A Home for the Jackdaws

The Jackdaws have up residence in the unused chimney.

A beautiful pair of Jackdaws…here is the male keeping watch, waiting for the female to put the twig, carefully carried to the cave, into place in the nest. He will alert her to my presence!

He’s just spotted me! Now there followed a flapping of wings as both took off together into the cold, clear morning sky. I don’t object to their presence…let all life find sanctuary here at Bealtaine Cottage.
Yes indeed, it is very cold, with a deep cap of snow on Slieve Anierin to prove it.

Blossom on the Blackthorn is abundant this year…the Wild Bees are in their nectar Heaven, with a promise of Sloes to follow in Autumn.
The tunnel is evolving as my own sanctuary, where I can sit and observe the burgeoning life all around me. A place of silent retreat and mindfulness.
The days of clearing up the compost and pots area are almost at an end. The new compost area is now where the hundreds of pots used to be. The compost to the left will be distributed around the gardens where it is needed.
I intend planting out the old compost area with shrubs, to provide both protection from the east winds and colour to lighten the heart!

There remains much work to be done here in the gardens over the coming days and weeks. It is essential I get on with it! I shall leave you with the rest of the photographs I took this morning as I walked around the gardens.

Apple blossom ready to break out.
Blackcurrant blossom near to opening.

Heart Awakening…

Heart Awakening at Equinox 2019

Spring is here…once the Ribes are in full bloom around the cottage, the Bees are ready to make an appearance.

“Once the soul awakens, the search begins and you can never go back. From then on, you are inflamed with a special longing that will never again let you linger in the lowlands of complacency and partial fulfillment. The eternal makes you urgent. You are loath to let compromise or the threat of danger hold you back from striving toward the summit of fulfillment.” 
― John O’Donohue

from: A Little Book of Celtic Wisdom

Heart Awakening Podcast (audio)


Heart-Awakening…recorded in November 2016 at Bealtaine Cottage.

We approach the Equinox and the promise of longer days and shorter nights…the dark days are over.

The Bealtaine Cottage Press supports The Bealtaine Project, advertisement-free and open source on all social media platforms. Books and printed material are available below.


See more from Bealtaine Cottage Press: https://bealtainecottage.com/bealtaine-cottage-publications-books-and-maps/

An Irish Cottage Garden and Homestead in Spring

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The promise of peaches growing outdoors in the west of Ireland, another Bealtaine Cottage first! Blossom on these home grown trees, grown from seed, is looking good. So far, with only the first month behind us, this has been a remarkable Spring!

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New Bird Boxes have been added to the rich habitat, now in its fifteenth year on these three acres.

IMG_1967The interior of the tunnel has been remodelled  to create a sanctuary in which to enjoy being in the garden, even in very wet weather!

IMG_1678Sanctuaries are much needed in today’s world!

IMG_1965The plastic has been washed inside and out, ready for its fourteenth year!

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IMG_1963The area around the tunnel, which includes compost heaps and potting corner, is now tidy.

IMG_1961Crocosmia is growing into fine clumps of lime green foliage.

IMG_1959Rhubarb doesn’t need forcing in the mild climate enjoyed here in the west of Ireland. IMG_1960Beds have been well mulched and Rhubarb banked up with enriched compost.

IMG_1954Work in the garden never stops, because Mother Earth never sleeps.

Sweet Peas have successfully germinated outdoors in plastic buckets. Many of you have been following this experiment.

IMG_1953IMG_1952There are lots more seeds germinating in this way and I expect them to be stronger and hardier for their experience being outdoors, even through the recent snow!

IMG_1949In between the outdoors work, clothes are hand-washed and hung out to dry in the wind and sporadic sunshine.

IMG_1948IMG_1947Potatoes are arranged to chit, as pots are brought together and prepared for potato planting.

IMG_1955In a home without television, reading is the great entertainment…my book of the moment is all about the incredible life of Vita Sackville-West…a rollicking good read in the form of a wonderful biography by Victoria Glendinning.

