Posted in Climate, climate change, Earth, Ecology, Gaia, Nature

Giordano Bruno

DSC01473

I have been reading much of late…in particular, two books by James Lovelock, setting out the case for Gaia and the ensuing extreme weather generated by a change in our climate, among other things, some would argue! 

DSC01461

DSC01462This is not a blog about Climate Change or, even, extreme weather…enduring it is quite enough!

DSC01467This is about an extraordinary human being, who, 400 years before James Lovelock, set out the case for our Earth being alive…as I know her to be today!

DSC01464For this and other beliefs, Giordano was burned at the stake in the year 1600.

DSC01471Giordano Bruno, born Filippo Bruno, was an Italian Dominican friar, philosopher, mathematician, poet, and astrologer.

DSC01472He is remembered for his cosmological theories, which conceptually extended the then novel Copernican model.

DSC01470He proposed that the stars were just distant suns surrounded by their own exoplanets and raised the possibility that these planets could even foster life of their own (a philosophical position known as cosmic pluralism).

DSC01469He also insisted that the universe is in fact infinite and could have no celestial body at its “centre”.

DSC01463Beginning in 1593, Bruno was tried for heresy by the Roman Inquisition on charges including denial of several core Catholic doctrines (including Eternal Damnation, the Trinity, the divinity of Christ, the virginity of Mary, and Transubstantiation).

DSC01460So, you can begin to see why I have warmed to this rather extraordinary and brave human being!

DSC01458Not, as some would imagine, for having strong views…but for daring to question!

DSC01457Bruno’s pantheism was also a matter of grave concern.

DSC01456 The Inquisition found him guilty, and he was burned at the stake in Rome’s Campo de’ Fiori in 1600.

DSC01452In short, Giordano Bruno was burnt at the stake just over 400 years ago for maintaining that the Earth was alive!

DSC01449After many years of isolation in the science community, James Lovelock was acknowledged as the bearer of truth, sometimes a painful burden to carry in a society fixated with staying well inside the box!

DSC01447I know from my intimate work with Mother Earth, that she is indeed alive.

I open myself to her communication.

DSC01439Her voice grows louder with each passing day…indeed, many of you hear or feel her communication.

DSC01432The change in acceptance of James Lovelock’s Gaia theory was summed up in a declaration published by scientists from the four international research programmes in 2001 which said…

DSC01428“The Earth system behaves as a single, self-regulating system,comprised of physical, chemical, biological and human components. The interactions and feedbacks between the component parts are complex and exhibit multi-scale temporal and spatial variability.” DSC01426We need to make peace with Her…and to do that we need to listen!

Thank you for supporting Bealtaine Cottage…there is a link at the top of this page where you may choose to purchase a book, calendar or map. Blessings X Colette

Posted in Abundance, Summer, sustainability, vegetable garden

Today at Bealtaine Cottage

DSC00664

Rain fell last night and continues this morning.

There will be no lack of water in the well for the next few weeks!

DSC00663 I have finally given away my hens…as I no longer eat eggs and there was a lovely home ready and waiting for them where they would be more useful, as they are good layers and their eggs will be anticipated and appreciated where there is a family of people to eat them.

DSC00662I shall miss them, but as with life at Bealtaine Cottage, the void is quickly filled and the hen-house will be re-purposed and appreciated further.

DSC00661In the past, their manure was a part of developing the fertility of the land at Bealtaine, but this is no longer needed.

The compoost system is now working very well and far exceeds what any animal manure could bring to three acres.

DSC00659Seed production is well under way, with some of the harvest already collected and much more coming to fruition.

DSC00660We are now one week away from Midsummer, as evidenced in the lush growth seen here! 

DSC00655We inter-breath with the rain forests, we drink from the oceans.  They are part of our own body.  ~Thich Nhat Hanh

DSC00658The fruit trees and bushes were pruned back quite hard over the course of last Autumn and Winter and they are happily producing yet another bumper harvest.

DSC00656 …no matter how complex or affluent, human societies are nothing but subsystems of the biosphere, the Earth’s thin veneer of life, which is ultimately run by bacteria, fungi and green plants.  

~Vaclav Smil 

DSC00657Your deepest roots are in nature.  No matter who you are, where you live, or what kind of life you lead, you remain irrevocably linked with the rest of creation.  

~Charles Cook  

DSC00653

 

“If we are going to be kind, let it be out of simple generosity, not because we fear guilt or retribution.”
J.M. Coetzee

Posted in Climate, climate change, Collapse, Uncategorized

End of Empire and Climate Chaos

www.bealtainecottage.com 054The greatest concern of our times is happening on a daily basis and affecting every one of us.

Weather volatility is real and happening and the Ostriches in power appear impotent against the great forces of Nature.

www.bealtainecottage.com 029The gabbling media assault our senses with celebrity highs and lows, sport and highly edited titbits of what is happening internationally…all the while keeping away from any real conversation about the chaos that is the weather all around us and those dreaded words: Climate Change.

However it is not Climate Change any more…the media have completely missed out on that conversation!

It has evolved rapidly into Climate Chaos!

The Fairy Wood at Bealtaine CottageI would like to offer words of comfort and reassurance, but that’s not possible, for I live in the real world and events are happening too fast for me to be able to offer predictions that will reassure!

Last night I slept with both windows open in my bedroom, bathed in warmth from the wind that blew all night from the south.

The wind chimes on the veranda played ceaselessly…something that has never happened before.

