It Still Takes My Breath Away!

dsc04149Each morning I arise and embark on a series of rituals, that culminate with a hot cup of tea in one hand, my camera in the other and faithful Jack by my side.

dsc04146It is then that I step out…

dsc04145This has been my ritual, though not always with Jack, for the past twelve years.

dsc04147And so it continues…

dsc04133What has manifested here on this little piece of sacred Earth still takes my breath away!

dsc04134I touch base with it as many times a day as I can!

dsc04132I take thousands of photographs every year, for the sheer beauty of what Mother Earth can do on three acres of “poor land,” is beyond incredible!

dsc04126And this has manifested in one of the last remaining countries on Earth that continues to refer to itself as “Mother.”

dsc04125“Mother Ireland”

dsc04124The Great Mother, Mother Earth, Goddess, Creatrix!

dsc04089The Celts were one of the last remaining tribes of the Goddess…in that they recognised the spirit of the Earth as female. 

dsc04118There lies a message in that…

dsc04115I believe it to be simply this…”I am alive and filled with joy and waiting…”

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View from the cottage in 2004 

dsc04083And earlier today…

Those who answer her call become immersed in joy and surrounded with beauty…and so it is.

It still takes my breath away!

Cottage Journal

dsc03293Here’s just a brief note to let you all know that there is now a new page here on the website!

dsc03303Have a look at the top of the site and you’ll see listed at the very end: Cottage Journal. Click on and read the introduction.

dsc03302A daily insight, as promised to all my supporters from FaceBook missing my daily postings!

dsc03301You will find musings, news, garden updates and lots more each day!

Easy Family Food Vegan Style

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This is a photo blog of food…Vegan food made especially for my family, yesterday and today.

dsc03180dsc03182The recipes are all simple and easy…like this Sweet Potato and Caramelised Red Onion Pate!

The food in the first photo consists of a dsc03194Green Salad with Olive Oil and Basil dressing; dsc03190Spicy Roasted Veg., dsc03197Bulgar Wheat and dsc03196Ginger sauce…all home made in a short space of time…a delicious lunch!

dsc03184I hosted a dinner party on Sunday, dsc03183for my grandson who is off to Canada tomorrow, (Tuesday). dsc03176And baked some very easy bread! dsc03178dsc03179Then baked the same recipe again today!

dsc03175I also made a lunch for family today.

 I will post the recipes in the Recipe Section of Bealtaine Cottage Good Life, tomorrow. dsc03193

FaceBook

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There comes a point when choices are forced upon one.

I have considered leaving FaceBook ,as my time seems to be getting less and less for this website and indeed did not post for some time on there.

However, I am endeavouring to continue with the site that is hugely popular…Bealtaine Cottage Magical Gardens.

I must also remember…the integrity of the original has to be preserved.

permaculture at bealtainecottage.com 012The original being Bealtaine Cottage and this website.

I began writing, photographing and sharing Bealtaine Cottage back in 2006.

I did so in good faith with the magazine, “Country Living,” only to have all my work pulled and committed to the dead zone of cyberspace about two years later.

It came as a huge shock!

bealtainecottage.com 010The publication had been taken over and new management did not even give contributors like myself time to download and save our work.

It was devastating!

I had not backed up my work as I trusted it would always be accessible!

April 2011 Bealtaine Cottage permaculture gardensFrom that low point came the birth of this website…a place where I could share, in trust, the magic of this sacred little piece of Ireland.

cropped-dsc02856.jpgRecently I have found myself stretched beyond capacity, as I attempted to share more and more on Social Media.

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It can appear at times that sharing is something of a one-way street! For this reason I am no longer a presence on Twitter…though updates from this website continue to be channelled through.

Bog Oak garden sculptureThis will not alter my natural capacity to want to share, but sharing will, from now on, be concentrated back where I started from…Bealtaine Cottage website.

Lunar Eclipse in Pisces Full Moon

full moon 21 oct 10 007I walked out tonight into the bright light of the full moon.

Harvest Moon in the West of Ireland, tonight!We have, over the past few days, experienced a wonderful full moon and lunar eclipse.

