioxide (CO2). At the same time, the tropical forests, which play a critical role in taking CO2 from the atmosphere, will die out. Global temperatures will rise by between five and six degrees in a short period of time, rendering most of the world uninhabitable for the vast majority of mankind.

What sets Lovelock apart from other climate scientists, most notably the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), is the swift timetable he envisages and his belief that such change is irreversible and will take most of the human race with it. (Irish Times 2009)

DSC01925Lovelock is a former NASA chief scientist.  

DSC01923James Lovelock invented the electron capture device (ECD) whch alerted the world to the depletion of the ozone layer…remember the aerosol crisis?

DSC01922However, he is most famous for the Gaia hypothesis, now a theory, that the world is itself a living organism…and one I know to be true! 

DSC01921Though his predictions for the world are dire, his predictions for Ireland are of some small comfort. Because of our proximity to the sea, our relatively high latitude and our low population density, we may be spared the worst excesses of global warming.

He says Ireland, along with New Zealand, will be the “most fortunate countries on earth”. We will be a “lifeboat for humanity”, but a lifeboat can only take so many passengers.

~ Irish Times 2009

DSC01920Personally I think there will be many places that will make the transition successfully, but the criteria for these places will be different according to geographical regions.

DSC01919How do any of the generation that will meet this head on prepare for the crisis?

DSC01918Well we can begin by practicing living with less, using less, consuming less and growing more…and build a new way of living with Mother Earth from there!

DSC01911 It continues to be developed at Bealtaine Cottage…

 

Bealtaine Cottage Good Life membership is 12 euros per year and allows me a small income to continue to grow the Bealtaine Project both here in Ireland and in the hearts and minds of good people all over the world.

Please join…

Postscript…

James Lovelock mentions other countries in his forecasting that  will also have the climatic conditions to sustain life…from my reading, these include the British Isles, Northern Scandinavia, New Zealand and Northern Canada. In this interview with The Irish Times in 2009 he was directly referencing Ireland.

Giordano Bruno

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I have been reading much of late…in particular, two books by James Lovelock, setting out the case for Gaia and the ensuing extreme weather generated by a change in our climate, among other things, some would argue! 

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DSC01462This is not a blog about Climate Change or, even, extreme weather…enduring it is quite enough!

DSC01467This is about an extraordinary human being, who, 400 years before James Lovelock, set out the case for our Earth being alive…as I know her to be today!

DSC01464For this and other beliefs, Giordano was burned at the stake in the year 1600.

DSC01471Giordano Bruno, born Filippo Bruno, was an Italian Dominican friar, philosopher, mathematician, poet, and astrologer.

DSC01472He is remembered for his cosmological theories, which conceptually extended the then novel Copernican model.

DSC01470He proposed that the stars were just distant suns surrounded by their own exoplanets and raised the possibility that these planets could even foster life of their own (a philosophical position known as cosmic pluralism).

DSC01469He also insisted that the universe is in fact infinite and could have no celestial body at its “centre”.

DSC01463Beginning in 1593, Bruno was tried for heresy by the Roman Inquisition on charges including denial of several core Catholic doctrines (including Eternal Damnation, the Trinity, the divinity of Christ, the virginity of Mary, and Transubstantiation).

DSC01460So, you can begin to see why I have warmed to this rather extraordinary and brave human being!

DSC01458Not, as some would imagine, for having strong views…but for daring to question!

DSC01457Bruno’s pantheism was also a matter of grave concern.

DSC01456 The Inquisition found him guilty, and he was burned at the stake in Rome’s Campo de’ Fiori in 1600.

DSC01452In short, Giordano Bruno was burnt at the stake just over 400 years ago for maintaining that the Earth was alive!

DSC01449After many years of isolation in the science community, James Lovelock was acknowledged as the bearer of truth, sometimes a painful burden to carry in a society fixated with staying well inside the box!

DSC01447I know from my intimate work with Mother Earth, that she is indeed alive.

I open myself to her communication.

DSC01439Her voice grows louder with each passing day…indeed, many of you hear or feel her communication.

DSC01432The change in acceptance of James Lovelock’s Gaia theory was summed up in a declaration published by scientists from the four international research programmes in 2001 which said…

DSC01428“The Earth system behaves as a single, self-regulating system,comprised of physical, chemical, biological and human components. The interactions and feedbacks between the component parts are complex and exhibit multi-scale temporal and spatial variability.” DSC01426We need to make peace with Her…and to do that we need to listen!

Thank you for supporting Bealtaine Cottage…there is a link at the top of this page where you may choose to purchase a book, calendar or map. Blessings X Colette

End of Empire and Climate Chaos

www.bealtainecottage.com 054The greatest concern of our times is happening on a daily basis and affecting every one of us.