I use all my senses to try to build a picture of what the media refuses to inform me about.

The big news is that the Jet Stream is out of control!

Imagine a Spinning Top, rotating smoothly at first…well that is how the Jet Stream SHOULD be!

Now picture the same Spinning Top as it slows, rotating wildly…that is what is happening to the Jet Stream and causing the wild fluctuations in weather across the globe.

All the information about this is out there on the internet…make Google your friend and inform yourself…that’s if you can bear it!

I have gone past the need to research, for I witness the changes, log them, keep a record of temperatures and rainfall patterns…and have done so for all the time I have worked on the Bealtaine project.

So, what is the point in telling you this bad news?

I have nothing to gain.

In fact, there is a strong possibility that I will lose subscribers.

The old adage of “shoot the messenger”pertains to what I have written here…so be it!

023So, let me tell you about the people I hope to reach with this news…

People who care for the future.

Those who have awakened to what it means to live a compassionate life.

Especially those who are unafraid of change and to implement change in their own lives.

Sammy Bear and meIf there is a Universal Consciousness…give it the name Goddess, God, Divine, Mother Earth…whatever you know it by…then that consciousness must surely want us to care as deeply for our planet as we care for ourselves.

Adapting is the way forward and should be at the top of all political agendas and policies.

Here in Ireland we are headed into a general election.

Farmers appear to be ill-informed in relation to Climate Change and as they hold much power in the outcome of elections, there will not be much informed debate on the doorstep!

Meat production is now at an all-time high in Ireland and there are few, if any, politicians who are prepared to risk the fury of farmers in regards to changing that!

The relationship between meat production, consumption and climate change is there for all to Google and Youtube.

The complacency regarding our habitat and climate change disturbs me.

I shall be quizzing each and every politician who knocks on my door…but as for intelligent, informed answers, well, I won’t be holding my breath!

Feel free to share this post…

And…I had to add this wonderful interview with Jane Goodall…

Posted in Climate, climate change, Collapse, COP 21, Country Living, Earth, Uncategorized

Love in a (not so) Cold Climate

DSC08017

With the back door wide open and the birds singing out a chorus more resonant of Spring than Winter, welcome to Sunday morning at Bealtaine Cottage in the west of Ireland!

Despite the mild Winter, snow has fallen and added a seasonal touch to the landscape…in fact it remains on the mountains to the north of the cottage and here and there on banks and ditches.

DSC07992

I’ve been very busy in the gardens since the end of December, pruning hard, cutting back, washing the tunnel, cleaning pots and generally trying to stay ahead of the work that will suddenly seem oppressive at the start of Spring!

DSC07991

If previous years are anything to go by, the Spring will be very short and Summer will make itself known in mid to late March!

Shocking I know, but that is the measure of it!

So, for a gardener like myself there’s nothing else for it but to adapt!

Seeds are sown in the propagator and compost will be mixed today in preparation for the potting on that is to come in the next few weeks!

It’s a case of just getting on with it as best I can!

DSC07988DSC07985

There is a distinct difference in the shadow patterns as the outline of the roof of the cottage falls beneath the tree tops…

DSC07984

“Much of the oxygen we breathe comes from plants that died long ago. We can give thanks to these ancestors of our present-pay foliage, but we can’t give back to them. We can, however, give forward. When we are unable to return the favor, we can pay it forward to someone or something else. Using this approach, we can see ourselves as part of a larger flow of giving and receiving throughout time. Receiving from the past, we can give to the future. When tackling issues such as climate change, the stance of gratitude is a refreshing alternative to guilt or fear as a source of motivation.”
Joanna Macy & Chris Johnstone

DSC07990

Sowing and planting, growing tiny trees in pots of hope, tending Mother Earth with love…brings me joy.

Sitting here, with the back door open in the middle of January, may be a cause for concern, but it is over-ridden by the call of Mother Earth from outside.

And for the many visitors to Bealtaine Cottage this year, there will be small pots of hope to take away…

Subscribe to Bealtaine Cottage Good Life website here…

http://bealtainecottage.com/bealtaine-cottage-good-life/

Posted in climate change, Collapse, COP 21, Uncategorized

Country Cottage Journal ~Truth and Lies

Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture

You had best sit down with a cup of tea, for the truth is quite shocking!

You may not agree with what I have to say.

You may even still be in denial about what is obviously happening and what indeed lies ahead!

Most of those I have spoken with on this life and death scenario have blatantly told me they do not want to know!

In some ways, I don’t blame them…for it is easier to continue life with one’s head in a realm of make-believe and “happy ever afters”, where one has not got to take responsibility for one’s life.

The reality is far too disconcerting to have to look at!

The elephant in the room is, of course, Climate Change.

Politicians, negotiators and big corporations have all been talking the talk about our future.

Let me say that again…Our Future…NOT the future of Mother Earth, for she will go on!

Our children and grandchildren are in danger!

Yet, some of the biggest fights at COP 21, in Paris, are over who pays for climate change…We know who will pay the piper!

Governments are not prepared to jeopardize economic growth to save humanity.

It will be the persistent, unrelenting, driving force of materialism, which will be our downfall.

This may also be recognised as greed.

That has been the death knell for all preceding civilizations and empires.

PosterThis time it affects us all, for this time, everything is connected, as we are to Mother Earth.

Most of humanity appear to have morphed into ostriches…and we all know what they do!

