Posted in ancient Ireland, celebrations, Celtic Mythology, Celts, Garden, magic, midsummer, Shakespeare, Spirituality

Midsummer Vigil

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The wall is silence, the grass is sleep,
Tall trees of peace their vigil keep,
And the Fairy of Dreams with moth-wings furled
Plays soft on her flute to the drowsy world.
~Ida Rentoul Outhwaite

DSC00869And as the seasons come and go, here’s something you might like to know.

There are fairies everywhere: under bushes, in the air, playing games just like you play, singing through their busy day.

So listen, touch, and look around — in the air and on the ground.

And if you watch all nature’s things, you might just see a fairy’s wing.

~Author Unknown 

I often walk the gardens in the early morning, taking my tea or coffee with me…and always my camera.

DSC00874It is often in the early morn or at dusk that I find myself in a strange little corner of the gardens, which stretch to three acres and I attempt to capture the moment through the lens.

DSC00882For my part, I believe in the Sidhe and have often felt their presence.

This morning there appeared to be a humidity in places which made it’s presence felt in some of the photographs I took.

DSC00885You may make of them what you will.

DSC00887Bealtaine Cottage is quite alive at all times and especially today, Midsummer, 20th day of June 2016.

DSC00888The veil is thin…

DSC00892This is of very special meaning to me and heralds the presence of my Mother, for this is her Angel sitting by a plant which was dedicated to her.

My daughter bought this pot and plant as a reminder for me of my Mother and her Grandmother…it sits near my seat by the veranda, just outside the back door.

DSC00896The Realm of the Sidhe is a shadow land, carved out by the Tuatha de Danann following the defeat of the tribe in their last great battle.

Many of the sacred places in Ireland are also home to the Sidhe lying just beyond the fields we know.

DSC00904The Tuatha de Danann, the people of the Goddess Danu, were one of the great ancient tribes of Ireland.

The important manuscript ‘The Annals of the Four Masters’, records that they ruled Ireland from 1897 B.C. to 1700 B.C

Bealtaine Cottage appears to be  alive with ancestors.

Midsummer Blessings to All XXX

 

 

Hand in hand, with fairy grace,
Will we sing, and bless this place.
~William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Posted in Good Life, Lifestyle, Spirituality, Summer

The Simplicity of the Morning

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“Every morning was a cheerful invitation to make my life of equal simplicity, and I may say innocence, with Nature herself.”
Henry David Thoreau 

DSC00013Half light and shadows as the morning comes into view.

DSC00012Reflections and sunlight as the day rises.

DSC00011The silent beauty of the morning is a template for us all to follow into day…quiet simplicity.

DSC00010Gazing around the cottage as I follow through on early morning rituals.

DSC00009Checking where Sammy-Bear spent the night, opening the door for Jack to go out…

DSC00008Lighting the stove to boil the kettle…

DSC00006Looking for where I put my camera last evening, for I should record this ethereal beauty of the early morning…

DSC00005Finally, making my pot of coffee and stepping out to embrace the day…

DSC00004The morning, the blessed morning…where all is possible.

DSC00003May the Goddess of the morning touch your heart with delight.

DSC00002May you be released into day, free from negativity and matters you do not control.

DSC00001Embrace your day…it’s a blessing! 

“When you rise in the morning, form a resolution to make the day a happy one for a fellow creature.”
Sydney Smith

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Posted in Abundance, Bealtaine Cottage, biodiversity, compost, Culture, Current Affairs, Eco-Living, Ecology, Edible Gardens, Food, Gardens, Growing Food, Inspiration, Ireland, Life, Permaculture, Self-Sufficiency

From the Fringe…

Permaculture at www.bealtainecottage.com 001The start of the week in this sacred place, where edges meet and overlap…a cooling, calming morning. 

Yesterday was a day of visits and creating bouquets to take with me.

Permaculture at www.bealtainecottage.com 002The gardens are flourishing and birthing beauty all around me, so there was much to gather and choose from.

This is the tenth year using the roll of cellophane bought for me by my eldest daughter all those years ago as a leaving London present!

Small investments can and do go on giving!

Permaculture at www.bealtainecottage.com 003Walking the gardens this morning, after the rain, with the earth scents rising all around me, it was a delight to see the apples well on their way to a grand harvest.

