Posted in simple life, Simple Living, Sustainable Living, Uncategorized

Simple Life ~ Bealtaine Cottage July 1 2016

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“To find the universal elements enough; to find the air and the water exhilarating; to be refreshed by a morning walk or an evening saunter… to be thrilled by the stars at night; to be elated over a bird’s nest or a wildflower in spring — these are some of the rewards of the simple life.”
John Burroughs, Leaf and Tendril

DSC01127A simple life is not impoverished…it’s knowing what is enough!

DSC01124Here I made a board for jigsaws…something I love to do.

DSC01125It’s simple…look closely and see how it was made…wood, glue and edging strip to keep the bits from falling off the board.

DSC01128All these photographs were snapped today, the first day of July….a few last night!

DSC01129 A little record of a simple life… Enjoy!

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Posted in Abundance, Earth, Eco-Living, forest gardens, Gaia, Garden, Lough Allen Basin, Mother earth, Permaculture, Trees, Woodland

Garden to Visit in Ireland…Unique…Permaculture!

Yesterday was a busy day for me as I worked tirelessly in the gardens, cutting, clearing and ensuring all the paths are open for visitors.

I always carry my camera with me, so here are some of the shots I took on my walk around after I’d finished my work!

It was a hard day, but, as you can see, well worth it.

I continue today and will share pics later on!

Love and Blessings XXX Colette at Bealtaine Cottage

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To arrange a visit to Bealtaine Cottage and the 3 acre Permaculture Garden created by one woman from monoculture land, go to

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Posted in Lifestyle, Permaculture, Recycling, Sustainable Living, Thrift

Simple Living

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“We’d incorporated Asia into our bones – its colours and laughter, its smells, its rhythms, its tolerance and patience, its compassion, its lack of ageism.”
~ Jane Wilson-Howarth

DSC00922DSC00921DSC00920DSC00915Colour is important to me, as you can see from both the cottage and the garden.

DSC00917DSC00916I am led to infuse it into my daily life, as in the tie-dyed sheet that hangs as a curtain on the old doorway.

DSC00914Sometimes it’s all too easy to go to the shops and buy what is deemed suitable for covering a doorway…usually a door!

DSC00912But, as always, a cottage can be very forgiving and accommodating to whatever furniture or resources one has.

DSC00905A cottage is never in competition with the big, new house down the road!

DSC00906It’s more of a “make do and mend” kind of home, where anything goes, be it period or modern, or just recycled, as is the case here at Bealtaine.

DSC00907As I snapped these photos this morning, my gaze was being continually led outside…and so it should be, for that connectivity is immensely important.

DSC00911I recall living in an old house in Muswell Hill in London and how I loved tending the window boxes beyond the old sash windows. DSC00909How just the simple act of pushing them up and the outside coming in provided a kind of release of energy both ways!

DSC00908The connectivity of life!

 

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Posted in Abundance, Summer, sustainability, vegetable garden

Today at Bealtaine Cottage

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Rain fell last night and continues this morning.

There will be no lack of water in the well for the next few weeks!

DSC00663 I have finally given away my hens…as I no longer eat eggs and there was a lovely home ready and waiting for them where they would be more useful, as they are good layers and their eggs will be anticipated and appreciated where there is a family of people to eat them.

DSC00662I shall miss them, but as with life at Bealtaine Cottage, the void is quickly filled and the hen-house will be re-purposed and appreciated further.

DSC00661In the past, their manure was a part of developing the fertility of the land at Bealtaine, but this is no longer needed.

The compoost system is now working very well and far exceeds what any animal manure could bring to three acres.

DSC00659Seed production is well under way, with some of the harvest already collected and much more coming to fruition.

DSC00660We are now one week away from Midsummer, as evidenced in the lush growth seen here! 

DSC00655We inter-breath with the rain forests, we drink from the oceans.  They are part of our own body.  ~Thich Nhat Hanh

DSC00658The fruit trees and bushes were pruned back quite hard over the course of last Autumn and Winter and they are happily producing yet another bumper harvest.

DSC00656 …no matter how complex or affluent, human societies are nothing but subsystems of the biosphere, the Earth’s thin veneer of life, which is ultimately run by bacteria, fungi and green plants.  

