Bealtaine Cottage Early Summer Album

It has been some time… “Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.” ~ Henry James Just as the rosebuds are swelling, early Summer makes an appearance. It has been a long cold Winter and Spring. Euphorbia has brightened the veranda with its vivid lime green. And finally, finally the garden stirs into full life. “Green was the silence, wet was the light, the month of June trembled like a butterfly.” ~ Pablo Neruda “Bees do have a smell, you know, and if they don’t they should, for their feet…

Summer in the Garden

Being able to upload 31 photos is a real treat for me, and, I hope you will get a taste of Bealtaine Cottage today. I have snapped these minutes ago and come straight in to upload and write this blog…taking time en route to give Jack a cracker treat. As you can see he’s fully engrossed with chomping! There is an abundance of Poppies this year…these are just outside the back door and almost ready to burst open! Thanks and blessings to my dear friends and supporters of the Bealtaine Cottage project. It is so very heartening to read the…

As Pleiades Rose…

A fabulous sunset on Bealtaine 2015. A Bealtaine filled with much love and sunshine, as visitors came and went all through the day. First arrivals walked up the lane at 10am, with the last leaving at 8pm. At Bealtaine the star cluster known as Pleiades rises in the early morning sky, just before dawn. The Pleiades is a cluster of seven closely placed stars, the seven sisters, in the constellation of Taurus. Bealtaine, was always regarded as a time of “no time” when the veils between the two worlds are at their thinnest. This morning, as the Pleiades rose, I walked…

Bottling Summer

The old tin bath has been taken down from the wall of the barn. Used wine bottles are left to steep for a few hours in rainwater. Washed and clean, ready to be filled with home-made Blackcurrant wine. There is always at least one day during the Summer, when one feels enthusiastic enough to overcome the reluctance to get stuck into bottling wine…today, all the right chords were struck and the work began! Cork stoppers were duly washed and left to soak and soften, till, finally… the wine was securely bottled! All that remains to be done is labelling…Chateau Bealtaine!…

Goddess Rising

Summer swells; the Earth heaves a mantle of green over all the land. Swallows dip and turn above tall grass. I see the Goddess rising… Light dances at midnight across the northern horizon. Long swathes of ivy swing from tall branches of goat willow. The Fairy Wood is almost impassable. I see the Goddess rising… Blackcurrants plump to ripening, as apples emerge. The summer is here in all her glory; a feast for the eyes. The Earth, Mother Earth, the Goddess… rises.

Bealtaine Eve in Ireland

    The rain taps on the cottage roof as the Eve of Bealtaine draws in. All the dry, warm weather is ended abruptly with heavy, rhythmic rain.   This Summer’s Eve will be freshened with Atlantic rain and the dry earth will release scents of green…yes, indeed, colour has a scent!   Bealtaine is the oldest festival in all of Europe and was historically celebrated on the Hill of Uisneach in County Westmeath.   This ancient ceremonial hill was, and remains, a sacred place and one of the most significant places of ancient ritual in all of Ireland.   This…

The Closing Chapter

Summer began to melt into Autumn at Bealtaine Cottage amidst a flurry of bees and butterflies, more than ever witnessed in the permaculture gardens. Harvesting began and the kitchen was a place of jam jars and bottles, all waiting to be filled and labelled. The glut of blackcurrants became wine, jam and chutney, with even more added to the freezer. Open days and workshops seen a steady stream of visitors to the cottage and gardens. Kindling for the winter stoves continued to be collected and stored in the barn. And the Potager beds kept growing! The recipe for Blackcurrant Chutney…

Fairy Lights

Winter sunlight turns bare branches, that drip with rain, into fascinating fairy lights. Silver prisms of fantasy, dangling precariously from thin Birch trees. The days of light and dark are confused with bright full moons, illuminating the bare landscape… This is a delightful time of year, as the sun makes its steady progress downwards, ever down… Light is delicate and unpredictable, sometimes overwhelming in its glow, at others, just a whisper of the day. Entire worlds are captured in water droplets. Fitting too, as water and sun give life. The coppicing continues and long branches are hauled up from the gardens…

Autumn in the Permaculture Gardens of Bealtaine Cottage

Stepping out in search of breakfast…the potager beds are full and the apple trees drip with fruit…lots of good, fresh food to juice this morning! Much of my Vegan diet is raw food…I love it! It makes me feel alive and well! The morning is mild and very still…I can hear the birds move through the bushes, as they dip and swoop along the paths in the gardens. Rustling sounds entice me along the paths towards the stone circle…the cats are at play in this magically wild field to the north of the cottage. Sammy-Bear sits atop the stone seat,…