IMG_1940And, as always, whenever the weather allows, the back door is thrown open to welcome in the day that’s in it!

Books, Map, Calendar and Bumper Sticker selection…

Bealtaine Cottage Press: 

https://bealtainecottage.com/bealtaine-cottage-publications-books-and-maps/

February in the Goddess Permaculture Gardens of Bealtaine Cottage, Ireland.

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Work has continued unabated all this week. I managed to get a load of cardboard to begin mulching the problem bed over by the Lughnasadh Garden.

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Here I have laid the aboard and mulched with chipping from the garden shredder and laid another layer of cardboard.

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The progress is fairly rapid, with the exception that all the chipping come from the gardens, so pruning and shredding has to happen in conjunction with the mulching…and that takes quite some time!

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These are the magnificent red dogwoods that I am pruning at the moment…providing lots of mulch.

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The shredder is electric, second hand and the cheapest one on the market. It serves me well, but capacity is limited!

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The Robin keeps me and Jack company as I work.

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All the Laurel pruned last week is now laid as weed-suppressant mulch, as well as small mammal habitat. Goddess permaculture is about ALL LIFE!

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This week has been both cold and wet, so the occasional sunshine is worth photographing…I keep my camera with me as much as possible.

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The days are getting longer, with dark drawing down around 5.30pm.

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The sap is rising in the plants, developing a depth of lovely colour!

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Work in the tunnel continues, as I move from task to task in order to remain enthused with energy…small results are energising!

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I walked down through the gardens this morning and took these photographs.

IMG_1541It was delightful to see the first catkins on the willow.

IMG_1547IMG_1552Heavy rain fell last night, so the pond was gushing!

IMG_1554IMG_1556IMG_1557Back up to the cottage to write this blog and upload some of the photographs. I have heaps more that I may put on a slideshow on YouTube.

Thank you for your continuing support…I will continue to happily share freely.

Blessings X Colette

Christmas Eve in the West of Ireland

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There was  a full moon on the Winter Solstice, an unusual event and not occurring in my lifetime again, so, very special to me.

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As my ancestors before me, I celebrate the Solstice, marking the longest night of the year and with the promise of all that lies ahead…

The ritual of fire and feast, music and drink, gathering of family and friends are all important aspects of the Winter Solstice.

faa095f3-3444-4ff8-85d7-2ed42b2e309cThe youngest member of my little tribe was here, forming a focal point for us all as we gathered to celebrate.

8d34b1d6-9432-4e19-8499-c3160d377e92She is displaying a love for the natural world in her wish to be carried around outside and shown the many aspects of the woodland sanctuary, engaging with me as I show her the trees and birds.

Then, in the blink of an eye, the gathering disappears off to their own homes and further adventures of Yule and I am, once more, alone with Jack, birdsong and the increasing energy of the Otherworld all in and around the cottage.

kClN706URJ+1eNruuPNAmAI venture out to collect a few necessities from town and on my way home am enchanted to pull over the car and embrace the quickening evening.

NHNCj+B7T7Se8fht8X3sBQ93tItTHpRliAEKBZcXUm3gtQpjx2JDRxaCSAQzgCpXcQHMUg9TYOktiVFSwN

Dragon’s Breath as is known, moves silently over the fields.

The evening before Christmas Eve is preparing for a quiet slumber in the way in which only happens at this time of year.

A+%uXWYfRx6NgK5Y3AJXhgMist is rolling in across the lough.

t4c5%4z2Sx60AC3mj67xXgIn the rush that is corporate Christmas, most people have not the time to stop and take in this ethereal beauty…I find myself alone in the blue twilight of an Irish evening in late December.

pPzX8S4KGmhOc53T+CgnUKlVuoXR0eLf0ZPbPZayAThe days that follow a gathering are eerily silent.

The sheer contrast of it all!

mhJKVbkqToSCHLxMv9FUXgI am reminded of my solitude.