~Vaclav Smil 

DSC00657Your deepest roots are in nature.  No matter who you are, where you live, or what kind of life you lead, you remain irrevocably linked with the rest of creation.  

~Charles Cook  

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“If we are going to be kind, let it be out of simple generosity, not because we fear guilt or retribution.”
J.M. Coetzee

Posted in Fairies, magic, Summer, Woodland

The Watchers

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Here in the study the light is low as the day fades into the west.  

DSC00106Ten O’Clock rings out as I take up my camera and head out into the warm evening.

DSC00107I have enjoyed visitors for much of the day, so stepping out into the evening allows me time to be quiet and absorb the ending of the day. 

DSC00108“Be calm…calm as a calm lagoon, then you will look beautiful as a beautiful calm lagoon crowned by the Moon and sheltered by the brilliance of the stars reclaiming your royalty of regal life…”
Oksana Rus 

DSC00109The light lends an ethereal touch to everything. 

DSC00110“When one tunes in into nature’s frequency, life becomes change, change becomes hope!”
Aniekee Tochukwu 

DSC00111The birds continue to fly to and fro their nestlings in a frenzy to keep them fed.

DSC00112Fortunately, Bealtaine Cottage can now support dozens of pairs of breeding birds and all from the plentiful supply of food in the gardens and food forest. 

DSC00113DSC00114DSC00115“It was that time of dusk when there is a—deepening of the interior shadows. It is a melancholy time: all you need do is switch on one lamp and the inside and the outside will separate, held apart by the reflections in the glass, and evening will begin.”
Rudolph Delson 

DSC00117DSC00116DSC00118As always at this time of evening, there is magic in the air.

DSC00120DSC00121DSC00125Flowers are dancing in billows of colour around the cottage.

DSC00137DSC00127DSC00138As I walk, snapping pictures here and there, I fancy my camera may capture an image of the other world that is veiled so very thinly at this time of day…

DSC00119DSC00124DSC00123I sense the watchers…

…and then

…something moves,

DSC00142and is gone in the blink of a lens.

(This photo is as it appears…I NEVER use photoshop!)

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Posted in Good Life, Lifestyle, Spirituality, Summer

The Simplicity of the Morning

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“Every morning was a cheerful invitation to make my life of equal simplicity, and I may say innocence, with Nature herself.”
Henry David Thoreau 

DSC00013Half light and shadows as the morning comes into view.

DSC00012Reflections and sunlight as the day rises.

DSC00011The silent beauty of the morning is a template for us all to follow into day…quiet simplicity.

DSC00010Gazing around the cottage as I follow through on early morning rituals.

DSC00009Checking where Sammy-Bear spent the night, opening the door for Jack to go out…

DSC00008Lighting the stove to boil the kettle…

DSC00006Looking for where I put my camera last evening, for I should record this ethereal beauty of the early morning…

DSC00005Finally, making my pot of coffee and stepping out to embrace the day…

DSC00004The morning, the blessed morning…where all is possible.

DSC00003May the Goddess of the morning touch your heart with delight.

DSC00002May you be released into day, free from negativity and matters you do not control.

DSC00001Embrace your day…it’s a blessing! 

“When you rise in the morning, form a resolution to make the day a happy one for a fellow creature.”
Sydney Smith

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Posted in Cottage, Country Living, Interior Design

Evening in an Irish Cottage…

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The sun has set into the west, far out on the Atlantic Ocean and the night draws in.

DSC09709The candle is lit in the kitchen window, a soft light to welcome the night, while on the far side of the room a small lamp illuminates the dark. 

DSC09712“I love to watch the fine mist of the night come on,
The windows and the stars illumined, one by one,
The rivers of dark smoke pour upward lazily,
And the moon rise and turn them silver. I shall see
The springs, the summers, and the autumns slowly pass;
And when old Winter puts his blank face to the glass,
I shall close all my shutters, pull the curtains tight,
And build me stately palaces by candlelight.”
Charles Baudelaire, Les Fleurs du Mal 

DSC09711The Blackbird has sung out the day and in the night, as it flies around it’s territory, marking out it’s boundary in song.