During this time we have been getting connected with our intuitive energies.

Bealtaine Cottage standing stone in permaculture gardensOur ability to connect the head with the heart.

Pisces is a very emotional and intuitive sign.

We need to get ready for some big shifts in our lives.

Bealtaine Cottage moon rising over the permaculture gardensProcessing painful memories can be very fruitful now.

This is a positive time for people in general.

It’s a good time to deal with issues and have an emotional clear out.

The Fairy Wood at Bealtaine CottageThe Lunar Eclipse was on the 16th of September and the vibrations from that continue to be felt.

This is a cycle of completion and closure…an opportunity to move on!

Celtic Triad BroochThis full moon is also about release.

Eclipses are often linked to accelerated development.

Angel at Bealtaine CottageFull moons illuminate, so you have experienced memories from the past that have emotional resonances.

This has certainly been true for me.

The experience can be intense indeed.

Amethyst horn at Bealtaine CottageHowever, the space is now cleared and has opened up new space to rebuild.

bealtainecottage.com 007Time to move forward!

Good Morning!

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Good morning to you! Water and Juice to be drunk before I make that essential cuppa!

It’s overcast and somewhat grey this morning, but a beautiful day in that it’s still, warm and the birds are singing!

dsc03037I spent some time yesterday in the pond, (waders on) clearing out pond-weed and cutting back on the banks.

dsc03064Hard work, so am breaking it up into a three day exercise!

I was happy to walk down there clutching my cup of tea, to just spend time looking at the water and thinking how it will all look when finished…

dsc02927Meanwhile, the Lughnasadh Garden continues to take shape and is already a lovely place to walk to and enjoy. It’s good for me to have several projects on the go at the same time!

dsc02919Nasturtiums are all in flower and the Bees are have a wonderful feast and flurry as they move from one to another.

dsc03031And…I’ve spied yet more plants that have self-seeded in the gravel…these Lady’s Mantle are ll to be moved into the Lughnasadh Garden for the Bees and Butterflies.

And…just for you…a little video…

Free For All!

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It’s been a long and lovely day, filled with wonderful garden visitors, followed by some serious cutting back and clearing over near the tunnel.

DSC01961However, before I begin, I must say that I’ve been reading the comments on the Bealtaine Cottage Magical Gardens site on FaceBook and feel compelled to make a very important comment, for all to read…

DSC01962The lovely Bridget Birkner had this to say about her garden…

“Colette, my dear sweet friend. You know I started this year as my first year with Goddess-Inspired Permacultre Gardening and Food Forest since moving here some months ago, but being now in August, having only 1 cucumber, 6 cherry tomatoes that only turned orange and one sweet banana pepper, I wanted to sit down and cry at the lack of harvest. My soil is so insanely poor, and it looks like I need to do some more tending and research. My Willows, everything you sent me, the moment I transplanted it, it withered. I’m crushed to say the least, but I promised myself at least 10 years before I can say “goal!” It truly is hard but amazing work, but right now I feel so defeated because Mum Gaia seems so sad at the state she is in my area. I look to you with such hope and KNOW She WILL prevail! Why? Because SHE can live without us, we however, cannot live without Her. And for that, I humbly bow before her in grace and humility, that she give me another chance in helping me tend to the area where she is so sad right now in the United States” 