Weather volatility is real and happening and the Ostriches in power appear impotent against the great forces of Nature.

www.bealtainecottage.com 029The gabbling media assault our senses with celebrity highs and lows, sport and highly edited titbits of what is happening internationally…all the while keeping away from any real conversation about the chaos that is the weather all around us and those dreaded words: Climate Change.

However it is not Climate Change any more…the media have completely missed out on that conversation!

It has evolved rapidly into Climate Chaos!

The Fairy Wood at Bealtaine CottageI would like to offer words of comfort and reassurance, but that’s not possible, for I live in the real world and events are happening too fast for me to be able to offer predictions that will reassure!

Last night I slept with both windows open in my bedroom, bathed in warmth from the wind that blew all night from the south.

The wind chimes on the veranda played ceaselessly…something that has never happened before.

I use all my senses to try to build a picture of what the media refuses to inform me about.

The big news is that the Jet Stream is out of control!

Imagine a Spinning Top, rotating smoothly at first…well that is how the Jet Stream SHOULD be!

Now picture the same Spinning Top as it slows, rotating wildly…that is what is happening to the Jet Stream and causing the wild fluctuations in weather across the globe.

All the information about this is out there on the internet…make Google your friend and inform yourself…that’s if you can bear it!

I have gone past the need to research, for I witness the changes, log them, keep a record of temperatures and rainfall patterns…and have done so for all the time I have worked on the Bealtaine project.

So, what is the point in telling you this bad news?

I have nothing to gain.

In fact, there is a strong possibility that I will lose subscribers.

The old adage of “shoot the messenger”pertains to what I have written here…so be it!

023So, let me tell you about the people I hope to reach with this news…

People who care for the future.

Those who have awakened to what it means to live a compassionate life.

Especially those who are unafraid of change and to implement change in their own lives.

Sammy Bear and meIf there is a Universal Consciousness…give it the name Goddess, God, Divine, Mother Earth…whatever you know it by…then that consciousness must surely want us to care as deeply for our planet as we care for ourselves.

Adapting is the way forward and should be at the top of all political agendas and policies.

Here in Ireland we are headed into a general election.

Farmers appear to be ill-informed in relation to Climate Change and as they hold much power in the outcome of elections, there will not be much informed debate on the doorstep!

Meat production is now at an all-time high in Ireland and there are few, if any, politicians who are prepared to risk the fury of farmers in regards to changing that!

The relationship between meat production, consumption and climate change is there for all to Google and Youtube.

The complacency regarding our habitat and climate change disturbs me.

I shall be quizzing each and every politician who knocks on my door…but as for intelligent, informed answers, well, I won’t be holding my breath!

Feel free to share this post…

And…I had to add this wonderful interview with Jane Goodall…

Love in a (not so) Cold Climate

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With the back door wide open and the birds singing out a chorus more resonant of Spring than Winter, welcome to Sunday morning at Bealtaine Cottage in the west of Ireland!

Despite the mild Winter, snow has fallen and added a seasonal touch to the landscape…in fact it remains on the mountains to the north of the cottage and here and there on banks and ditches.

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I’ve been very busy in the gardens since the end of December, pruning hard, cutting back, washing the tunnel, cleaning pots and generally trying to stay ahead of the work that will suddenly seem oppressive at the start of Spring!

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If previous years are anything to go by, the Spring will be very short and Summer will make itself known in mid to late March!

Shocking I know, but that is the measure of it!

So, for a gardener like myself there’s nothing else for it but to adapt!

Seeds are sown in the propagator and compost will be mixed today in preparation for the potting on that is to come in the next few weeks!

It’s a case of just getting on with it as best I can!

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There is a distinct difference in the shadow patterns as the outline of the roof of the cottage falls beneath the tree tops…

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“Much of the oxygen we breathe comes from plants that died long ago. We can give thanks to these ancestors of our present-pay foliage, but we can’t give back to them. We can, however, give forward. When we are unable to return the favor, we can pay it forward to someone or something else. Using this approach, we can see ourselves as part of a larger flow of giving and receiving throughout time. Receiving from the past, we can give to the future. When tackling issues such as climate change, the stance of gratitude is a refreshing alternative to guilt or fear as a source of motivation.”
Joanna Macy & Chris Johnstone

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Sowing and planting, growing tiny trees in pots of hope, tending Mother Earth with love…brings me joy.

Sitting here, with the back door open in the middle of January, may be a cause for concern, but it is over-ridden by the call of Mother Earth from outside.

And for the many visitors to Bealtaine Cottage this year, there will be small pots of hope to take away…

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