Posted in Abundance, Autumn, Bees, Birds, Cats, Cottage, Country Living, Garden, Gardens, Inspiration, Ireland, Life, Organic Garden, Permaculture, photography, Spirituality, Thoughts, Uncategorized, Wildlife

The Quickening

Autumn 2013 at Bealtaine Cottage 002As we approach the Equinox, the sun appears strong and bright in the morning sky, a clear sky at that, gathering together the ingredients for a perfect Autumn day.

Autumn 2013 at Bealtaine Cottage 001A day for walking, stopping often and observing the quickening of change, in all that grows and flies.

I watched the Swallows flying high in the clear sky above the cottage…one of many preludes to the incredible migratory flight to Africa.

I looked down, earthwards and noticed the Sedum opening clusters of pink, one of the last meals of the year for the bees.

All is change.

Autumn 2013 at Bealtaine Cottage 003All is good, on this calm bright morning.

Tomatoes slowly ripen here on the veranda.

Thank you Tara Angell from New York, for the amazing little seeds these grew from.

Autumn 2013 at Bealtaine Cottage 008They’re all over the garden and have become more Irish than the Irish as the saying goes!

Autumn 2013 at Bealtaine Cottage 005The spiders spin and weave their magic all over the gardens too.

I hear people say, “Where has the summer gone…is time speeding up?”

Autumn 2013 at Bealtaine Cottage 007Perhaps it is, but my body is more and more in tune with the seasons and time seems almost irrelevant.

Autumn 2013 at Bealtaine Cottage 009The morning merges into afternoon and the quickening of autumn  reveals itself in the darker evening…yet to come!

Autumn 2013 at Bealtaine Cottage 011If time is the measuring stick of our existence, then we are not living in the present, in the here and now.

Autumn 2013 at Bealtaine Cottage 012I often reflect on these pictures I take, and ask myself, “What was I feeling then, at that moment?”

Autumn 2013 at Bealtaine Cottage 015The clock was a horrid invention really…it ticks and measures and makes us panic and fret!

Today, I don’t need a clock or a calendar…I smell the season, I see the time…it’s morning, for the sun shines in from the east!

Autumn 2013 at Bealtaine Cottage 016The light has weakened and changed, the summer is behind us.

Flowers on the Buddleia have turned into heavy droplets of seeds for the birds to feast their way through winter.

Autumn 2013 at Bealtaine Cottage 017Pumpkins stand to attention!

Autumn 2013 at Bealtaine Cottage 019Masses of red berries assure the birds of a kind over-wintering at Bealtaine Cottage, where Nature has bestowed abundance on all living creatures.

Autumn 2013 at Bealtaine Cottage 020The lacy cobwebs dance in the morning sun.

Autumn 2013 at Bealtaine Cottage 021And the mellowing leaves of the Ribes reflect in the mirror stillness of the water barrel.

Autumn 2013 at Bealtaine Cottage 024Time to light the stove and boil the kettle…this is a morning, where stepping back outside, with a mug of tea, seems the only really sensible course of action to take!

Autumn 2013 at Bealtaine Cottage 025The light beckons…

Autumn 2013 at Bealtaine Cottage 031Missy observes from under the table…

Autumn 2013 at Bealtaine Cottage 029And I pass through the cottage to return to the gardens…

Posted in Animals, celebrations, Current Affairs, Earth, Eco-Living, Ecology, Food, Gardens, Inspiration, Permaculture, Politics, Sustainable Living, Thoughts, Trees, Uncategorized

The Economic and Ecological Collapse We Helped to Create on Valentine’s Day.

Bealtaine Cottage permaculture porchAny financial system that is based on debt is doomed to failure.

A good analogy is to look at one’s own household.

Do you consume more than you produce?

Bealtaine Cottage permaculture gardensKeep borrowing and eventually the crunch will come…payback time, with nothing in reserve to pay what’s owed.

Many people refer to this as, living beyond one’s means.

If this is what you are doing, then it’s time to take control of your own micro economy.