Permaculture at www.bealtainecottage.com 004I continue to drink the apple juice saved as frozen juice from the harvest last year.

Permaculture at www.bealtainecottage.com 005The “poor” land here has given me more food than I can cope with…a continuing surplus builds year on year.

Permaculture at www.bealtainecottage.com 006In this tenth year, it is no longer a surprise that the main stream media has steered clear of permaculture, for the truth of biodiversity undermines the huge Agri-business pushed by governments and those in power.

Permaculture at www.bealtainecottage.com 007Permaculture has been pushed out to the fringes of society by ignoring the outcomes of such an approach.

Permaculture at www.bealtainecottage.com 008This is why I write and photograph and film and keep putting it out there.

I don’t mind being ignored, but Mother Earth WILL have her voice heard and those tuning in are rising in numbers to a point where the mainstream media will have to take notice or end up being overtaken.

Permaculture at www.bealtainecottage.com 010The compost heaps continue to rise toward the sky, dropping back down to earth as they bio-degrade.
Permaculture at www.bealtainecottage.com 011Newly planted beds promise a rich return all Autumn and well into the Winter.
Permaculture at www.bealtainecottage.com 012Natural Spring water flows in abundance from an aquifer that is unabused by demanding “flush it away,” toilet cisterns.

There is no away and besides which, water is sacred!

Why use clean water to flush our human waste into the rivers and oceans…no way, there is no away!
Permaculture at www.bealtainecottage.com 013Taking care of people means taking care of the Earth…how simple is that philosophy to put into practice?

Not if you are a corporation or a politician on the make and take, for there is no money in caring, just an abundant, real economy!

Permaculture at www.bealtainecottage.com 014Our abiding relationship is with Mother Earth.

Permaculture at www.bealtainecottage.com 016It is the only physical relationship which surpasses all others in this life.

Permaculture at www.bealtainecottage.com 017If we imagine our world as a tapestry, then where are you on the stitching?

Permaculture at www.bealtainecottage.com 020Where do you want to be on the weave?

Here’s a thought: one of the biggest and most powerful supermarket chains in the UK and Ireland spent a small fortune on creating this advertising slogan, “Every Little Helps!”  

Own it!

 

 

Posted in Angels, Books, Cottage, Country Living, Earth, Garden, Inspiration, Life, Lifestyle, Permaculture, Summer, Woodland

Morning

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Morning in the west of Ireland on a perfect day in late June.

June 2014 permaculture@bealtainecottage.com 021The back door of the cottage is open; wood pigeons call softly to one another as blackbirds swoop noisily in and out of the blackcurrant bushes, feasting on the heavily laden stems.

June 2014 permaculture@bealtainecottage.com 022Morning…full of stillness and promise, the prelude to a hot, dry day of high summer.

The cottage will remain a cool sanctuary, as the heat of the day rises golden over the hill of Ballyfermoyle.

June 2014 permaculture@bealtainecottage.com 024Birds will swoop along paths of shade, wings outstretched catching the earthy updraft of chill. 

June 2014 permaculture@bealtainecottage.com 026“Summer was our best season: it was sleeping on the back screened porch in cots, or trying to sleep in the treehouse; summer was everything good to eat; it was a thousand colors in a parched landscape; but most of all, summer was Dill.”
― Harper LeeTo Kill a Mockingbird  

June 2014 permaculture@bealtainecottage.com 031“Summer set lip to earth’s bosom bare, and left the flushed print in a poppy there.”
― Francis Thompson 

June 2014 permaculture@bealtainecottage.com 028The hill at the back of the cottage captures the sounds of the birds, holding them close before echoing onto the walls and through the open door into the cool recesses of the stone.

June 2014 permaculture@bealtainecottage.com 029Leaving this sacred place would never sit easy in my heart, for all that is Bealtaine Cottage has been co-created with the great Mother: Earth, Gaia, Nature…whatever insufficient name we draw upon to express the mystery of the Divine.

June 2014 permaculture@bealtainecottage.com 033My dream to plant a forest will come to pass…in some divine way… 

June 2014 permaculture@bealtainecottage.com 036I dream and manifest the vision in sleep and wakedness.

One day, a beautiful morning such as this will shine through onto a young forest floor, illuminating the darkness of a greed-stricken world. 

