Posted in climate change, Ireland, Permaculture, population, weather

Severe Weather and Climate Change

An incredible storm has raged all day long and continues into this dark, cold night.

001

The wind has howled around the cottage, shaking the trees so fiercely that the ground has trembled!

002

Thunder and lightning, hailstones rattling the windows and snow…this is the worst storm I have witnessed in over ten years at Bealtaine Cottage!

003

The scary aspect of this biting cold, storm-ridden, night is that only two nights ago, it was positively warm; in fact the dramatic rise in temperature woke me up before dawn.

004

As the weather becomes more and more wild and extreme, so everyday life is affected.

Even as I write this blog and upload photographs, the power has cut out twice, leaving me to start over…though some of the writing is automatically saved.

005

It is past 9pm here in the cottage and the storm has not let up all day.

Still, I have made the most of the time, moving the beginnings of my Blackcurrant wine into demijohns, where it will bubble and work away in the coming months.

006

The back of the cottage is a little more sheltered…indeed this storm is raging from the north of the country.

007

Temperatures have plummet by 10 degrees over the past 48 hours.

Despite our best efforts to ignore it, climate change  is fast turning into the crisis of our present time…and looks likely to be a problem of growing enormity.

www.bealtainecottage.com 020

Mother Earth has endured over two hundred years of industrial impacts, as well as an ever-intensifying human population, all demanding energy, food and an ever-increasing standard of living.

midwinter cottage 004

On the day my mother was born, there were just over one billion people living on Planet Earth. Bealtaine Cottage homespun wool

On the day she died, this had increased almost sevenfold, to over seven billion!

jan 12 Bealtaine Cottage 009

As the natural world is plundered, many species are in sharp decline.

Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture

The sustainability crisis is second only to climate change, as the greatest threat of our times.

new compost heap bordered with willow at Bealtaine Cottage

I have kept diaries over the past ten years and have noted rare, extreme weather events become the norm!

This is not going away.

We have to face into this problem and start developing solutions.

 ***************************************

I write to encourage, help and inspire mindfulness for our beautiful world and have photographed and written over 870 blogs on the Bealtaine Cottage site, as well as over 110 videos on YouTube…all free from advertising!

You are very welcome and appreciated by leaving a comment, liking, sharing, or even leaving a small donation. Blessings X

Blessings
Posted in bog gardens, climate change, silt harvesting, water gardens

Silt Harvesting…Benefiting From Climate Change

permaculture at bealtainecottage.com 013

When beginning to plant the land here at Bealtaine Cottage over ten years ago, one of the most important tasks was to dig out drains and create two large ponds.

permaculture at bealtainecottage.com 005

The upper pond is mainly to catch the silt washed down from the hilly land behind the cottage.

permaculture at bealtainecottage.com 006

The lower pond as a pure delight for humans…a place where the sky is pulled onto the earth and light is reflected upwards, back towards the sky.

permaculture at bealtainecottage.com 009

In order to keep the reflective powers of the water, it is essential for me to clear the pond weeds and plants every year.

permaculture at bealtainecottage.com 011

This is an arduous task, but a beneficial one for all the trees here in the Bog Gardens.

As I pull up the weed, huge roots packed with fertile silt come up with it.

This is then spread around trees and shrubs in the gardens.

There is a substantial amount of fertility spread this way.

permaculture at bealtainecottage.com 007

However, further back, in the silt pond, the sandy, loamy soil is dredged out in buckets.

All this is happening because of extreme weather, causing heavy rains that leach the soil on the hill and wash it down into the stream that feeds the ponds.

permaculture at bealtainecottage.com 020

In the face of climate change, it is imperative we adapt in these small ways, for much of our topsoil is being washed into the oceans.

Besides which, silt is one of the most productive soils known to humankind!

Posted in Bealtaine Cottage, climate change, diet, meat-free, places to stay, Sustainable Living, Vegan, Vegetarian

Be The Change You Want To See!

Autumn permaculture at bealtainecottage.com 016

Sustainable living in full sunshine as the Indian Summer continues in the West of Ireland. The back door remains open and the rain barrels stand empty.

Autumn permaculture at bealtainecottage.com 020

This has been the driest September I have recorded in the ten years spent here at Bealtaine Cottage.

There is something afoot in the climate…it has changed into a series of extreme weather events.