Posted in Climate, climate change, destruction, ecocide, sustainability, Uncategorized, war

Paris

The weather has been all over the place during the past few days. Storm Barney has apparently passed over, though as I write, there is a storm whooping up, quite suddenly too, along the valley and mountains, in from the Atlantic seaboard.

As you can see from the photographs above, taken yesterday, the sun shone brilliantly, though intermittently!

I have just stepped out from the cottage to snap these, literally a few minutes ago.

Another storm has just swept in from the west!

The colours are uplifting I think, even though there is an inherent violence accompanying them.

Mother Nature is venting…

DSC07460The clock moves to just after 4pm and the sky outside is darkening fast.

DSC07463I rejoice in days like these, for one feels alive and adrenaline pumps to the surface, as the full force of Mother Nature moves across the sky and the trees tremble.

DSC07461There is a conference in Paris today…on Climate Change.

I received clarification today of what I have long suspected…for we know that everything is connected…

It is simply this…that the War Machine, the military might of the West, guzzles the most oil and is the largest emitter of CO2 on our planet!

DSC07474War and militarism are the key components of what fuels Climate Change!

DSC07465Everything, yes everything is connected!

DSC07443Jack worries not…there are times I envy him!

Posted in climate change, Ireland, Permaculture, population, weather

Severe Weather and Climate Change

An incredible storm has raged all day long and continues into this dark, cold night.

001

The wind has howled around the cottage, shaking the trees so fiercely that the ground has trembled!

002

Thunder and lightning, hailstones rattling the windows and snow…this is the worst storm I have witnessed in over ten years at Bealtaine Cottage!

003

The scary aspect of this biting cold, storm-ridden, night is that only two nights ago, it was positively warm; in fact the dramatic rise in temperature woke me up before dawn.

004

As the weather becomes more and more wild and extreme, so everyday life is affected.

Even as I write this blog and upload photographs, the power has cut out twice, leaving me to start over…though some of the writing is automatically saved.

005

It is past 9pm here in the cottage and the storm has not let up all day.

Still, I have made the most of the time, moving the beginnings of my Blackcurrant wine into demijohns, where it will bubble and work away in the coming months.

006

The back of the cottage is a little more sheltered…indeed this storm is raging from the north of the country.

007

Temperatures have plummet by 10 degrees over the past 48 hours.

Despite our best efforts to ignore it, climate change  is fast turning into the crisis of our present time…and looks likely to be a problem of growing enormity.

www.bealtainecottage.com 020

Mother Earth has endured over two hundred years of industrial impacts, as well as an ever-intensifying human population, all demanding energy, food and an ever-increasing standard of living.

midwinter cottage 004

On the day my mother was born, there were just over one billion people living on Planet Earth. Bealtaine Cottage homespun wool

On the day she died, this had increased almost sevenfold, to over seven billion!

jan 12 Bealtaine Cottage 009

As the natural world is plundered, many species are in sharp decline.

Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture

The sustainability crisis is second only to climate change, as the greatest threat of our times.

new compost heap bordered with willow at Bealtaine Cottage

I have kept diaries over the past ten years and have noted rare, extreme weather events become the norm!

This is not going away.

We have to face into this problem and start developing solutions.

 ***************************************

I write to encourage, help and inspire mindfulness for our beautiful world and have photographed and written over 870 blogs on the Bealtaine Cottage site, as well as over 110 videos on YouTube…all free from advertising!

You are very welcome and appreciated by leaving a comment, liking, sharing, or even leaving a small donation. Blessings X

Blessings
Posted in Bealtaine Cottage, mountains, New Year, Permaculture, Trees

Voices in the Mist

DSC00555

The day has changed in a matter of hours.

Sunshine and mist blankets cover the mountain opposite Bealtaine Cottage.

DSC00556

Then the mist grew in huge swathes, quickly covering the mountain.

The valley became still and silent…so silent that small noises and voices began to travel in echoes.

DSC00557

I darted in and out of the cottage clutching my camera.

The mist was moving fast. DSC00558

I never really thought about a planting scheme here at Bealtaine, other than an urgency to plant trees, but it now seems that some sub-conscious force was at work, for there appears to be a plan…

DSC00559

This garden has a magnificent backdrop, now framed by the trees I planted.

DSC00561

Especially on a day like today.

The mist has moved quickly.

There is a very cold night ahead according to the weather.

I have chopped wood and filled the basket in the kitchen and one by the back door.

DSC00562

The mountain has now disappeared.

DSC00563

As it disappears, I walk around the side of the cottage and notice the increased colour in the hedgerow.

DSC00572

The colour is rising in the humble Fuschia, grown from cuttings stuck into the ground.

DSC00573

This reminds me to take lots of cuttings and continue this guerilla gardening in other parts of the land and out onto the roadway.

 I should love to see this beautiful shrub growing as it does here in the west of Ireland…wild!

DSC00577

I see the Birch trees are hanging onto their decorations…DSC00594

and behind me, voices are calling in the mist.