DSC09708“Inhale and hold the evening in your lungs.”
Sebastian Faulks, Engleby 

DSC09717“Now stir the fire, and close the shutters fast,
Let fall the curtains, wheel the sofa round,
And, while the bubbling and loud hissing urn
Throws up a steamy column and the cups
That cheer but not inebriate, wait on each,
So let us welcome peaceful ev’ning in.”
William Cowper, The Complete Poetical Works of William Cowper 

DSC09713The time between blue and black is quiet, almost timeless.

DSC09715There is an ethereal glow that conjures night.

DSC09716And slowly, slowly, the hush becomes night.

DSC09714Goodnight from Bealtaine Cottage…goodnight.

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Posted in Bealtaine Cottage, biodiversity, Country Living, Earth, Edible Gardens, Gardens, Nature, Permaculture, Summer

Summer in the Garden

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Being able to upload 31 photos is a real treat for me, and, I hope you will get a taste of Bealtaine Cottage today.

DSC09767I have snapped these minutes ago and come straight in to upload and write this blog…taking time en route to give Jack a cracker treat.

As you can see he’s fully engrossed with chomping!

There is an abundance of Poppies this year…these are just outside the back door and almost ready to burst open!

DSC09773Thanks and blessings to my dear friends and supporters of the Bealtaine Cottage project.

It is so very heartening to read the wonderful feedback and special messages of support.

DSC09774There was enough rain overnight to half-fill the water barrels and all is looking lush this morning! DSC09775Aquilegia is in full bloom and has grown well from an extra scattering of seeds I did last Autumn. DSC09776Here is the perennial Yellow Poppy.

This seed sold out fast last year, so I shall be harvesting as much as I can this summer.

It’s a much smaller, more delicate bloom, but strong and hardy!

DSC09777I’ve moved potted seedlings and more robust plants out of the tunnel.

Planting will be wherever I can find a space! 

DSC09778The symbolism of the Goddess is not a parallel structure to the symbolism of God the Father.
The Goddess does not rule the world…She is the world!
Manifest in each of us, She can be known internally by every individual, in all her magnificent glory.
~Starhawk

DSC09779The Permaculture design and planting at Bealtaine is not just inspired by the Goddess, but is the Goddess manifest…as natural and intuitive as the energy that flows from Mother Earth herself.

DSC09780This is the difference between Permaculture and Goddess-inspired Permaculture.

The spirit is fed as much as the stomach! 

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Each Summer the harvest grows more abundant. Redcurrants hang in droplets waiting to ripen and reveal their jewel-like qualities.

DSC09786Hawthorn has opened…

DSC09787Garden paths become enclosed, dark, shady places…

DSC09788The Spindle bush sits covered with blossom yet to open…

DSC09790“I walk without flinching through the burning cathedral of the summer.  My bank of wild grass is majestic
and full of music.  It is a fire that solitude presses against my lips.”
– Violette Leduc 

DSC09791To meet it — nameless as it is —
Without celestial Mail —
Audacious as without a Knock
To walk within the Veil.”
–   Emily Dickinson

DSC09792Lilac is open…

DSC09793“That beautiful season the Summer!
Filled was the air with a dreamy and magical light;
and the landscape
Lay as if new created in all the freshness of childhood.”
–   Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 

DSC09794DSC09795DSC09796“Dirty hands, iced tea, garden fragrances thick in the air and a blanket of color before me,
who could ask for more?”
–   Bev Adams 

DSC09802“Summer afternoon – summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most
beautiful words in the English language.”
–  Henry James 

“The smell of manure, of sun on foliage, of evaporating water, rose to my head; two steps farther,
and I could look down into the vegetable garden enclosed within its tall pale of reeds – rich chocolate
earth studded emerald green, frothed with the white of cauliflowers, jeweled with the purple globes
of eggplant and the scarlet wealth of tomatoes.”
–  Doris Lessing

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Posted in Permaculture, Personal, Smallholding, Sustainable Living

A New Beginning for Bealtaine Cottage!

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Today is an exciting and very uplifting day for Bealtaine Cottage and me! DSC09687For the past year or so it’s been utterly frustrating not being able to share on this website.

