Coppicing has taken up much of the day.
It’s remarkable just how much wood can be grown from scratch on a small amount of land.
It’s safe to say that there is a surplus of wood here, much of which will continue to grow until next winter.
Coppicing increases the amount of wood growing, as each cut tree will produces up to half a dozen more trees and so the stock increases.
The brushwood makes excellent kindling!
This is the most environmentally friendly energy on the planet, totally renewable and beneficial to wildlife, water and air!
Can it get any better?
Then why, oh why are governments not rushing to plant deciduous trees and develop wood-burning stove systems in homes?
Cutting back hedging and dead growth continues apace…I can see the steps once more!
Spurge has come up early, carpeting the Fairy Wood with soft green.
There is a gradual movement of green through the land from this Spurge, all the way through to the Mosses and Lichens of Autumn.
The badgers will come through the wood soon and disturb some of this Spurge in their quest for food, but that disturbance will help in the spreading of this lovely carpet.
As it begins to die back a little, the primroses will make their appearance…and so the succession continues.
Clouds have maintained a westerly sweep, in from the Atlantic Ocean, heavy with rain.
The wind has calmed down, thankfully…I worry that my cottage roof may get blown away.
It’s old and in need of replacement!
More rain is on the way.
Still, living on a hill is a bonus, for as I turn around and point the camera at the wide expanse of sky, it is blue…and there’s the moon!
There is a stillness in the air tonight…a preamble towards Imbolc.
These last days of the Winter in the Celtic Cycle are a time of reflection…
Spirals fascinate me, as they fascinate so many people.
We are drawn towards them.
They mean something to us, something we have forgotten.
My Celtic ancestors carved Sacred Spirals on stones…and so they appear to us today, a message from the past, but we have lost the key to understand their meanings.
They, too, would have gazed up at the night sky and tried to understand their world.
They, too, would have intuited a connectivity in all life…we continue to subconsciously embrace all life, yet we struggle against great odds, for we have been told for millennia that we are superior, and so removed from that life force.
And so we try to make our way back to where we can, once more, connect to life.
For we now know, on a deeply spiritual, non-religious level, that we are one.
Spirals are full of symbolism.
The spiral is found all over the natural world and indeed is also the symbol of life itself, as represented in the famous double helix, the molecular structure of life.
The belief among the Celts, was that communication with nature was the chief priority in their lives, and the sound, immovable belief in the consciousness of all things.
They did not fear death as we do in this present time.
Everything was connected, there was no beginning and no end.
Every single thing upon and in the earth had a consciousness and was a part of, a fragment of, the one cosmic entity.
The sacred spiral, I believe, was a representation of this belief.
Stones were considered to be old before time itself…a fascinating thought and a manifestation of a deep spiritual understanding, if not connection.
The Winter is almost at a close…just another fifteen days left.
The joy of Spring awaits to be welcomed in on the first day of February…Imbolc!
As in the nature of the Sacred Spiral, we move inexorably along the path of our life, but not alone, for we are one with the Universe…
We now know we are made of that oneness, stardust itself!
The Celts recognized the great sight held by someone who was physically blind.
That person had the greatest sight…inner sight.
Perhaps it’s time for us to connect with our own inner sight and begin to see with our intuition.
Thank you for supporting this blog
As the wild and vivid colours of autumn consume the landscape around me and the nights draw in, illuminated by a full moon, I have been reading 12th century Irish verse…my ancestors had a deep respect for the natural world as displayed in these extracts…
“Little antlered one, little belling one, melodious little bleater, sweet I think the lowing that you make in the glen.
Home-sickness for my little dwelling has come upon my mind, the calves in the plain, the deer on the moor.
Oak, bushy, leafy, you are high above trees; hazel-bush, little branchy one, coffer of hazel-nuts.
Alder, you are not spiteful, lovely is your colour, you are not prickly when you are in the gap.
Blackthorn, little thorny one, black little sloe-bush; water-cress, little green-topped one, on the brink of the blackbird’s well.
Saxifrage of the pathway, you are the sweetest of herbs; cress, very green one; plant where the strawberry grows.
Apple-tree, little apple-tree, violently everyone shakes you; rowan, little berried one, lovely is your bloom.
Bramble, little humped one, you do not grant fair terms; you do not cease tearing me till you are sated with blood.