Posted in Animals, Bealtaine Cottage, Bees, Buddha, Cats, Climate, Garden, Ireland, Permaculture, Spring

The Light of Spring

www.bealtainecottage.com

Sammy-Bear lies concussed by the heat from the wood burning stove! It’s a tough life being a cat at Bealtaine Cottage!

www.bealtainecottage.comOver the past week there has been a struggle between Winter and Spring as temperatures have moved up and down the thermometer, with hard frost, heavy rain, warm nights and brilliant sun all in the mix!

www.bealtainecottage.comThe rising sun reflected in the mirror at the far end of the veranda.

www.bealtainecottage.comThe amazing light of early Spring…

www.bealtainecottage.comMoving closer to the mirror, the rising sun looks back at me over the head of the Buddha…quite otherworldly.

www.bealtainecottage.comThis was how the Romantic Poets viewed the world…through a mirror…I understand why!

www.bealtainecottage.comFurther down the gardens, the last seed-head of the Gunnera Manicata stands tall against the storms of winter, saluting the Spring.

www.bealtainecottage.comThe ponds have remained in flood during this winter, the wettest on record since 1866 here in Ireland.

www.bealtainecottage.comCatkins stand out against a brilliant blue sky, providing some little food for any early Bees.

www.bealtainecottage.comThe shadows of Spring are long, casting patterns and shapes on an ever-changing tapestry.

www.bealtainecottage.comThe kitchen is illuminated by a different light…the light of Spring.

******************************************************************

Bealtaine Cottage has built up a Permaculture Seed Bank.

If you want to see a list of available seeds, this link will take you there…http://bealtainecottage.com/seeds-from-bealtaine-cottage/

Seeds from Bealtaine Cottage in Ireland are posted all over the world!

Bealtaine Cottage is also on YouTube…with over 110 videos about Permaculture, planting, growing and living.

There are over 600 blogs in the archives on this site.

Posted in Bealtaine Cottage, Climate, Current Affairs, Ireland, Permaculture, Self-Sufficiency, Sustainable Living, Uncategorized

Don’t Wait For The Cavalry!

www.bealtainecottage.comSammy-Bear is filthy.

From head to paw, disgusting in the extreme!

Last night, as the moon came towards its fullest, Sammy refused to come in.

As I walked Jack in the full light of a post storm moon, I could see Sammy on the hill behind the cottage darting here and there as he chased something.

www.bealtainecottage.com

Hours later he slunk home in this disgraceful state!

He refuses to clean himself, ignoring my chastisements and sits in full state, on the executive chair, in front of the stove!

I may as well talk to the wall!

www.bealtainecottage.com

There is a full moon tonight and the air is still.

Over recent days the storms have been intense, with rain, snow, wind and tornado!

www.bealtainecottage.comThe extremes of weather are being felt all across the world.

The British Isles have been hit quite badly with floods and high winds all over.

www.bealtainecottage.comThe effects of this extreme weather in terms of financial cost has not been talked about too much in the media.

There appears to be an Ostrich reaction to it all, as economies are talked up and realities are ignored.

www.bealtainecottage.comI don’t feel I need to write about the cost to our environments, as I do so all the time really, but the financial cost to countries will be immense and will certainly slow any hoped-for economic recovery.

www.bealtainecottage.comSo it is well worth mentioning once more the power we all have, to grow food and make plans for our own home economies as best we can!

I might add here, that our worst, can only really equal the best that our own governments appear to be doing in the face of environmental disaster.

By applying common sense and with a little foresight and planning, we will ensure some security of tenure on this battered planet.

www.bealtainecottage.com 058For my part, planting trees for coppicing and energy needs will ensure a warm home next winter.

Storing and familiarising myself with the use of dried pulses, growing and successfully storing home-grown produce, as well as becoming well-versed in the very best home-made soups and potage dishes, continues to occupy my spare time.

candle_004_reasonably_smallMy advice, for what it’s worth…Don’t Wait For The Cavalry!

Posted in Abundance, Badgers, Bealtaine Cottage, Gardens, Inspiration, Permaculture, Sustainable Living, Trees, Woodland

Free to Install, Renewable, Clean Energy

www.bealtainecottage.com

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.

www.bealtainecottage.comThe logs are easy to cut, no chainsaw is required and the cut wood dries out quicker.

The brushwood makes excellent kindling!

www.bealtainecottage.comThis 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? 

 

www.bealtainecottage.com

Cutting back hedging and dead growth continues apace…I can see the steps once more!

www.bealtainecottage.com

Spurge has come up early, carpeting the Fairy Wood with soft green.

www.bealtainecottage.com

There is a gradual movement of green through the land from this Spurge, all the way through to the Mosses and Lichens of Autumn.

www.bealtainecottage.com

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.

www.bealtainecottage.com

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!

www.bealtainecottage.com

 More rain is on the way.

www.bealtainecottage.comThe forecast is simply that, more rain to follow!

www.bealtainecottage.comStill, 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!

 

Posted in Autumn, Country Living, Current Affairs, Garden, Inspiration, Permaculture, Trees

Tree Gardens

www.bealtainecottage.com 043Winter is here, though it’s hard to believe! Flowers continue to bloom and leaves remain in the process of changing colour. Bowls of apples in the cottage create a sense of Autumn.

www.bealtainecottage.com 069Vibrant colours create a different garden, a very seasonal garden thanks to the many trees! The Sedum keeps its shape, despite the small frost that has attempted destruction of these tender-stemmed plants.

www.bealtainecottage.com 044Perlagoniums send forth small flowers, protected from the worst of the elements by the warmth of the window-sill. These will be collected up soon and stored in a corner of the little barn, until March, when I shall move them into the tunnel in readiness for the summer.

www.bealtainecottage.com 051An Autumn garden is a tree garden, for this is the season when the quiet, sturdy, soldiers of Earth have their very own festival…a final fling of a party before bed!

www.bealtainecottage.com 053Even the stems of the young trees join in, merging colours with the falling leaves!