E3Od4xkFSJqXBfm6a+gdBAThis is a physical solitude, I remind myself, for I am immersed in many lives at Bealtaine Cottage.

uZAezoSuQJq%s3yu72byHALike the time of year, a reminder that days of quickening light lie ahead, when the light and sounds of Spring will make the quiet evenings something to look forward to.

HMUg9TYOktiVFSwNAnd so I make my way home, immersed in the silence of the land itself, at one with this ancient land, my home.

******

Thanksgiving Blessings from Ireland

IMG_0557Fourteen years ago at the beginning of the Bealtaine Project, I had no contact with anyone in the US.

IMG_0559My perception of American people was very much decided by all things Hollywood and the news broadcasts that informed me of all that was negative.

It’s shocking how our view of the world lies in the power of so few!

IMG_0561As the years here at Bealtaine Cottage have passed and the great work of planting so many hundreds of trees has changed the land and fortified the future, I have blogged and vlogged the journey to anyone who was interested.

In this way, through interaction with so many subscribers, friendships have formed and many have made the journey to Bealtaine Cottage to visit for themselves…in fact many summers have been filled with regular visitors from all over the world!

IMG_0564It is difficult to keep up at times!

The kindness of strangers has overwhelmed me on countless occasions, as I received gifts…some arriving on the darkest of days for me!

(Living alone can have its downside now and then).

IMG_0568I have come to value the sincerity and genuine kindness of people, many of whom live in the United States.

IMG_0569I am amazed at the spirit of the real American women I have got to know, so hardworking and stoic, so resilient and kind…a force to be admired!

IMG_0570This morning I have stepped out to take these photographs for you as a sharing gift on your Thanksgiving Day.

IMG_0571The men of America who have found their way to Bealtaine Cottage proved surprisingly wonderful too…unlike the Hollywood macho nonsense so often portrayed as representative and so, so wrong!

IMG_0575From my perspective it takes a fully formed human being to show kindness, compassion and respect…qualities displayed again and again in those men who have made the journey.

IMG_0572I’m rambling, I know, but this little blog is simply to say, “I feel honoured to have met so many of you here and on YouTube, for you have opened my world and my mind!”

IMG_0574Blessings to each one of you for your love and support.

IMG_0576May your Thanksgiving be filled with love and laughter.

IMG_0577May the days to follow be filled with hope, for your optimism in the face of hardship is the true Spirit of America!

IMG_0578Blessings to you all XXX

IMG_0591Colette and Jack and all the life-force that is Bealtaine Cottage XXXIMG_0556

Enjoy the rest of this morning’s photos…

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(Bealtaine Cottage books, map and 2019 calendar are available using the link at the top of this page).

Re-Setting My Life

IMG_9918The virtual world of social media appears to be taking over much of what people refer to as “life!”

IMG_9920I challenge this assertion, for having spent the past few years on the most virulent form of social media, FaceBook, I have concluded that much of what passes for interaction is little more than soapbox spouting, increasingly dictatorial shouting at others and re-posting stuff!

IMG_9919That is not to say that there are many friends there, but I have made the decision to walk away from it.

IMG_9921To this end I’m no longer posting on the FB platform.

However I have to keep the FB account open in order to keep all the vast amount of material already posted on Bealtaine Cottage and Woodland Sanctuary…closing my account would mean deleting all the material on there!

IMG_9915To elaborate on the above statement I must add that time management for me is a big concern these days, as I am continually trying to catch up with work in the gardens, writing, working around the cottage and somewhere, somewhere, trying desperately hard to have a life of my own in social terms…aspiring to that!

IMG_9914I hope you understand my choices…caught between a rock and a hard place really!

IMG_9911So, it’s back to basics, where it all began…the website here, Twitter (I keep this as a good source of up to date news!) and YouTube.

IMG_9909Bealtaine Cottage on YouTube…
For more daily inspiration and thousands more photographs: Twitter… https://twitter.com/PermaGoddess
You can also enter your key search words into any search engine, followed by Bealtaine Cottage and lots of info will appear!
I am also discontinuing Instagram.
To keep up to date with Bealtaine Cottage please subscribe to the YouTube site and this website, where regular new material will be posted.
Blessings XXX
Colette

Renewal

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Every now and then I feel the need to recharge my batteries.