Autumn permaculture at bealtainecottage.com 017

And so we must adapt as best we can, for there is nothing being done by governments here in the west.

It’s all talk and taxes!

The majority of people I have spoken with are concerned, but not to the point of implementing real changes in their lives.

Autumn permaculture at bealtainecottage.com 019

People appear to be looking to others, to see what changes are being implemented and then tending to follow suit, to a greater or lesser degree.

In this respect, I feel energized to keep writing my blog, to let people see that it is possible to live sustainably in style and comfort!

Autumn permaculture at bealtainecottage.com 018

it is the choices we make which empower, or disempower us.

No corporation, government or institution want you, the human being, to know that!

Autumn permaculture at bealtainecottage.com 001

Many imagine that their personal choices make no difference in terms of impact on their environment, but they do!

Each choice, every decision that is implemented, has a direct and cumulative effect on the planet, for everything is connected!

Autumn permaculture at bealtainecottage.com 005

I have a visitor this weekend. I have chosen to make a vegetarian cottage pie…this is the filling and it tastes yummy!

There is no need to be part of the killing industry, no need at all.

As a vegetarian and aspiring vegan, my health is good and I have lots of energy.

I have visited the doctor twice over the past ten years.

I feel good about that choice, for I truly love all animals.

Autumn permaculture at bealtainecottage.com 006

My guest will have home made pizza tomorrow and here is the sauce being cooked on the stove.

Cooking the day before allows all the flavours to infuse.

Autumn permaculture at bealtainecottage.com 002

And we shall eat in a style that does not cost the earth in an unfitted kitchen.

Autumn permaculture at bealtainecottage.com 004

If we recognise that there is immense change ahead for us all in the climate chaos manifesting, then we can build as much resilience into our homes and lives as possible.

Autumn permaculture at bealtainecottage.com 008

My guest will stay in the Eco-lodge, heated to perfection with this small wood-burning stove, where the kettle sings constantly ready for tea.

Be the change you want to see!

Posted in Bealtaine Cottage, Climate, Cottage, Current Affairs, Earth, Frugal Living, Garden, Growing Food, Inspiration, Lifestyle, Permaculture, Spring, Thoughts, Uncategorized

Why It Matters!

www.bealtainecottage.comExtreme weather is fast becoming normal.

Another storm is on the way.

This storm, according to the radio, will unleash a massive amount of water in the form of heavy rain.

www.bealtainecottage.com

This morning was beautiful, as the photographs testify, today is one of extremes…or is that normal too?

www.bealtainecottage.comApart from the predictably unpredictable weather, there is a lot of work getting done here at Bealtaine.

www.bealtainecottage.comI have been moving around the gardens with my secateurs, nipping and cutting here and there, followed by sticking and stamping in other places…inserting cuttings straight into the earth!

www.bealtainecottage.comMost of the shrubs I cut from are serious proliferators, given half a chance!

Ribes, Spirea, Senecio, Willow, Fuschia, Rubus…the list goes on.

www.bealtainecottage.comI was totting up all the energy saving so far in slowly divesting myself of electrical items…it’s substantial indeed.

Many say that one person cannot make a difference.

My acquired wisdom says the opposite…one person can make a difference.

www.bealtainecottage.comThe mindset of mindfulness and care for our great Mother, Earth, is a growing consciousness.

Each one person adds to that.

www.bealtainecottage.com A hero of mine, David Holmgren, co-founder of the Permaculture movement, urges us all reduce consumption and be domestically responsible.

I heartily agree with David, in that if enough of us scale down our impact on the planet, then one becomes many and a real shift starts to take place.

www.bealtainecottage.comOver the past few decades humanity has committed acts of great violence against its home, Earth. Now we see acts of great violence being reciprocated in extreme weather.

If we love our home, we will do all we can to protect it and all life therein.

This, I believe, is what connects us to the Divine, in life and after.

Love is all.

Love for all Creation, every last nano particle of it.

www.bealtainecottage.comTo switch off a light is to love and appreciate the environment that has to produce that power.

Love is all.

It’s time we really loved and appreciated this incredible home.

It is the only one we have.

Posted in Culture, Current Affairs, Earth, Eco-Living, Food, Growing Food, Inspiration, Permaculture, Self-Sufficiency

Beyond Civilization

www.bealtainecottage.com

The light is changing.

