Frogspawn, Sunshine and a Walk in the Garden

DSC08362Went for a walk down to the pond and made a video on the way, as the sun shone and the birds sang…what a beautiful day!

The lower pond is filled with Frogspawn…almost heaving really…I’ve never seen so much!

DSC08368Just recalling how a mere twelve years ago there was nothing here by wet, rushy ground that was impenetrable to the spade!

Now it’s packed with wildlife, young woodland, ponds, streams, orchards, soft fruits and vegetables!

DSC08374There is even a Spring Well, dug out from stone, deep within the Fairy Wood! DSC08357Bealtaine Cottage…from monoculture to permaculture in twelve short years!

Enjoy the video!

Those interested in the Fuchsia, Blackcurrant or Rubus cuttings need to hurry and order, as they are fast coming into leaf…another couple of weeks left to get them in the ground and growing…and they will grow very fast indeed! To place your order, click on the link below…

https://bealtainecottage.com/seeds-for-sale/

 

 

 

The Shining Ones

To understand Celtic Spirituality we must suspend the normal way of looking at the world and ‘sense’ the other worlds around us.”
– Donald McKinney, Celtic Spirituality for the 21st Century

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Looking North East towards Slieve Anieirin Mountain…

Slieve Anierin, known as the Iron Mountain, is a magical landscape, where Iron Age people once mined Iron Ore. 

Slieve Anierin in Leitrim; Sliabh-an-iarainn, the mountain of the iron; from its richness in iron ore.

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Bealtaine Cottage is surrounded by landscape, where traces of ancient peoples are to be found with ease. 

The Tuatha de Danaan were one of these ancient races and were also known as the Shining Ones.

Candle at Bealtaine Cottage

Few people are aware of the fact that it was these people who became the origins of what we know worldwide as the Fairies…or the Sidhe.

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This was the Tribe that became the Sídhe…the Fairy Folk.

The stories of the Sidhe abound in Ireland.

We live alongside our ancestors.

This path at Bealtaine leads down into the Fairy Wood.

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There is much written about the 

Sídhe, pronounced “shee”, and a lot of the writings are contradictory, much like the 

Sídhe themselves! 

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Living among the remnants of ancient tribes, as I do, here in the West of Ireland, watching skies with stars so bright, they illuminate the night, it is easy to believe in theSídhe…even revere them at times.

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There comes a shift in perception, when one’s closest allies are the invisible forces of Nature.

Where does reality begin and end?

What is actual and what is reflection?

For much of it is coloured by perception. 

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This was something debated by the Romantic Poets, as they often explored the world around them, using reflections, as they held up mirrors to gaze into Nature.

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There are many tales relating the emergence of Fairies in Irish Folklore.

Many legends recall how once  great Queens, Kings and Warriors became

Sídhe 

upon death.

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In turn, these mortals went on to  establish new kingdoms in the ancient mounds and hills of the landscape we know today.

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It is easy to regard these ancient sites with reverence and understanding, for even though there are millenia of time that separate us from them, they are part of our ancestral being.

Bealtaine Cottage moon rising over the permaculture gardens

The true origin of the legendary Tuatha De Danaan lies somewhere between the worlds of reality and perception of reality.

The name means literally “the folk of the god whose mother is Dana.”  

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It is merely recorded, that they appeared, as the clouds rose, from the mountain of Slieve Anierin, on the day of Bealtaine, the first day of May…Summer.

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Bealtaine cottage crafts 010Bog Oak Pendants are available from the Bealtaine Cottage Craft Shop. (Sorry, all are now sold. No longer available!)

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 made from wood dated as 5,600 years old.

Visit:

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

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!

As the Sun Sets on Bealtaine

sunset at bealtaine CottageThe Open Permaculture Gardens Weekend has been a great success.