www.bealtainecottage.com 052Can you see the little mushroom to the left of Che-Mousey? The earth under many of the trees is bringing forth all kinds of mushrooms!

www.bealtainecottage.com 055The coppiced tree is a Hazel…they do very well from being coppiced and grow tall, straight Hazel poles. I use these in the vegetable beds for beans.

www.bealtainecottage.com 058The air is still and warm this morning and I’m reminded of the storm hitting the Philippines at this time. The radio tells me that this is the strongest storm ever! I wish safety to all caught up in this impending disaster!  Despite the debate that hangs in the corporate media about Climate Change, there is, most definitely, Weather Change!

www.bealtainecottage.com 059Che-Mousey has become my constant companion since Missy passed on. His personality becomes more apparent to me, as I get to spend time with him. He was always a very shy cat, but has recently blossomed and I am delighting in seeing the change in him!

www.bealtainecottage.com 060I really should write something here, but am simply staring at the colours and sipping coffee!

www.bealtainecottage.com 062Fennel seeds by the veranda this morning.

www.bealtainecottage.com 067And a warm winter cottage thanks to trees!

Posted in Bealtaine Cottage, Cats, celebrations, Celts, Cottage, Gardens, Ireland, Permaculture, Samhain, Spirituality, Thoughts, Uncategorized

Cottage Industry

www.bealtainecottage.com 001The clock ticks towards Samhain, literally meaning: Summer’s end!

Tomorrow is Samhain, a celebration of the last day of Summer and the beginning of Winter in the Celtic calendar. www.bealtainecottage.com 002Despite cold nights creeping into Bealtaine, all remains green on the ground, with just the trees showing signs of transition into Winter.

Nasturtiums have not yet melted in the frost…it seems the ground continues to put forth enough heat to protect them!

www.bealtainecottage.com 003“I ordered my food ages ago!”

Sammy-Bear waits for his breakfast on the veranda…I have to hurry up with this photography business and serve him breakfast!
www.bealtainecottage.com 007The Wisteria, on the veranda of the Lodge, is showing a last magnificent vibrancy before it sets itself into bed.

The plants and trees are making a fantastic show of colour this season!

www.bealtainecottage.com 011The view from the doorway of the Lodge remains green and tranquil.

The micro-climate created here serves the cottage well.

All is sheltered from the North, West and East!
www.bealtainecottage.com 013We really have been blessed, with perfect weather this year, here in the west of Ireland.

Each season has behaved itself extraordinarily well!
www.bealtainecottage.com 020Despite the fact it was my birthday yesterday, I was sufficiently inspired to work and spent the afternoon crocheting this hat.

www.bealtainecottage.com 003It’s an “Annie Hall,” inspired creation…I adore Diane Keaton!

www.bealtainecottage.com 017I love the “cloche” type, 1920’s inspired, hats and adore working with pure wool and natural fabric.

www.bealtainecottage.com 004This one is made using Donegal Tweed Pure Wool and the colour is just wonderful!

I shall be making many more for the Bealtaine Cottage Etsy shop!

Here’s the link to the Bealtaine Cottage Etsy Shop…

https://www.etsy.com/ie/listing/167531769/cloche-hat-1920s-style-in-pure-irish

Posted in Abundance, Bees, Birds, Buddha, Current Affairs, Food, Garden, Inspiration, Ireland, Permaculture, Sligo, Thoughts, Uncategorized

Transition Town Sligo, Monsanto and No 2 GM

March against Monsanto, Sligo

On Saturday, as part of the “March Against Monsanto,” campaign held worldwide, I attended a public meeting to raise awareness about Monsanto,and the many issues surrounding GM foods.

march against Monsanto, IrelandJohn Brennan,a long time anti-GM campaigner,and a member of NO 2 GM,an anti GM organisation, http://www.no2gm.com, was the speaker at this event.

As Monsanto, the giant biotech U.S. company is becoming more and more determined to impose it’s GM foods on the populations of the world, people are equally becoming more and more determined to resist this pressure.

Sligo has just entered the Transition Towns Movement and has already established a Community Garden, where great, organic food is grown and people come together to make the transition from a world of peak oil to a more localized environment, where food and fuel do not have to be transported great distances.

It was a great day and an opportunity to power up with information, as well as meet new people involved in improving the world we live in!

Euphorbia in the front gardenBack home, in the gardens here at Bealtaine Cottage, the sun shines between heavy rain…ideal growing conditions!

Roses on the veranda at Bealtaine CottageThe roses on the veranda have opened their scented blooms, as the bees dart in and out to avoid the heavy rain.

Sweet Peas in a hanging basketSweet Peas have been planted in hanging baskets to avoid the slugs and…

Kanzan Cherry tree in flower at Bealtaine CottageThe blossom now covers the Kanzan Cherry Tree…a long wait, but worth it!

You can see the blue sky, but don’t be fooled as almost an inch of rain fell last night and continues, intermittently today!

Bird bath in tree at Bealtaine CottageThis is a brass dish I found at the second-hand market on Sunday.

It was 25cents!

Doesn’t it make a great bird bath set into the branches of this tree and filled with rainwater?

As the tree grows this summer, the branches will grow into the plate, holding it securely in place!

Courtyard garden at Bealtaine CottageEverything is making good progress as the weather improves.

permaculture gardens of Bealtaine CottageThe gardens are just drooping with abundance.

Celtic Cross at Bealtaine CottageBees and insects are in heaven!