DSC01963So in response… and for this valuable knowledge to reach the wider world…
DSC01964Especially for Bridget…and those who are struggling with restoring fertility to soil…here’s a little secret…and what I have done and continue to do to restore health to the soil…
DSC01965I pee in a bucket and mix it 10:1 with rainwater…it is marvellous liquid fertiliser and helps to get good bacteria developing in the soil.
DSC01966However if you are on serious medication it’s best not to use it!
DSC01968Fresh urine is high in nitrogen, moderate in phosphorus and low in potassium and can act as an excellent high-nitrogen liquid fertiliser
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In a healthy person, urine is sterile.
DSC01969Urine is great as an activator for compost heaps and, in highly concentrated form, as a weed-killer.
Dilute fresh urine at a 10:1 ratio and apply to the root-zone of fruiting plants like tomatoes, peppers and eggplant, or to leafy crops like cabbage, broccoli, spinach and lettuce every two weeks or as needed.
Dilute fresh urine at a 20:1 ratio and water in to the root zone of seedlings and new transplants.
DSC01960So, there you have it folks! No more supporting chemical fertilisers or paying extraordinary amounts of money for organic fertiliser…get yourself a bucket and a watering can and help Mother Earth the natural way!
DSC01970Now that’s out of the way, here’s an update on garden work today…this has involved an immense amount of cutting back. I have stacked all the cuttings and wood into various big piles to biodegrade naturally, whilst at the same time providing essential habitat for hibernators and small mammals.
DSC01971You can see from the followings pics the difference this has made in terms of light and space for the woodland floor to regenerate.
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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…

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First Open Day of 2016 at Bealtaine Cottage

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It’s the end of a beautiful day…the first Open Day of the year at Bealtaine Cottage.

It was a joy to welcome guests and share time, tea, treats and walks.

I plan another open Day for the month of June and a further one for July.

Make sure you keep an eye on the website for details. 

Cottage Makeover…Finished!

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A sneak preview of the new look Bealtaine Cottage is to be had over at Bealtaine Cottage Good Life website….

There are also a great many other photographic essays to view on the site…

Visit today and subscribe…

https://bealtainecottage.com/bealtaine-cottage-good-life/

The Dominant Motive

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Why should we all labour to enrich the banks?

It is when profit becomes the dominant motive that the cycle of disaster begins.

~John Seymour

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This month, March 2015, saw one of the biggest and certainly the most expensive building in Europe to be opened, amid a flurry of protests.

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It had cost over 1.3 Billion Euros to construct in a time of imposed austerity.

This monstrosity was the new headquarters of the ECB-European Central Bank based in Frankfurt in Germany!

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This has come in the midst of some of the most severe austerity ever imposed on the people of Europe post WW2.  

There is little more to say…it speaks for itself!

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Mother Earth is blissfully unaware of man-made austerity…she just keeps growing and giving for those who tend her with love and care.

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Hope for the future abounds!

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Mother Nature, left unfettered, knows no austerity!

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The abundance of the Earth is pushing through at a fast rate here at bealtaine Cottage and this is because  the earth here is treated as sacred, nurtured and fed.

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On the same subject, I read this piece by George Monbiot recently… 

“We’re treating soil like dirt.  It’s a fatal mistake, because all human life depends on it.” ~George Monbiot  

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This is so important if we are to avoid hunger in generations to come…we must give back to the Earth, for she gives unrelentingly to us all.

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On a related subject, I was thinking about the mantra I live by…”Don’t throw it away, there is no away!”

 It’s time to introduce a deposit scheme on every take-away piece of packaging!

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Make it worthwhile for rubbish to be collected and returned!

 If every plastic bottle, cup, bag,etc had a deposit attached to it, there would be no rubbish on roadsides in Ireland!

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It is clear that the present economic model works by imposing its waste products on the environment!

This has got to change if there is to be any sort of decent future for our children and grandchildren!

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On that note, time for a large pot of tea and a chat with Sammy-Bear!

I have spent the morning updating the Seeds for Sale page…here’s a link to the Permaculture Seeds Treasure Trove…

https://bealtainecottage.com/seeds-for-sale/

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.

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Time to Redefine Beauty

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An old perfume bottle sits atop a stone, moss growing around it, soon enveloping and covering it…such is the growth in a wet climate like Ireland!

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The beauty of such a small thing never ceases to amaze me!

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder…maybe some people see this as only waste or junk…but see what Mother Nature makes of it!

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Beauty abounds in Nature.

It’s as though everything she touches manifests magic, transforming the mundane into the majestic.

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The gardens have lost their bloom, but little of their colour and the raw bareness of an early winter morning does not distract from their beauty.

Nature, when aided, cannot help herself.

She is the ultimate cover girl!

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Even the veranda on a cold November night is transformed into something more than what it is, as it takes on the magic of the night.