Yew, little yew, you are conspicuous in graveyards; ivy, little ivy, you are familiar in the dark wood.
Holly, little shelterer, door against the wind; ash-tree, baneful, weapon in the hand of a warrior.
Birch, smooth, blessed, proud, melodious, lovely is each entangled branch at the top of your crest.
Aspen, as it trembles, from time to time I hear its lovely rustling, and think it is the foray…
Taken from: ‘Suibhne the Wild Man in the Forest’
Irish; author unknown; twelfth century
Sun and clear skies.
As the sun rises in the east, so the moon sets in the west…one of those glorious autumn mornings in Ireland.
Today is a busy one for me.
Visitors, willow cutting, fedging and lots more.
Yes…that is a little tomato you can see in there…this being a permaculture smallholding there are lots of food plants everywhere to be harvested in the most unexpected places…
This is one of the best videos that explains with images, words and enchanting music, this time…
The sun is casting long shadows…
The very beauty of this morning defies one not to honour the Earth, honour Gaia.
This is an important part of living with and on Gaia.
We have a co-dependent “Web of Life” that includes all physical forms of existence from plants to humans.
Gaia is Earth’s authentic name as “She” is therefore personalized in order for us as humans to have a better relationship with Her.
Each morning I choose to endeavour to reduce my human impact on Gaia, by being mindful of my actions and moderate with natural resources.
As a practising Gaian, becoming a vegetarian was a natural response to the growing environmental concerns and a way of living lightly on the Earth.
Being respectful and courteous not only of human life, but also animal and to an extent plant life, is part of a growing philosophy that heightens spiritual awareness and connectivity.
Aspiring towards a Vegan way of life is my everyday challenge and centres me onto Gaia.
It helps us all to understand the unity of the universe that binds us all and encourages environmental awareness.
Bealtaine Cottage is free and has over 850 blogs, as well as over 3,500 photographs.
Bealtaine Cottage Good Life is a mere 12 euros per year and allows me a small income, to keep doing what I love doing most…writing about Mother Earth and photographing her.
To subscribe, a small donation of 12 euros per year, will add your name to the subscriber list.
You will then have access to the website and full blog as published twice each week.
This amounts to 104 publications per year, at a cost of 12 cents each!
The moon last night as the sun was setting, colouring the fading jet stream in the S.E. sky.
There is something special about walking out on a moonlit night. There is a full moon at present in the sky and it’s rising early enough in the evening to enjoy its full beauty and splendour. A glass of wine or cup of tea tastes all the more lovely after a walk that has allowed you to engage with Gaia.
Nostalgia and the moon seem to go together…there is something in the energy of the full moon that appeals to the senses and the power of reflection. The full moon can be mesmerizing and evocative and in permaculture terms is a good time for growth, as the power of the moon pulls the plants up from the earth and keeps the water levels high.
The last light of the setting sun catches the open blossom on the Pear Tree near the cottage. The sky is clear this evening and the week ahead is promised fine. if you look closely you might see the tiny shape of a Pear just under the flower.
Sunlight catching blossom one one of the many Cherry trees at Bealtaine. Each Spring becomes more dramatic than the one before as the many fruit trees begin to mature.
The sun has set and daylight begins to fade into the West as the moon emerges to the East of the land.
Just returned from the Animal Rescue Centre in Leitrim with the latest addition to the family…Jack!
Never a replacement for The Tomster, but in need of a home and Bealtaine is just that! he’s wandering about the cottage at the moment and sussing everything out!
He is a little bit nervous at the moment as you can see, but I expect he will settle in quite rapidly. It’ll take time then for us to bond and become trusting of each other…time will out!
Harvesting Rhubarb yesterday evening, just as the moon was rising…this is some of the crop, now sliced and in bags in the freezer, waiting for the wine and jam making process. The problem with permaculture is just keeping up with the abundance…
This is a plant box I made several years ago from reclaimed timber and driftwood. Planted out with edibles it will be really useful on the veranda, growing within easy reach of the kitchen…especially when it’s raining!
Irusan the cat has gone home to allow Jack to settle in without being continually glowered at…Irusan is pretty good at making a dog feel very uncomfortable…except for those he likes!
It looks like I’m in for an eventful weekend!