A Sack of Diamonds

www.bealtainecottage.com 010Sunrise is happening later each morning.

This morning was clear and beautiful.

www.bealtainecottage.com 012But also, this morning, I was faced with taking Missy into the Vet…she has not been well and hasn’t eaten for three days.

www.bealtainecottage.com 013Anyway, she is in there for the day and I am at home keeping busy!

www.bealtainecottage.com 030Coming back home, a journey of about eight miles, I stopped several times to take photos…it is really such a beautiful day here in the west of Ireland!

www.bealtainecottage.com 025Mature Beech trees line the road that sweeps along the edge of Lough Key.

www.bealtainecottage.com 026Stretches of blue water can be seen from the car.

www.bealtainecottage.com 028I have to drive back into Boyle to collect Missy at 6pm.

The day continues fine, so the journey will not be too stressful.

I remain on an emotional tightrope and I’m not looking down!

www.bealtainecottage.com 006Last night there was a half-moon in the southern sky.

At 5am the sky was a black velvet sack of diamonds.

The moon had set and the sky was illuminated by stars…endless stars!

The Earth continues to turn.

The Girdle of Green

www.bealtainecottage.com 002An old castle on an island in the forest, not far from Bealtaine Cottage, and where I walked today with my daughter, Cara, whose birthday we celebrated, with a walk through this magical landscape on a glorious autumn day.

www.bealtainecottage.com 007This is Lough Key and the castle once belonged to the MacDermott clan who lived here hundreds of years ago.

www.bealtainecottage.com 003The castle is mentioned frequently in the ancient annals, being a focus for both fighting and partying.

Brian of the Carrick, Chief 1585-92, is reported to be last head of the clan to live on the island.

www.bealtainecottage.com 004 There is reference to Castle Island in the annals of Lough Ce as early as 1184.

During this time the park was called Moylurg and the Kings of Moylurg were the MacDermotts.

www.bealtainecottage.com 017The real pleasure lies in walking among the mighty Oaks that guard the Lough.

www.bealtainecottage.com 031This Oak tree was warm and welcoming…an ancient heart holding the history of the land within.

www.bealtainecottage.com 021Just resting against this tree made me feel joyous…what amazing energy and strength emanates forth from trees like this!

The mighty  Oak has had importance and great significance to the Celts, from ancient to modern times.

www.bealtainecottage.com 034This is where the ancestors worshipped and held important events in the old calendar, for the Oak Grove was considered sacred.

www.bealtainecottage.com 048Oak trees grow in almost every part of the world.

The Druids made their magic wands from only three woods…Yew, Oak and Apple.

www.bealtainecottage.com 054

As the sap begins to drop in the trees and the leaves turn colour, Ivy, that has previously been shaded out by canopy, emerges into its own, as a permanent reminder to us all that spring will return.

www.bealtainecottage.com 057The evergreen girdle of Ivy, on many trees, keeps a host of small birds and insects warm and fed over the dark days of winter.

www.bealtainecottage.com 043Similarly, the girdle of Moss, around the base of the mighty Oak, will secure the winter for many small creatures.

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A Life in the Country ~ Today at Bealtaine Cottage

Missy. Staring wisely through her beautiful cat’s eyes. Such wisdom in that little head…  

Cats can work out mathematically the exact place to sit that will cause most
inconvenience.  ~Pam Brown   (Indeed…sitting in my seat, I do believe)!

A catless writer is almost inconceivable.  It’s a perverse taste, really, since
it would be easier to write with a herd of buffalo in the room than even one
cat; they make nests in the notes and bite the end of the pen and walk on the
typewriter keys.  ~Barbara Holland

I bought this painting recently, having been drawn towards it and virtually hypnotised into the purchase…it is old and evokes a sense of 1950’s rural Ireland…and one of my favourite authors wrote expansively about this time…Edna O’Brien.

 Every
artist dips his brush in his own soul, and paints his own nature into his
pictures.  ~Henry Ward Beecher

Jack looks over at Missy the cat…yes, Jack, keep watching…don’t take your eyes off her! 

There has never been a cat
Who couldn’t calm me down
By walking
slowly
Past my chair.
~Rod McKuen

History is a cyclic poem written by Time upon the memories of man.  ~Percy
Bysshe Shelley

Today I went for a lovely, long walk, down in the old park around what was an ancient house by Lough Key. This is the old stable block as seen through the portcullis…

If one could make alive again for other people some cobwebbed skein of old dead
intrigues and breathe breath and character into dead names and stiff portraits. 
That is history to me!  ~George Macaulay Trevelyan

This is the old family church near where the old house once stood…the roof has gone and the shell of the beautiful old building stands alone…

Permaculture Cottage ~ Climbing Trees and drinking home-made wine…

Strange Clouds, Cold Evening and Dry Well!

Dinner guests, dry well and crazily cold…but a picnic was the best option given the circumstances…so Lough Key forest Park beckoned and off I went armed with the makings of a jolly good time…yep, you’ve guessed right…home made wine and a wide selection!

Cold, but really dry! And some magnificent trees!

Some of the party decided to try out the ZIPWIRE experience at Lough Key…and here’s Kate up a tree! A fantastic experience!

And Dominic waiting to career off down the wire!

TombRaider style descent…

So there you have it…a dry well and unflushable toilet is not the end of the world after all…we scale to higher heights…mmm, okay, I’ve had too much Strawberry vino de Bealtaine!

Permaculture Interest? 30,000 visits to Bealtaine, Ireland.

This is growing on the side of a big log of cut wood near the veranda. Some kind of Fungi…not quite sure and am in the process of scouring books to try to find out! It’s soft, like a giant marshmallow and this is the actual size…but it appears to be growing…

Walking by Lough Key yesterday with the Tomster and his mum…well it WAS Mother’s Day and Tommy wanted to give his old mum a treat! …this tree, magnificent in its ancient grandeur.

Standing right up against it, heart to heart, looking up, skywards, through its giant arms towards the sky…it took my breath away!

And the little boat, nestled into the calm stillness of the lough…

And enough Ramsons, (Wild Garlic), to feed the world, growing everywhere in this massive old estate that was…the heady scent of delicate flavoursome food being carried on the cool, evening air…

…with just enough daylight left to harvest the first Rhubarb of the year and…

…make a Rhubarb Crumble, before saying goodnight to the Tomster and heading off out to dinner, Crumble in one hand, home-made Redcurrant Wine in the other…FRUGAL LIVING?…are you kidding?