And as you can see from today’s video…

“A Bee Healthy Permaculture Garden”

Posted in Abundance, Animals, Bealtaine Cottage, biodiversity, Birds, Cats, Cottage, Country Living, Earth, Garden, Herbs, Inspiration, Ireland, Lifestyle, Permaculture, polytunnel gardening, Smallholding, Thoughts, Trees, Uncategorized

What We Do…

Home made greenhouse at Bealtaine CottageThe idea of not being able to change this world for the better is a nightmare for most people.

Everyone wants a better life and many want a better world. 

Raspberries and Rhubarb in the permaculture gardens at BealtaineDis-empowerment turns us all into victims, feeling trapped and helpless.

Permaculture Gardens of Bealtaine CottageThe solution however can be relatively simple.

Do!

In the Gardens of BealtaineDo something to improve your life or someone else’s life.

It can be as simple as saying “Hello” to an older person, or picking up litter when out for a walk.

Volunteering one day a week in a charity shop, or saving kitchen scraps for the birds.

Planting trees for the future or seed-bombing derelict land.Applemint, Lady's Mantle and Crocosmia

Whatever we do impacts upon our lives, and the world around us.

Generosity of spirit is worth cultivating.

Seedlings at Bealtaine CottageThe Blackbird sings his song regardless of  the weather.

Permaculture Gardens of Bealtaine CottagePlanting a tiny sapling is a small task…sitting under a mighty Oak is heaven…

It is all about what we do!

This is what I am doing for the Earth this Saturday, 25th May…

March Against Monsanto, Sligo, 1pm!

Corner of O’Connell and Grattan Street.

See you there!

 

Posted in Climate, Current Affairs, Earth, Ecology, Gaia, Ireland, Permaculture, Politics, Sustainable Living, Trees, Uncategorized, Woodland

As the IMF Orders Ireland to CUT DOWN her TREES…A Dire Situation

Angels in the rain at Bealtaine Cottage

The rain is torrential.

I have just taken these pictures as the rain stopped.

Last year was very wet here in the west of Ireland.

Adaptation to the change in climate is under-way.

Raised beds are made and more are planned.

As I write, the rain has begun again and in between the sun shines.

Climate change is here.

Climate Change and weatherThe weather patterns are unpredictable in all except extreme weather expected!

Our governments should have instigated national tree-planting on a war-footing scale, with all available funds channelled into our life-boat…Earth!

Billions of £/$ for war as the killing of human beings continues and our planet slowly expires!

In a dire situation like this, we must take hold of the reins ourselves and plant trees, grow food and permaculture the lifeboat that is our planet.

Plant trees in IrelandHere in Ireland, where I live, the government is aware that Ireland has the least tree cover in the whole of Europe, yet is allowing the IMF to harvest all the trees in the National Forests, as part of the debt repayment nonsense that only disconnected bureaucrats could have concocted!

Nicholas Stern, author of the UK government-commissioned review on Climate Change in 2006, said, just a few days ago…”Looking back, I underestimated the risks.

The planet and the atmosphere seem to be absorbing less carbon than we expected, and emissions are rising pretty strongly.

Some of the effects are coming through more quickly than we thought then.”

He was referring to his report, The Stern Review, published in 2006.

Stern expected a rise in global temperatures of between 2 and 3 degrees.

Stern has changed his forecast…upwards saying that we are “on track for something like four “.

 Bealtaine Cottage stained glassStern goes on to say, “I think I would have been a bit more blunt. I would have been much more strong about the risks of a four- or five-degree rise.”

“This is potentially so dangerous that we have to act strongly.

Do we want to play Russian roulette with two bullets or one?

These risks for many people are existential.”

‘I got it wrong on climate change – it’s far, far worse’~Nicholas Stern

Bealtaine in June 2011 020There you have it…we are caught in an escalating situation of weather change that is impacting on our lives as I write.

Plant as if your life depends on it…because it does!

As a condition of the IMF/ECB/EFSF “Troika” loan for the amount of €67.5bn Ireland must generate €2 billion from the disposal of State-owned assets and companies. As part of this, the government has plans to sell off the harvesting rights to the states forestry for the next 80 years. The name of the state owned body is Coilte. This is the usual IMF privatise and realise policy enforced worldwide…profit being the main driver to assuage so-called national debt.

+++++++++++++

Most of you are familiar with Bealtaine Cottage.

Bealtaine Cottage is free to all, as it has been for the past five years.  

With over 1,000 blogs and 4,000+ photographs, Bealtaine Cottage continues as a free to access website.

As a way of supporting the work of Bealtaine Cottage, I have developed a second website… Bealtaine Cottage Good Life.

Bealtaine Cottage Good Life is 12 euros per year for full access 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 each week.

                                                          Click on button below to join the website…

Posted in Animals, Cats, Climate, Cottage, Food, Garden, Herbs, Inspiration, Life, Lifestyle, Permaculture, photography, Smallholding, Winter

Winter in a Permaculture Garden…and Sam!

Awoke to frost this morning and a brilliantly clear, blue sky.

The stove had stayed lit all night, so the cottage was warm.

It’s easy to see the level of insulation in homes, looking up at roofs, as I drive to Drumshanbo on an errand.

Many of the newly built homes appear to be poorly insulated.

I took my tea outside and walked around in the sunshine…

The sheer beauty of a winter morning is stunning.

The play of winter light upon the earth is a delight to behold!

The winter stems of Spiraea colour a deep orange.

Missy followed me to the tunnel.