Bealtaine Cottage... Flo, aka Mrs MouseLeave your government to continue paying bankers grossly inflated sums of money and try to re-calibrate your own finances.

I was enjoying a long conversation with my mother on Monday.

mum, aged 80, at Bealtaine CottageGrowing up through WW2 was the greatest lesson in personal finance for her. (This is her, aged 80, at Bealtaine Cottage).

If one did not have money, one could not buy goods or services.

That proved to be enormously enabling for that generation…one of the healthiest and most empowered ever known in the modern world.

Mum, aged 80, at Bealtaine CottageMum still has all her own teeth…sugar was rationed!

She has never been over-weight, birthed 11 children and did not own a washing machine until I bought her one. (My elder brothers never quite got their heads around why she would need one!)

Mum has always lived within her means and helped all of her children as well.

If Mum ran the economy, the bankers would be paid according to their productivity…and politicians also!

Bealtaine Cottage polytunnelToday is Valentine’s Day.

Many people of limited means have bought flowers for their loved one…flowers grown in Kenya in Africa by using water from Lake Naivasha.

Bealtaine Cottage water barrelThe water levels have dropped.

This has had a devastating effect on plant, marine and animal life.

Hippo numbers have fallen by more than 25%.

The lake is now quite polluted with pesticide drain off.

University of Leicester environmentalist David Harper told the March 28, 2006, British Times: “Almost everybody in Europe who has eaten Kenyan beans or Kenyan strawberries, and gazed at Kenyan roses, has bought Naivasha water.

“It will become a turgid, smelly pond with impoverished communities eking out a living along bare shores … As the lake becomes smaller and shallower it will become warmer, fueling the growth of microscopic algae.

“It is only a matter of time before the lake becomes toxic.”

The Food and Water Watch report said: “The pesticides applied on the farms and in the greenhouses eventually end up in Lake Naivasha and in the groundwater, endangering the area’s people and wildlife … http://www.greenleft.org.au/node/49188

Che Mousy Bear at Bealtaine Cottage Feb 12 001Kenya is the largest supplier of cut flowers to Europe, providing more than a quarter of imports.

These are mostly roses, and a third of annual production is for Valentine’s Day.

For less than the cost of a cheap bunch of flowers, you can buy a fruit tree and plant it for the one you love.

Plum tree at bealtaine cottage permacultureEach tree planted will provide oxygen for two people for the rest of their lives.

Apple tree at Bealtaine Cottage  Permaculture Cottage 023Isn’t it time we invested in Love?

Posted in Bees, biodiversity, Butterflies, Current Affairs, Ecology, Food, Gaia, Garden, Health, Life, Music, Permaculture, Politics, Thoughts

Monsanto, Bono, Africa and Suicide

He was once a hero of mine.

A singer who sang about the issues I cared about.

But, “Sunday, Bloody Sunday,” has become “Endgame, Bloody Endgame,” as the one time singer who articulated the ideals of a generation, turns advocate and spokesperson for the awful, dreadful, death impregnated, GM seed and food corporations of the globe.

The G8 Summit, where the great and the greedy met to plan their attack on an unsuspecting continent, will go down in history as the final chapter in a globalized attack on the poor and downtrodden of our world.

For we all know about India and the almost quarter of a million dirt poor farmers who have taken their lives in all manner of disturbing ways.

That was about seed.

GM seed.

Seed with great advertising and promises behind it, pushing it upon the most vulnerable upon our sacred Earth.

And, if I know…I, a woman living in the remote west of Ireland without television or daily paper, then I am certain that Bono knows all this and more!

After all, did he not spend time with President Obama at the G8 Summit?

So, why, Bono…why?

Today’s video…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lqkpQyo5CjM

I write about, film and photograph, Mother Earth, from Bealtaine Cottage, encouraging others to open little portals of healing energy all over the world.

Blessings and thanks for your support.

