Bealtaine Cottage Early Summer Album

It has been some time… “Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.” ~ Henry James Just as the rosebuds are swelling, early Summer makes an appearance. It has been a long cold Winter and Spring. Euphorbia has brightened the veranda with its vivid lime green. And finally, finally the garden stirs into full life. “Green was the silence, wet was the light, the month of June trembled like a butterfly.” ~ Pablo Neruda “Bees do have a smell, you know, and if they don’t they should, for their feet…

Days of Hibernation

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. 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. It too was dusted with a covering of light snow. I…

Cats, Dogs and Long Winding Paths…

There are hundreds of metres of paths here on the permaculture smallholding, all lined with plants, trees and shrubs and all needing to be cut back and tidied up now that the midsummer growth has peaked. It’s a task I love, especially on a day like today where the sun is clouded over, but the air is warm and still. Last night I watched a beautiful moon rise in the North East and several shooting stars. This morning I was entranced by dragonflies around the lower pond as I weeded the margins of the water…standing in the cool water at…

The Ebb and Flow of Life at Bealtaine Cottage

Evening at Bealtaine Cottage and the the night is drawing in. The sunshine of this morning ebbed and flowed all day, like the waves on the strand at Rosses Point, as the sun dipped in and out of rolling clouds that occasionally deposited rain. Strange weather, but the day was passed in constructive ways. I sorted out the recycling, washing out cans and finding all sorts of uses for them. They make great tea-light holders, piercing holes in the sides using a hammer and nail to make patterns. The one above sits atop the hot stove, filled with water and essential…

Permaculture Cottage ~ The Thursday Photo-Diary

A Celtic emblem on my back door. The paint on the door is well scratched and there is a definite patina of life therein. Dogs and children, all attempting to enter the cottage with little patience and no time to wait! I know I have to paint it soon, because the weather demands it, but then this testament to life and laughter and fun and games will be erased… Moving the tyres in the vegetable garden is a milestone reached this week…converting all to log, deep beds and narrow paths…easier to mulch and now that the soil has improved, I…