Her visit to the Vet’s on Monday has perked her up a bit…

Even though the covering of the tunnel is frozen, plants inside continue to flourish and will stay green and healthy for the winter.

Parsley is very healthy as it grows strong beside the water bin…an ideal micro-climate!

Washing the plastic covering on the tunnel last month allows maximum winter light through to the plants…every little helps at this time of year!

The Lemon Balm grows well and will continue all winter, unless we have extreme weather.

Introducing Sam…one very naughty little kitten!

Sam was found on Samhain, hence his name.

He had an eye infection, which is now cleared up…though he fought me every time I applied his medication!

Sam had his second vaccination on Monday and is on medication for a bad cold, though that does not stop him being this adventurous!

Posted in Angels, Bealtaine Cottage, Bees, Cottage, Country Living, Earth, Garden, Herbs, Inspiration, Ireland, Life, Lifestyle, Permaculture, Spirituality, Thoughts, Uncategorized

Life Sounds…

Gentle rain falls from the sky between bright sunshine and winds that swirl the clouds above.

This is a lovely weekend.

 Flowers and seed-heads adorn the interior of the cottage.

Lovage wine is being prepared in the kitchen.

 Today’s video is simply the sounds of a day in late June, 2012, as the heavy rains subside and the sun breaks through. Enjoy!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WQdz32XJZnY

Posted in Climate, Cottage, Country Living, Current Affairs, Ecology, Food, Gardening, Inspiration, Life, Lifestyle, Permaculture, Uncategorized, Vegan

Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture Ireland in Summer

Drought is no longer a problem as the land in sodden with rain, but it’s not all bad!

Not that it bothers Missy in the slightest!

In fact it’s a glorious summer for the plants and Nature, as the abundance of midsummer flows through a permaculture landscape.

I am uploading today’s video as I type and thinking about the lands that have little or no rain.

It can be tremendously difficult for growers in drought conditions and I am mindful of a the wonderful work being done by by permaculture teachers all over the world as they help people design their way back to abundance.

Indeed, this is the vital message I continue to learn as I do the same…designing the best landscapes in my continual adaptation to the chaos that is climate change.

In the example here at Bealtaine Cottage, that means using stone to make raised beds closer to the cottage and in the warmth of a south-facing aspect.

It also means ensuring both east and west sides of the smallholding are kept exceedingly sheltered, for, indeed, I have noticed that the winds have blown hard from the east over recent days and heavy rains.

Usually they come in from the west and the Atlantic Ocean.

 Over recent days I have been on the forage for all the crops that are free in the hedgerows and across the land.

Elderflowers are at their most scented peak and I recall similar wet conditions last year when I went in search of an Elderflower harvest.

It is interesting to keep a record of weather rather than relying on external sources.

Local knowledge is intrinsic to making plans for the next year!

On todays diary of photographs you can see the raised bed, now less than 3 weeks old and already yieding a harvest, as well as the 2nd bed currently completed and being filled with compost.

On today’s video diary you can see the most recent compost heap uncovered and the progress of the latest compost heap under construction.

 Today the sky is heavy and grey, but summer rolls on and is quite marvellous.

The Earth exudes the most wonderful summer scents and the birds sing…life is good!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q67PdS7QWT0

Posted in Books, Climate, Country Living, Garden, hens, Ireland, Permaculture, Spring, Uncategorized

Rainbows Before Imbolc

 

As I write this, the rain is lashing down around the walls of the cottage. it’s Friday and the weather is almost mid-March in it’s behaviour…wild, windy, mild and wet!


It has been a day of rainbows…I’ve counted four so far! And the sun, when it does shine through, is brilliant!


The rain has now turned to hailstones!

“By early evening all the sky to the north had darkened and the spare terrain they trod had turned a neuter gray as far as the eye could see. They grouped in the road at the top of a rise and looked back. The storm front towered above them and the wind was cool on their sweating faces. They slumped bleary-eyed in their saddles and looked at one another. Shrouded in the black thunderheads the distant lightning glowed mutely like welding seen through foundry smoke. As if repairs were under way at some flawed place n the iron dark of the world.”
― Cormac McCarthyAll The Pretty Horses

Little bits of work has been done over the course of the day, including cleaning out the hen-house and continuing to cut willow.

“Dang! Look at that RAINBOW!” Piper shouted, accidently spewing bits of apple pie from her overstuffed mouth. All quickly turned and saw…
…exactly what Piper claimed, a rainbow.”
― Victoria ForesterThe Girl Who Could Fly

Thomas Hardy

“WEATHERS
This is the weather the cuckoo likes,
And so do I;
When showers betumble the chestnut spikes,
And nestlings fly;
And the little brown nightingale bills his best,
And they sit outside at ‘The Traveller’s Rest,’
And maids come forth sprig-muslin drest,
And citizens dream of the south and west,
And so do I.

This is the weather the shepherd shuns,
And so do I;
When beeches drip in browns and duns,
And thresh and ply;
And hill-hid tides throb, throe on throe,
And meadow rivulets overflow,
And drops on gate bars hang in a row,
And rooks in families homeward go,
And so do I.”
― Thomas Hardy

Posted in celebrations, Country Living, Folklore, Inspiration, Ireland, Permaculture, Uncategorized

Windy, Warm, with Daffodils on Boxing Day!

Christmas Presents…

Trees as pressies! I love these presents as they keep on giving and giving and will be here long after I have passed!