As it does, a new growing season begins to unfold.

This is the year of change, as more and more people realize, that civilization, as we have come to know it in these past decades, holds little hope of holding together.

Willow basket making Feb  Permaculture @ Bealtaine Cottage I do not say this lightly and the reasons I see for it are manifold, but the main contributors to the calamitous and increasing loss of habitat and stable environment on the planet, is civilization itself!

Jan 12 Bealtaine Cottage 005 Our civilization has created the perfect conditions for collapse of the very systems that sustain us.

Bealtaine Cottage FairyWe have watched the collapse of the financial world over the past few years.

There is no recovery!

Have you joined the endless queues in your local bank recently, just to be served?

Jan 12 Bealtaine Cottage 007Governments, like mine here in Ireland, are extracting carbon taxes from impoverished people and are not planting trees! Bealtaine Cottage PermacultureExtreme weather events are fast becoming an accepted part of our weather systems…have you noticed?

Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture Feb 2011 005 If you know how the Jet Stream works, or should work, then you will be aware of the reasons why climate change is happening.

Stanley stove at Bealtaine CottageQuote science for or against and waste time debating…or simply look around you and keep a weather diary.

Shabby chic at Bealtaine CottageSo, as always with my writing, I move onto the positive, the can-do…and what comes to mind is a simple skills set, that we need to acquire, if we are to move beyond the last years of civilization as we know it.

Permaculture Cottage ...September 2011 005These are skills we need to acquire and pass on to younger members of our society…the ones who will be left adrift, without the security blanket we have used and abused.

May 2011 Bealtaine 040

  • Food growing
  • Healthcare…basic first aid! can you prevent someone from bleeding to death or help deliver a baby?
  • Craft skills…how to make and create from local resources.
  • Building and construction, as well as maintenance to keep a home dry, for example!
  • Cooking and baking…Home economics is so degraded now in general education, I wonder why?
  • Permaculture…encompasses all the skills listed here!
  • Fire-making…few young people know where to start and the basics!
  • Management of resources (NOT financial!)
  • Herbs and the vital role they play in good health, food and body-care.
  • Conflict resolution and society building without hierarchy.
  • Basic mechanics…look how people in poorer societies keep their cars on the road!

permaculture cottage Jul 2011 014

It’s time to start putting plans in place for a better world.

June 2011 Bealtaine Permaculture 063The politicians are not bothered about our future, but we should be!

Writing, Posting and Sharing…

Posted in Climate, Current Affairs, Gaia, Garden, Gardens, Growing Food, Permaculture, Uncategorized

Carbon Taxes Won’t Save Us!

Back door of Bealtaine CottageToday, I was feeling just a teensy bit down.

It’s a rare experience for me.

Back door at Bealtaine CottageLife is so full on here at Bealtaine, that positivity fills the day, running from one task to the next and looking forward to a brief sit down and a cup of tea.

But today, something caught up with me…a growing feeling of fragility that I had suppressed for a long time.

A jingle bell heartWeakness in the face of disaster.

Fear.

Dog Daisy benchI have spent much of my life suppressing fear.

To be honest, most people have too.

table on the verandaCarrying life, caring for life, creates a deep fear…of birth and death, and one that we know we  must resist.

Not just resist, but train ourselves to regard this feral fear in as dispassionate a way as we can muster.

Family on the dresserWe as adults cannot display fear to our young or those in our charge or care…we must be brave, pretend, laugh in the face of fear.

kitchen windowToday I was desperate for water to ensure the plants in the potager beds did not die.

The well had stopped flowing.

The heat of the day was oppressive, as the cloudless sky framed a burning hot sun that evaporated what little moisture was left in the soil.

Petunias in pot on veranda tableI drove the car to an ancient spring, lower down the valley, and spent the morning bucketing water back up to the cottage.

It was exhausting, but successful…the plants are still alive tonight, as I write this blog in the cool of a full moon.

Church bench and tribal drumThe fear has hung over me all day, as I realise how terribly vulnerable we all are, in the face of these persistent, extreme, weather events.

The first sunflower opens at Bealtaine CottageIn this state of vulnerability lies a growing awareness of the fragility of life.

We have to do everything we can to protect that life.

Carbon taxes won’t do that…only we can…each and every one of us!

*******************************************