Thank you for supporting this blog

Posted in Autumn, Bealtaine Cottage, celebrations, Celtic Mythology, Culture, Ecology, Folklore, Gardening, History, Ireland, Permaculture, Smallholding, Uncategorized

Permaculture Cottage ~ Lughnasa and the Celtic Calendar

The feast of Lugh, Lughnasa, or Lughnasadh happenssoon…on the eve, which is the 31st of July. A time for a bonfire and celebrations of the harvest…celebrations here at Bealtaine Cottage will be focused around a rather small outdoor fire but with the equivalent gusto of the eve that’s in it!

 The Festival of Lughnasadh

This was  said to have been begun by the god Lugh as a funeral feast commemorating his foster-mother, Tailtu, who died of exhaustion after clearing the plains of Ireland for agriculture. Little changed there then, as most of the agricultural work in many African countries is carried out by women!

In days of old, Lughnasadh was a favoured time for  trial marriages that would generally last a year and a day, with the option of ending the contract before the new year, or later formalizing it as a more permanent marriage.

 Lughnasa is the first of the three autumn harvest festivals. The Autumn Equinox and Samhain, or Halloween, being the other two.

Already there is a feel of Autumn in the air and can be seen in the plant life as harvests begin and fruits ripen on the trees. The days have shortened, now over a month past the longest day.

Here, plums ripen on one of the trees at Bealtaine Cottage and nettles produce their seeds…

And…

Flowers like this Perscaria Bistorta, a late flowering perennial, begin to show a magnificence beyond their humble beginnings!

Irish calendar

is a pre-Christian, Celtic system of keeping the year and still in popular use today to define the beginning and length of the day, the week, the month, the seasons, quarter days, and festivals.

  The meteorological seasons  begin on March 1, June 1, September 1, and December 1.

The Irish Calendar observes the equinoxes and solstices and has a more realistic seasonal observance…

  • Spring – February, March, April.
  • Summer – May, June, July.
  • Autumn – August, September, October.
  • Winter – November, December, January.

These seasons are much more in keeping with the observations I make here at Bealtaine Cottage and I would abide by these dates rather than any other.

Posted in Culture, Current Affairs, Ecology, Food, Gaia, Growing Food, History, Inspiration, Ireland, Leitrim, Permaculture, Politics, Roscommon, Sligo, Sustainable Living, Thoughts

Procul omen abesto! Ovid and the Days to Come…

Far be that fate from us…said Ovid over 2,000 years ago…

The Nursery at Bealtaine Cottage

It got me thinking of all I thought would not happen when I first took up growing…

Potting up in the polytunnel

We would not destroy our lifeline, the soil, for all that is necessary for life lies within…

And yet this is happening all over the developed world, and, everywhere else too!

Did you see the gigantically terrifying Dust-cloud that enveloped Phoenix, Arizona?

Reminiscent of the Dust-Bowl catastrophes of the hungry thirties…

In Permaculture we mulch…and mulch and…mulch! Building up layers of soil and goodness.

dealing with slugs, the seaweed methodThere is little need to dig, disturbing the ecological balance of the soil.

weed suppressing with cardboard

The fate that awaits us all is a depleted soil and thence a depleted Earth and this is happening every day in corporate controlled Agriculture…and there is a Land-Grab going on, have no doubt about that!

The Corporate monsters are on the march!

We must all take our positions in making a stand against this and we can!

As consumers we are powerful, very powerful indeed!

Potager bed at Bealtaine Cottage

I was reminded on Twitter this morning of this when reading some of the tweets accumulated overnight and one of them was about buying local, another about imported foods from parts of Africa where hunger is now ravaging the people…think on…

Hazelnuts beginning to ripen here at Bealtaine…this is a food to forage as well as grow and forms a good source of protein for the vegan or vegetarian.

These store well and can be ground or minced and added to burgers!

And a few more words from Ovid…”Video meliora, proboque; Deteriora sequor,” which translated means, simply…”I see the better way, and approve it; I follow the worse.”

We have choices.

We have the power.

Roses at Bealtaine Cottage

We can be the change we want to see…