Posted in Bealtaine Cottage, Buddha, Earth, Garden, Inspiration, Ireland, Life, Lifestyle, Permaculture, Spirituality, Thoughts, Uncategorized

Thanks, Thanks, Thanks!

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Today I felt a tiny bit sad.

Not for any reason in particular…I’m sure we all feel like this every so often.

Permaculture gardens in April at Bealtaine CottageSo there I was, having a good old wallow in being down, when something caught my eye, causing me to look up.

www.bealtainecottage.com 015It was a simple cameo…a blackbird that peered inquisitively back at me through the kitchen window.

I “heard” the look.

www.bealtainecottage.com 054The beautiful bird brought me a message from Nature, saying, quite simply, “look!”

Parsley growing at Bealtaine Cottage beside old iron kettleAnd so I did.

www.bealtainecottage.com 052I looked out the window.

Autumn 2013 at Bealtaine Cottage 001I stepped outside and looked.

Lower pond in flood at Bealtaine Cottage permaculture gardensThere was an entire world around me that was saying, “Step in here and lift your heart up!”

Welcome to the Permaculture Gardens of Bealtaine CottageSince this morning I have looked and been lifted.

Sammy Cat on the roof of the porch at Bealtaine Cottage IrelandNow, here I am, sat by the keyboard, writing this blog and inviting you to share some uplifting pictures of what I have seen this year…

Buddha at BealtaineThanks to the Divine energy all around us that creates such beauty…Thanks!

fairy wood at bealtaine cottageThanks!

In the Gardens of BealtaineThanks!

Bealtaine Cottage PorchThanks!

Posted in Animals, Cats, Cottage, Country Living, Fairies, Inspiration, Permaculture, Spring, Trees, Uncategorized

Primroses and Badgers and Irish Country Living

Primroses are open on the lane to the cottage.

Birds sing and the morning is clear and very still.

As I was driving up the lane last night I came across a badger, just a young one, but looking beautiful and wise as only a badger can…they have this really ancient look about them…

Here are just a few of the 650+ trees planted here at Bealtaine over the past seven and a half years.

These Pine Trees are near the eastern edge of the smallholding and afford great shelter form the east winds that blow during the winter months.

When the sun shines at this time of year, the silvery light is magical!

I googled Bealtaine Cottage images last night and was met with an assorted array of photos from this blog…this is page one…

Hmm…Che is up a field maple tree in the front garden…

He regularly gets himself entangled in branches and begins calling for someone to come to his rescue!

Fairies, ancient stones and spring daffodils…

I rescued this fairy from a junk sale! I paid one euro for the priviledge!

I thought she looked particularly happy this morning!

Ribes, (flowering currant) are coming into bloom this morning at Bealtaine Cottage…and they are beautiful!

Posted in Cottage, Country Living, Garden, Life, Permaculture, Uncategorized, Wildlife

A Life in the Country ~ Today in the Garden…Ponds and Streams

With all the floods of recent days, the ponds are high and the streams gushing, but the morning is sunny and bright and there’s no better time for a walk through Bealtaine Gardens…

Posted in Animals, Autumn, Ireland, Permaculture, Roscommon, Uncategorized, Wildlife, Woodland

An Early Morning Walk with Jack along Ballyfermoyle

Jack is my beautiful rescue dog…I usually introduce thus to strangers as a way of excusing his enthusiasm for life…jumping up to greet people!

Jack loves walking, so we go out at least twice a day along the laneway where I live, here at Ballyfermoyle.

I took these photos this morning for you all to see soem of what Jack and I see…

Recipe for Autumn Chutney…easy and you get to choose the fruit!

I used…

  • 1.5kg apples, chopped up in small pieces
  • 80g chopped dates
  • 100g raisins
  • 450g onions, fine chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 350g soft brown sugar
  • 550mls malt vinegar
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • half tsp white pepper
  • 1 tsp salt

Put all the ingredients into a large pan over a gentle heat and stir until sugar is dissolved.

Bring to boil, turn down heat and simmer for one and a half hours. Stir a few times during cooking.

Pot immediately, but leave to mature for at least a week for the flavours to infuse.

I had some on bread whilst still hot and it’s yummy!

