An 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.
This is Lough Key and the castle once belonged to the MacDermott clan who lived here hundreds of years ago.
The 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.
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.
The real pleasure lies in walking among the mighty Oaks that guard the Lough.
This Oak tree was warm and welcoming…an ancient heart holding the history of the land within.
Just 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.
This is where the ancestors worshipped and held important events in the old calendar, for the Oak Grove was considered sacred.
Oak trees grow in almost every part of the world.
The Druids made their magic wands from only three woods…Yew, Oak and Apple.
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.
The evergreen girdle of Ivy, on many trees, keeps a host of small birds and insects warm and fed over the dark days of winter.
Similarly, the girdle of Moss, around the base of the mighty Oak, will secure the winter for many small creatures.
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or visit the Etsy shop and purchase a hand-made or vintage product.
I was given this beautiful old frame by a guy in a second-hand market in the local town.
It is one of the most beautiful picture frames I have ever come across.
Look closely at it, for it is a colourful mosaic of sea washed glass and shells.
For several years now it has waited patiently in the shed for someone with a good idea…who just happened to come along this week.
Cara was helping me to find a hammer in the outside shed on Monday, when she spied this frame and suggested it be used as a chalk board for the garden…all it needed was some board cut to fit, which could then be painted with blackboard paint and fitted into the frame!
Cara turned up with the finished, magnificently up-cycled chalkboard today and promptly fitted it onto the wall of the lodge under the shelter of the veranda.
Doesn’t it look great?
Meanwhile…in the kitchen I prepared some wholesome juice, using organic produce from the gardens…
After juicing organic apples and carrots, I add Kale, Apple-mint, Lemon Balm, Fennel and Parsley.
Juicing is a great way of ensuring a steady supply of the finest and freshest nutrients, especially using what is so easily grown in the edible gardens here at Bealtaine Cottage.
Much of what I harvest is added to stir-fries too.
These are the ingredients for this evening’s meal.
Meanwhile, Missy Cat is enjoying the sunshine, while keeping an eye on me!