Posted in Country Living, Current Affairs, Earth, Ecology, Garden, Inspiration, Ireland, Lughnasa, Permaculture, Politics, Spirituality, Thoughts

The Month of Lughnasa

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Lughnasa heralds the beginning of Autumn in the Celtic calendar.

Leaves have already begun to drop, with the gentle Birch tree being the first to shed.

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There is so much fertility in this annual drop…Bealtaine now boasts reasonable soil, compared to ten years ago!

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The change is equally gentle this year, as the summer gradually fades. 

Sedums are developing their flower heads, slow to open, with big, flat, pink flowers coming through.

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Pockets of light mist occur in the early evening, shrouding valleys and dips.

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Lughnasa is my favourite month as the transition into Autumn begins.

Tonight a full moon will rise.

The air is still. Woodsmoke drifts lazily from the old stone chimney and bats begin to venture out.

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I am half-sick of the daily news and the threat of war.

I have started knitting again, as a form of relaxing therapy and a choice to be constructive in the face of impending destruction!

Just handling the pure wool and staring at the colours and textures is both a comfort and a delight!

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As we enter Autumn we are ready for change.

As we are driven into unstable times, so we need to prepare too.

Creating is important.

It keeps us grounded and optimistic.

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The seasons continue, undisturbed by the vagaries of man.

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And so shall I!

 

 

 

Posted in Bees, biodiversity, Butterflies, Climate, Garden, Inspiration, Organic Garden, Permaculture, Spring

April Snow, Bees and Butterflies

April  Bealtaine Cottage pond gardenApril weather is always unpredictable.

Snow fell this morning…in between rain and brilliant sunshine!

It was like a convergence of all the seasons in one morning!

April permaculture rhubarb at Bealtainecottage 016This time last year we were swimming in the Atlantic Ocean down by Mullaghmore Pier.

Legs and arms, uncovered for the first time in months, looked a sickly white in shorts and T-shirts.

April 2011 permaculture cottage 022The apple blossom was fully out and the season was about a month ahead of what was expected.

This year, the season is late.

About 4-6 weeks in some parts of the garden!

April  Bealtaine Cottage PolytunnelHowever, the polytunnel is really paying for itself, as I have all the fruit and veg in pots, growing big and strong and ready for when the weather settles down and all danger of frost has passed!

April Bealtaine Cottage permaculture GardensI have been hauling more and more stone from the edges of the land, into specific areas, where the passive solar heat trapped in the stone will help growth in annual crops, creating micro-climates.

As the season is late, it allows more time for me to catch up with the bigger tasks here at Bealtaine Cottage.

Always looking for the silver lining!

Bealtaine Cottage Gardens  in April 2011 001The Bats are out from hibernation and yesterday, as I walked down the lane-way, a butterfly fluttered just ahead of me, for most of the walk.

The bees are flitting from one heavily laden Ribes bush to another…their end of hibernation feast!

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The EU are making it against the law to save and share seed…

This is not a petition asking the EU for anything, but one that sends a clear, sharp message…We Will Not Comply!

A shot across the bow!

Please sign and share…

http://www.avaaz.org/en/petition/We_Will_Not_Comply/?wCgoWbb

Bealtaine Cottage is also on YouTube…with over 85 videos about Permaculture, planting, growing and living.

Over 500 blogs from Bealtaine Cottage in the archives here.

Donations are always welcome.

Thank you for supporting this blog

Posted in Abundance, Bats, Bees, biodiversity, Butterflies, Country Living, Food, Garden, Growing Food, Inspiration, Ireland, Lifestyle, Permaculture, Smallholding

Abundant Harvest at Bealtaine Cottage…seeing is believing!

Despite the problems with weather and lack of sunshine, this  is turning out to be one of the best years on record for the harvest at Bealtaine Cottage.

Continual adaptation to climate change is paying off, as the Potager Beds have excelled themselves in little over ten weeks since construction and planting.

Designed and built in the truly vernacular style, using stone sourced on site, these beds have been a blessing in production and style.

Blessed with continual warmth and shelter at the back of the cottage, the plants have excelled themselves, doing better than those planted in the tunnel!

Bees and, blessed be, Butterflies are all in abundance too, a sight to behold!

The Apple harvest is the best ever, as these trees have brought apples to my table every year since planting.

I have been out this morning and made a video for you to see for yourselves…it is amazing.

Oh, and as a joyous footnote…the Bats are back at Bealtaine Cottage…small and few, I suspect a new colony, but it is a stunning sight to watch at dusk!

Today’s video…just click on the link!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cWLrpb6_9Wc

Posted in Bats, Bealtaine Cottage, Bees, biodiversity, Current Affairs, Permaculture, Uncategorized, Wildlife

It’s Not Just About Bees…is it?

Bees have been dying off at an alarming rate.

Moths are no longer fluttering around this cottage at night.

The Bats have left Bealtaine Cottage.

This is big, a very big issue and we have to look at what’s really happening…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IoxitKEp2QA

Posted in Animals, Bats, biodiversity, Cottage, Country Living, Culture, Growing Food, Inspiration, Life, Lifestyle, Permaculture, Roscommon, Smallholding, Uncategorized, Wildlife

Reflections on an Irish Hedgerow

Flo has taken over Jack’s home…a girl after my own heart…and poor Jack, he looks so downtrodden!

As soon as he dares to exit the basket, Flo spreads out so as to deter Jack from even getting his paw back in!

I’ve been out looking at the hedgerow and the incredible growth so far this year.

I’ve made a short video that you can click on at the end of this blog.

It’s an observation on how to make the hedgerow deeper and a safe wildlife corridor, as that is what the present day hedge has evolved into.

Indeed, without hedgerows, wildlife are left incredibly exposed as they traverse the land from place to place.

Our own habitats are easy to protect and enhance, but there is nothing so beneficial to the health of the environment as the common hedgerow.

As I spin wool, the hedgerow on an Autumn morning, is spun over with silky threads and webs by spiders inhabiting within.

Last evening it was very warm and balmy, so, I opened the windows in all rooms throughout the cottage. The lamps were lit and I waited for the expected visitors…Moths…but there were none! Not one! I simply cannot understand it and am somewhat bewildered. I stepped outside and switched on the lamp on the west gable end of the cottage…but still, no Moths! So I went looking for the Bats that have always inhabited the eaves of the roof. I love to watch then swirl around the cottage through the night air, feasting in flight, but…none could be seen! What has happened?

So, here is today’s video…

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