DSC09689Restrictions were placed upon me in relation to upload space for photographs, as I had used up virtually all of the allocated space of 13GB, which is that allowed on the Premium Plan from WordPress.

DSC09691Well, today I paid for an upgrade which allows me unlimited upload space…a treat for myself and, I’m hoping one for you too!

DSC09693As I type there is a lovely soft rain falling outside, refreshing and renewing the earth.

DSC09694The same has happened here for me on the website…I feel a sense of renewal and excitement!

DSC09696To be honest, writing and photographing Bealtaine Cottage and Mother Earth constitutes my first love!

DSC09695Much as I love the interaction on social media, it can be very time-consuming and ultimately takes away from the work I do here!

DSC09684The payment of an extra 200 Euros was necessary for the extended plan, but this liberates me from the strictures of what I can put out there for everyone to enjoy.

DSC09697I will continue with the Bealtaine Cottage Good Life website and am working on a plan to do a sort of “joined-up”daily blog…watch this space! DSC09698And so the story of Bealtaine Cottage continues, moving onwards and upwards!

DSC09699“Country things are the necessary root of our life – and that remains true even of a rootless and tragically urban civilization. To live permanently away from the country is a form of slow death.”
Esther Meynell

DSC09700And so I hope to continue bringing the country to you!

DSC09701Sharing this little sacred space in the west of Ireland, with the world…

DSC09702 The seasonal changes, garden, wildlife and Mother Earth…

DSC09703The song of the Goddess and her inspired Permaculture…

DSC09704Thanks for staying with Bealtaine Cottage…

This is a new beginning…Welcome back!

 

Thank you for supporting this blog

Posted in Earth, Earth Day, Permaculture, Permaculture in Ireland, Spring, Uncategorized, Woodland

Earth Day at Bealtaine Cottage

DSC09083Photographs (18 exclusive photos taken today) from the gardens of Bealtaine Cottage on EarthDay 2016.

Words from the Earth Day network…on Bealtaine Cottage Good Life.

We are now entering the 46th year of a movement that continues to inspire, challenge ideas, ignite passion, and motivate people to action.

In 1970, the year of our first Earth Day, the movement gave voice to an emerging consciousness, channelling human energy toward environmental issues. Forty-six years later, we continue to lead with ground-breaking ideas and by the power of our example.

And so it begins. Today. Right here and right now. Earth Day is more than just a single day — April 22, 2016.

This Earth Day and beyond, let’s make big stuff happen. Let’s plant 7.8 billion trees for the Earth. Let’s divest from fossil fuels and make cities 100% renewable. 

The main website, with over 1,000 blogs and 4,500 photographs is FREE FOR EVERYONE!
There are NO ADS on Bealtaine Cottage YouTube channel either!
Bealtaine Cottage http://bealtainecottage.com/
Bealtaine Cottage YouTubehttps://www.youtube.com/user/BealtaineCottage
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April 2011 Ballyfermoyle 013The paid subscription website, Bealtaine Cottage Good Life allows you to support my work in return for some extra special blogs and photographs…and allows me a small, but much needed, income.

Here’s where you can sign up…

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

Yes, I have a mortgage and some bills to meet each month and this is my only source of income. The free website, Bealtaine Cottage, has almost reached maximum capacity at 97.8% of 13 GB allowance at a cost of 199 Euros per year. Bealtaine Cottage Good Life has the same 13 GB allowance, but with only 18% used, so you can see why I now publish new blogs on Bealtaine Cottage Good Life! My total expenditure on both sites and internet maintenance now exceeds 700 Euros.

I will continue to write about, and photograph, Mother Earth whether you subscribe/donate or not…but I so appreciate those who do!
…blessings to all XXX Colette

Posted in Bealtaine Cottage, cottage life, cottage style, Country Living, de-clutter, decorating, Good Life, homesteading, Inspiration, Interior Design, Lifestyle, midwinter, Uncategorized

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…

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Posted in Christmas, cottage life, cottage style, Country Living, Uncategorized

Country Cottage Journal

Preparing the cottage for Yuletide and the Midwinter Feast has been underway for the past week or so.