Open weekendVisitors have come and walked the gardens, shared the spirit of this little home and talked with others, gathered around the ancient and rather rickety table in this small kitchen.

bealtaine cottage sunsetPeople, from all walks of life, have shown tremendous generosity, in donating to the Leitrim Animal Welfare Sanctuary.

sunset at bealtaine cottageThere is a fantastic 200 Euros to bring to the Sanctuary on Tuesday!

open weekend bunting by the gateDespite the wet weather, great spirited followers of this blog travelled from all over Ireland, to spend time together in the gardens of Bealtaine Cottage.

open weekend sunsetMany expressed deep emotion to be here, in what has evolved as a sanctuary for Mother Nature.

front door of bealtaine cottageAfter hours of walking the gardens and sharing stories, tea, cake and soup, visitors left  with plants, books, cuttings and ideas, filled with a determination to create their own Eden!

bealtaine cottage pondThank you to Jane Forrester, of Bandon Pottery, who travelled the 10 hour round trip from West Cork,

Sean and Roisin Mc Cluskey from Donegal,

Paddy kelly,

Isabel Huroczlie,

Claudia Kohler,

Paul Browne,

Patricia Wallace from Dunboyne

Joe Morrissey from Dunboyne

Sandra MacLiammon from Cavan

John Murray from Navan

John McAdam from Slane

Peter and Caroline

Nathan and Janet

Iris Weber

Dermot Henry

Sinead Jackson

Una Parsons and Gerry Hunt

sunset at bealtaineWhat a wonderful, wonderful gathering of people under the eaves of Bealtaine Cottage!

celtic cross in the sunsetYour wonderful energy resonates here this evening…thank you one and all!

Saint Patrick’s Day Parade Prize awarded to “NO FRACKING IRELAND!”

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day to all!
If you are planning on visiting the “Land of Saints and Scholars,” to see the “Forty Shades of Green,” make sure you come before the Fracking Starts!
This was the message today from the Saint Patrick’s Day Float which won the “Most Entertaining Float,” in the Saint Patrick’s Day Parade in my local town of Drumshanbo!

A representative from “NO FRACKING IRELAND,” Cara, accepts the award on behalf of everyone who worked so hard for several weeks, making the float, from Martin Kenny, Sinn Fein Councillor and Councillor Gerry Dolan. 

Deputy Colreavy of Sinn Fein, speaking on the issue of Fracking in Ireland,  stated that,  “Sinn Féin will stand with the people in their fight against it.”

Michael Colreavy, Sinn Féin TD for Sligo-North Leitrim, has criticised proposed plans for the use of hydraulic fracturing or fracking as a means of gas extraction in the Lough Allen Basin. 
Deputy Colreavy highlighted the fact that there are real concerns about the use of fracking, both for the health of the people in the surrounding areas, and also environmental concerns.

Speaking on the issue Deputy Colreavy said: “The use of fracking has been outlawed in France and in Bulgaria. In England, near Blackpool, fracking has been suspended due to strong evidence that it was a contributing factor to a number of earthquakes. The practice, if introduced into Ireland, could well have environmental and health implications for people in the vicinity of the fracking activity. The practice is not likely to benefit the people of the area because, just like the gas, the money too will flow out of Ireland.” 
Deputy Colreavy added: “People will be excused if they are sceptical of Tamboran Resources promise of jobs to the area. The practice of fracking will cause more harm to the area than benefits. The real potential for job creation in the North West region is in the development of clean, renewable energy. 
Most people in Leitrim, Cavan, Fermanagh and other areas realise that this practice could have a huge impact on their lives and their surrounding area. This has been clearly demonstrated by the massive groundswell of opposition to fracking. Sinn Féin will stand with the people in their fight against it.

Representative of “NO FRACKING IRELAND,” with Hugh Gallagher, Chairperson of Cull and Tymon Cumann, Arigna. This branch of Sinn Fein hosted a screening of  Josh Fox’s “Gasland,” as a community event in Arigna. People in this part of Ireland are becoming more informed about the perils of fracking.

Thanks to the Transition Year students at Carrick School who helped out with the Float!

Pictures of a Frack Too Far in Ireland…Every Picture Tells a Fracking Story!

These photographs you are about to see were taken in the area of North West Ireland where prospecting for Gas was carried out in recent years.

The site was purchased by the company who test-drilled.

Local people remember what happened and have spoken to me about it.

In some photographs I am standing right on the site!

Look in wonder at the beauty. Download and save the pics…these may be some of the last taken of this extraordinary, breath-takingly beautiful landscape…