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The last of the Perlagoniums, the orange rose-hips and the battered old candelabra, together make a stunning début, without flash or enhancements!

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Wherever there are natural elements, you will find beauty and peace.

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As a society we have redefined beauty to express and value the bawdy and degraded.

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The Romantic Poets expressed a veneration for Mother Earth and redefined the beautiful for us.

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We have allowed the chemical barbarism of the late 20th and early 21st centuries to convince us of the beauty of the man-made. It’s time we re-defined beauty!

Irish Country Magazine

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With the sun shining bright in the sky and just a touch of autumn in the air, I spent some lovely time being interviewed for Irish Country Magazine.

The interest in sustainable living is growing!

I’ll let you know when the interview is published.

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There is something of an Indian Summer happening here in the west of Ireland and it’s pretty gorgeous too!

Grapes are beginning to turn colour and ripen on the vine.

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The early morning walk was tempered with a small chill in the air.

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Yesterday was spent cutting the overgrowth in the undergrowth along the hedge on the west side of the driveway.

I am cutting all the Goat Willow, which will grow very fast next year and fill the gaps.

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In the meantime, there are stacks of wood every couple of metres along the hedge!

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It promises to be a good week, filled with sunshine and warmth…our promised “Indian Summer!”

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I shall leave the seed-heads on the Buddleia for the small birds to enjoy eating over the first few months of Autumn…time enough in cutting them back!

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Something of the Mediterranean about the cottage this morning, as the day warmed up…

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It’s not often that the sky is as blue as the watering can, but…

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The bees continue to enjoy Nasturtiums flowers…

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As the leaves hold onto the precious morning dew.

Economy? The Future is Local…the Illusion of Growth

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I keep hens.

These hens feed into my local economy in small, positive ways.

However, these beautiful creatures are not part of Ireland’s economy, despite their consistent hard work!

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Economic growth is all about measuring the flow of money.

Surplus eggs at Bealtaine Cottage are bartered for other goods.

The details of that growth are almost irrelevant.

Yet, every day, the news is filled with details about the economy, difficult to relate to any aspect of our daily lives.

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There is not one aspect of what I do here at Bealtaine Cottage which would be deemed to contribute to economic growth. Sewing, spinning, planting trees, growing food, supporting wildlife, caring…

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Planting trees?

Only measured on the day of cutting and selling!  

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Ensuring the land is brought back to fertility…not measured.

If it cannot be measured in  the transfer of money, then it is not counted.

If you produce what you consume, then, apparently, you do not produce…the real economy of people like me is zero.

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However, the future is local in terms of the real economy, because the real economy is about real people and the real lives they lead!

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I believe that in order to stabilize the world, we must first stabilize our country and in order to do that, we must ensure our homes and communities are efficient and resilient.

The future can only be welcomed if our present is secure.

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We are of real flesh and blood; real feelings: compassion and hope; real lives, not economic statistics on the six o’clock news.

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The future is local, resources are plentiful; the future is us…just us and justice!

Transition

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The transition has begun.

Knitting has been brought out from hibernation.

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The final seeds have been sown.

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And  the flowers and herbs continue to thrive in the potager beds, the warmth of the gravel and stones keeping them in a summer state.

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Seasonal adjustments are happening all over the northern hemisphere, as the days draw close to balance and equinox. 

 

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Berries are in abundance this year, some say a sign of a harsh winter, but that’s to be seen.

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Cotoneaster, Hazel, Blackcurrant and Fuschia all here together.

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The changing colours are so very gentle and subtle, but they’re there if one looks…

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Blackberries ripen near the stone circle, as the leaves mottle and turn towards Autumn.

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The Sloes on the Blackthorn are ready to pick…these will make some fine Sloe Gin for Midwinter.

The Sloes are pricked with a pin and pushed into a bottle half-filled with Gin.

The bottle is then sealed and buried in the earth until Yuletide celebrations, when it is ceremoniously dug up and partaken of!

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Deep within the Fairy Wood, Autumn creates some more magic…

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These tiny mushrooms are growing on a dead branch of Goat Willow.

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Crocosmia Monbretia in all its Autumn glory.