Posted in Autumn, Bealtaine Cottage, Celtic Mythology, Earth, Ecology, Fairies, Folklore, Food, Gaia, Garden, History, Inspiration, Ireland, Music, Permaculture, Poetry, Recipes, Spirituality, Uncategorized, Vegan

Permaculture Cottage ~ Recipes, Fairies and The Ways of Old

The storm continues to rage. Walking Jack this morning, I was pulled down the road by an over-enthusiastic dog and blown back home by the gale force wind. It was brilliant and energizing and really uplifting!

A Lovely, Tasty, Hot Recipe for a Cold Autumn Day…

Vegan Chilli

  • 4 cloves of garlic  (finely chopped)
  • (1 onion (diced)
  • 2 large cans of chopped tomatoes
  • 250mls passata tomato
  • 500g cooked  red kidney beans
  • 3 tbsps of olive oil
  • 3 tbsps of chilli powder
  • seasoning
  • 4 tablespoons tomato puree

Fry the onion, oil, garlic. Add tomato puree and fry another 2 minutes. Add chilli powder and fry a further 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, passata and beans…let it cook for about 20-30minutes. Add sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste! Yummy…serve on a bed of wholegrain rice, with green salad and fresh deliciou bread…STOP DROOLING!

A Simple Idea to STOP That Draft…

You will need a staple gun or hammer and tacks. Cut a strip of material the width of the door and about 20-30cms deep. Fold and tack to the bottom of the door, with the folded side just touching the floor. Now you are draft free!

And…Fairies…

http://youtu.be/54XztbNJ87g

And, finally for today…the magical and enchanting, Ways of Old, from Loreena McKennitt…

http://youtu.be/0SG6ZITbWpU

With amazing images!

Posted in Abundance, Beltane, Country Living, Eco-Living, Food, Garden, Gardening, Growing Food, Inspiration, Ireland, polytunnel gardening, Smallholding, Summer, Sustainable Living, Uncategorized

Growing Fruit and Vegetables the Permaculture Way

Apples

Apples today in the gardens at Bealtaine.

No chemicals.

Lots of mulching.

Sheeps wool mulched around base.

Regular feeds of manure tea.

Maximum biodiversity planted around the trees.

Trees well spread out.

Hedges and shrubs to protect from the wind.

In other words, intelligent planting, thought-out and planned along  permaculture lines…

Planning Permaculture

Just a few shots of empathy for and with Nature, alongside good, basic common-sense, realising that Nature is poly-cultural and loathes monoculture in any form, so, be diverse!

Plant for maximum biodiversity, with pockets of plants everywhere in your garden…and don’t try to dominate!

Us humans seem to have an innate desire to dominate Nature, an idea supported by so many of the world religions!

Use Local Resources

Raised beds can be made from most materials.

Local is best.

I continue to use some tyres in my gardens, but am replacing them gradually with stone, local stone, as and when I uncover it or come across it.

Wood is good and sustainable.

All my compost heaps are made using old doors, up-cycled to a new use!

Look at what you have as a local and preferably free resource and start using it!

No-Dig

By far the easiest and best way of growing I have ever encountered…this is my template for a great garden.

These are the potatoes this morning, growing mightily on a no-dig potato bed.

Have a look at previous blogs to see how this was started…

Collect and Save Seed!

Fennel in the tunnel this morning, flowering and soon to seed.

Save seed…any seeds and grow them on and share them out and value this above all else that you do, for without seed we have nothing!

Bealtaine Cottage is also on YouTube…with over 85 videos about Permaculture, planting, growing and living.

Visitors to Bealtaine Cottage are welcomed free.

Donations are always welcome.

Thank you!

Thank you for supporting this blog

Posted in Beltane, Earth, Ecology, Fairies, Gaia, Garden, Ireland, Leitrim, Organic Garden, Permaculture, Roscommon, Sligo, Smallholding, Uncategorized, Wildlife, Woodland

Misty Morning, Hot Coffee…just Permaculture in Ireland

Just a walk around Bealtaine on a still, warm and misty morning…

And the soundtrack of Bealtaine…birds and bees and insects…

Scents of Spring and early summer pervade the air…

The promise of Sloes with Blackthorn Blossom…

Growing in the Fairy Dell…

And deep within the Fairy Dell the Rowan Tree comes to life…