This is one of those times.

IMG_8690I have, once again, over-stretched myself across social media platforms, as well as working every day in the gardens and continuing to refresh and update the interior of Bealtaine Cottage…and all my own work, unaided.

IMG_8696My main work should be focused on writing, as this is my income, but, more often than not, I allow my energies to flow in too many directions.

IMG_8698So, for the next month, I am away from social media, concentrating my efforts on this website and YouTube channel instead.

IMG_8694All the little finishing tasks that are outstanding in the cottage will, hopefully, get finished!

IMG_8681I managed to finally hand-sew the curtain for underneath the worktop in the kitchen and hang it.

IMG_8702This week has been spent working in the Lughnasadh Garden and tidying up around the upper woodland.

IMG_8700I even managed a trip into town and to the market…not often enough I think, for I do need to get out more as I am becoming too much of a recluse!

IMG_8707Of course it is hard to leave  Bealtaine Cottage at present as the colours of Autumn are simply divine!

IMG_8711Often times I feel there is a constant pull from FaceBook and Twitter, but then this is the clever way both are set up…to keep drawing one back!

IMG_8708This website is my first love and will remain so, above all other aspects of the internet, for it is where so many discovered Bealtaine Cottage and fell in love with this land as I have done.

IMG_8712It is where I found community and support. It is also a safe place to post all my photographic work, on this website which hosts thousands of images of Bealtaine Cottage and Woodland Sanctuary.

IMG_8714It is a labour of love and devotion to Mother Earth, for sometimes I am at the computer for over an hour just uploading the images to the website…I don’t have internet, just a hotspot on my phone!

IMG_8715Much of social media is so fast-flowing that images get drowned in the tide of ‘stuff!’

IMG_8716All of the images I capture on camera add up to a tiny fraction of what I want to photograph.

IMG_8727These are then sifted down to what I upload onto this website.

IMG_8732I am on a daily quest to present the beauty of Mother Earth here at Bealtaine Cottage to the world.

IMG_8717IMG_8719IMG_8720IMG_8731So, for the next twenty eight days or so, a lunar month, I shall be posting here on my website and YouTube.

Touching base can be such a relief!

The Walls are Alive, The Cottage Breathes…

IMG_8667Morning at Bealtaine, infused with tasks and rituals as the hands on the clock move towards midday on this last Thursday of September.

There was a full moon last night.

IMG_8666This was the true Mabon or Equinox moon, casting light through the trees that surround the cottage, illuminating the landscape, lighting the way.

IMG_8645The air remains still and warm, much the same as when I walked through the woodland gardens at twilight last night, making a video as I went.

IMG_8643The cottage is immersed in quiet contemplation as I write…yes, these walls are alive and incubate the vibrations of life within, so reflecting my mood.

No radio, no music, just the occasional brush of wings from birds flitting to and fro as they feed on the wing or in the trees that surround these thick stone walls.

There is a consciousness in all life, something my ancestors held to be true.

IMG_8577In recent years we have rediscovered that truth as Quantum Physics has advanced in understanding our relationship with our world and universe.

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(Home-grown Micro-greens)

Noise interferes with our vibrations, often to the point of our feeling nauseous, confused, even panic-stricken.

Be still and know thyself…a saying so true!

IMG_8507Many of us seek endlessly for a meaning in life, a spiritual awakening.

A ‘Vibrational Shift’ occurs when our consciousness raises from lower to a higher vibration.

This usually happens during a spiritual awakening.

During these next few days as I close my Juice Fast, I feel the need to immerse myself in stillness.

Peace, solitude, quietness, stillness…all sadly lacking in our lives.

Making time to indulge in these is more important now than ever.

Blessings to you all

Colette

coletteoneill2010@hotmail.com

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Thank you Fireheart Tavern.

Thank you  Sumathy…did you receive what you asked for?

Thank you Simon.