A smaller stove has been installed in the sitting room and much of the furniture in the cottage has been moved around…a great swap has taken place!

The end of all this turmoil is almost in sight…I breath a big sigh of relief, for the organising of sleeping arrangements, food and fuel is next on my “To-Do” list!

This is a great time of the year for working indoors and in many ways it’s also a good time to prepare for the year ahead, get work done and a sense of order into the cottage.

The weather has been stormy and wet, leaving little time for any works outdoors anyway.

Despite this, it’s lovely to walk in the aftermath of such weather, as mists arise and sunsets glimmer…

Presents are made and wrapped and put to one side, to be taken out after the feast and distributed amidst excitement and anticipation.

Many of the gifts are cherished, home-made and unique.

It’s interesting to note that this appears to be much of a trend now as the big manufacturers are attempting to emulate the same “home-made, folksy, country craft” look.

It also shows that people are tired of the commercial glitz!

As I write, sitting here in the small study at the front of the cottage, the rain pours down from the heavens.

Storm Desmond is casting it’s remains down upon us!

I have posted Ancient Bog Oak pendants, hand crafted by my brother Hugh O’Neill, to many countries.

There are a few left should anyone want a gift posted from Bealtaine Cottage on their behalf, though time is limited to a few days for posting in time for Christmas.

This is the link…

http://bealtainecottage.com/craft-shop/

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Blessings to you all on this stormy Saturday…keep snug and warm!

Posted in Art, cottage style, decorating, Doors, Interior Design, Ireland, painting

Decorating an Old Cottage

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Those of you familiar with Bealtaine Cottage online and the many hundreds who have visited will be interested to see the results of what a little paint can do in terms of brightening up a home.

Yes, I’ve been busy over recent days, stood on a step-ladder, paintbrush in one hand and paint tin in the other, alongside dusters to remove the heaps of cobwebs…eek!

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There’s a certain old world loveliness to “Duck Egg Blue,” as the paint is referred to, more often than not!

The colour is reminiscent of the eighteenth century and the novels of Jane Austen…a favourite author of mine. sitting room at Bealtaine Cottage bealtainecottage.com 005

There’s a simplicity about the soft pastel shades which bring out the best in an old cottage.

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Decorating a cottage is fairly simple too, as the walls and general layout are quite forgiving…in other words, anything goes as long as it’s a good mix of styles and time periods, for a cottage is a harbourer of both!

The wooden chest of drawers in the corner is relatively new-style, but provides a practical function of storing clothes not in seasonal use…and what better position, than by the chimney wall, where dampness is never an issue!

sitting room at Bealtaine Cottage bealtainecottage.com 003

It’s a fuss-free environment indeed! Decorating an old cottage works well when one projects personality and quirkiness into the general style…in my case it’s always a case of what frugality allows for, so an eclectic style is as much practical as it is creative.

A reflection of what the great William Morris once said…”Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.”...that allows me free reign really!

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Cosy. Practical. Colourful. That’s what works for me.

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The colours will also be a good backdrop to Samhain and Yule decorations…as many of the pumpkins are seasoned indoors and the window ledges are needed for storage too.

sitting room at Bealtaine Cottage bealtainecottage.com 010

And as for the paint…well, it does go a long way…

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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.

To subscribe, a small donation of 12 euros per year, will add your name to the subscriber list.

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Bealtaine cottage crafts 010Bog Oak Pendants are available from the Bealtaine Cottage Craft Shop.

Each pendant is hand-crafted from locally sourced Irish Bog Oak, an ancient and profoundly mysterious wood that’s been buried in the Irish peat bogs for thousands of years.

These pendants are hand carved from wood dated as 5,600 years old.

Visit:

http://bealtainecottage.com/craft-shop/

Posted in Gardens, homesteading, Ireland, Permaculture, Sustainable Living

One Million Celebration!

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Sometime today, Bealtaine Cottage will be viewed for the 999,999th time.

It will, thereafter, have reached one million views!

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Who would have ever thought that this little place, tucked away as it is in the West of Ireland, would have become such a beacon in these troubled times?

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I never imagined so many people would flock here to find inspiration and comfort, but they have and you continue.

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The journey continues here.

Garden permaculture at bealtainecottage.com 089

Better ways of living with Mother Earth are under constant scrutiny and reflection.

Garden permaculture at bealtainecottage.com 092

Visitors come and go, always taking away strategies and ideas to use, as well as plants and seeds.

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Basic concepts of sustainable living are explained…the shock of the “Compoost Loo” morphs into admiration for it’s sheer simplicity and hygiene.

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The miracle that Nature has performed here in such a short space of time becomes more visible with each photograph.

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The realisation that everything is possible when one embraces Mother Earth as a co-creator, rather than something to be abused and driven.

Garden permaculture at bealtainecottage.com 101

I began writing about this journey and photographing Her magic back in 2011, as a way of trying to convince people that what we stand upon is part of us…we shape our world by how we live.

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Bealtaine Cottage has become a little centre of hope in a world where we are continually told we are a blight upon the Earth.

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We are not!

This is what we are capable of…helping Her to nurture us, as we in turn care for Her. Garden permaculture at bealtainecottage.com 163

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I have two websites… Bealtaine Cottage and Bealtaine Cottage Good Life.

This site, Bealtaine Cottage, is free and has over 850 blogs, as well as over 3,500 photographs.

Bealtaine Cottage Good Life costs 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.

Making this small donation adds your name to the subscriber list.

You will then have access to the website and full blog as published twice each week.

This amounts to 104 publications per year, at a cost of 12 cents each!

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Posted in Bealtaine Cottage, mountains, New Year, Permaculture, Trees

Voices in the Mist

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The day has changed in a matter of hours.

Sunshine and mist blankets cover the mountain opposite Bealtaine Cottage.

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Then the mist grew in huge swathes, quickly covering the mountain.

The valley became still and silent…so silent that small noises and voices began to travel in echoes.

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I darted in and out of the cottage clutching my camera.

The mist was moving fast. DSC00558

I never really thought about a planting scheme here at Bealtaine, other than an urgency to plant trees, but it now seems that some sub-conscious force was at work, for there appears to be a plan…

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This garden has a magnificent backdrop, now framed by the trees I planted.

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Especially on a day like today.

The mist has moved quickly.

There is a very cold night ahead according to the weather.

I have chopped wood and filled the basket in the kitchen and one by the back door.

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The mountain has now disappeared.

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As it disappears, I walk around the side of the cottage and notice the increased colour in the hedgerow.

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The colour is rising in the humble Fuschia, grown from cuttings stuck into the ground.

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This reminds me to take lots of cuttings and continue this guerilla gardening in other parts of the land and out onto the roadway.

 I should love to see this beautiful shrub growing as it does here in the west of Ireland…wild!

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I see the Birch trees are hanging onto their decorations…DSC00594

and behind me, voices are calling in the mist.

Posted in Cats, Dogs, hibernation, Ireland, mountains, snow, Winter

Days of Hibernation

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Snow fell today.

As I stood by the front of the cottage, the mountain of Sliabh an Iarainn appeared to suddenly rise up in a shroud of white.

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More often than not it merges into the sky in shades of grey and sometimes blue, but today it stood out proud, gleaming white.

This mighty mountain, where once the ancients mined iron ore and ushered in the Iron Age, rises from the shores of Lough Allen to the North East, as Kilronan Mountain faces the cottage, sentinel-like, to the North.

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It too was dusted with a covering of light snow.

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I retreated to the warmth of the cottage and watched the snow fall.

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By the time I went into the bedroom to make the bed, Sammy-Bear had made a nest and curled up for the day…I exited the messy room and closed the door!

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Sammy-Bear often sleeps in my bedroom to escape Charlie, who often makes great sport from terrorizing his betters!

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Charlie and Jack are quite good friends now.

It’s a hierarchical relationship…Charlie’s the boss!

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The evening has drawn in fast…there is not much to notice yet in the stretch of the day…it slowly manifests when we are busy getting used to the new year.

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Now is the time to make the most of the days of hibernation left to us, for they are few in number…the Spring moves in faster than we realise.

Charlie knows this…in fact, looking into his eyes, I’d say that Charlie knows an awful lot!