Daffodils

The weather is very mild and has been so for much of the winter so far. As testament to this the daffodils have decided to make an unseasonally early appearance and will be opening their blooms very soon.

Under Trees

Trees lend a huge amount of shelter to all kinds of plants, but especially early flowering bulbs…a good reason to plant under trees!

To the Water and the Wild…

The lower pond this morning, the day after Christmas. Water weed remains green and lush. The spring well gushes life into this huge pond from further up the hill…

The Wren Boys

Today is St. Stephen’s day in Ireland…one where people dress to hide their identities and go door to door singing and making fool in aid of charity…an ancient tradition!

The sedge remains green and lush.

Spring is not far away!

Posted in Animals, Bealtaine Cottage, Cats, Inspiration, Permaculture, Samhain, Uncategorized

Cat Hotels and Halloween Weather…Notes from a Permaculture Cottage!

Cats will always find a home. The cleverest cats manage to find hotels. Cat hotels. The best food, drink and accomodation, free of charge with limitless facilities!

And so it is that Missy the ginger cat has come to stay at Bealtaine Cottage…

Missy is the daughter of a feral cat. Her mother was killed on the road, leaving Missy and her siblings orphaned and living in the hedgerow. A kindly man rescued them and Missy came to live at Bealtaine. years later she went further afield, to London and became a city cat…but has now returned to Bealtaine Cottage.

I think all cats are wild. They only act tame if there’s a saucer of milk in it for them. ~ Douglas Adams

Sitting on the window-sill this morning waiting to be let in…for a jolly hearty breakfast!

Lat take a cat, and fostre hym wel with milk
And tendre flessh, and make his couche of silk,
And lat hym seen a mous go by the wal,
Anon he weyveth milk and flessh and al,
And every deyntee that is in that hous,
Swich appetit hath he to ete a mous.

~ Geoffrey Chaucer The Manciple’s Tale

Today, someone told me to expect snow at Halloween…Samhain as the Celtic calendar states…but, I ask you, snow? What on earth could it be doing snowing at Halloween in Ireland?

Cats are smarter than dogs. You can’t get eight cats to pull a sled through snow. ~ Jeff Valdez

Posted in Bealtaine Cottage, Climate, Earth, Ecology, Gaia, Garden, Gardening, Growing Food, History, Ireland, Permaculture, polytunnel gardening, Smallholding, Uncategorized

Permaculture Cottage ~ A Stormy Evening at the Cottage

A storm is making its way in from the Atlantic as I write this and a cold wind blows through the window. I took these pics earlier today when it was positively hot and humid. It’s strange how quickly the weather can change! The ground is very dry, the spring well runs low and lots of rain is needed, so I am happy to see the storm blow in!

Painted Mountain Corn, Poppies and Feverfew are jostling for space in the tunnel. Still high summer in many respects and flowers continue to bud and bloom.

Here in Ireland, Corn, or Maize is usually called “sweet corn”. Sweet corn is harvested earlier and eaten as a vegetable rather than a grain. This one that I am growing is from the Native American seed bank of Corn, known as “Painted Mountain.”Corn has shallow roots and is susceptible to droughts, intolerant of nutrient-deficient soils, and prone to be uprooted by severe winds, so growing it in the protective atmosphere of the tunnel makes good sense.

It has taken two years, but finally, the Leek has seeded, with multiple seed heads like this one…really ornamental and worth growing on as flowers I think!  Leeks are easy to grow from seed and tolerate standing in the ground for an extended harvest. Leeks usually reach maturity in the autumn months, and they have few pest or disease problems. Leeks can be bunched and harvested early when they are about the size of a finger or pencil, or they can be thinned and allowed to grow to a much larger mature size. Really tasty in soups, so I’m inclined to leave them in the ground and pull them as needed.

Leek is typically chopped into slices 5–10 mm thick. The slices have a tendency to fall apart, due to the layered structure of the leek. There are different ways of preparing the vegetable:

  • Boiled, which turns it soft and mild in taste.
  • Fried, which leaves it more crunchy and preserves the taste.
  • Raw, which can be used in salads, doing especially well when they are the prime ingredient.

The veggie garden, all new and improved with the terraced beds…just waiting to see if the terracing directs the water when a storm hits…as it may do very soon!In the Andes farmers have used terraces known as andenes for over a thousand years to farm potatoes, maize and other native crops. The Inca also used terraces for soil conservation, along with a system of canals and aqueducts to direct water through dry land and increase fertility. This has become part of the approach for growing in Permaculture…conserving and adapting to the environment as found, rather than trying to change the lay of the land!

One of the Poppies in the tunnel today, all papery and delicate…

Posted in Abundance, Bealtaine Cottage, Books, Climate, Food, Garden, Gardening, Herbs, History, Ireland, Permaculture, Smallholding, Sustainable Living, Uncategorized

Permaculture Cottage ~ Knitting and Reading

The weather has forced me indoors a lot recently, encouraging a hive of activity that includes knitting and sorting cupboards and reading… I’ve just completed this scarf for someone who wanted me to knit for her in these colours and in natural wool. So hard to get a scarf knit in natural 100% wool these days apparently. So there it is, completed and ready for collection.

I enjoyed the task so much, I decided to use all the leftover wool and knit one for myself…

This is a great book I’m enjoying reading at present…picked up in a charity shop for 50cents. it’s amazing just how much info I’ve gleaned from this so far and Im only on the second chapter!

Finished reading this book a few days ago and again, so much info and fascinating facts that have been forgotten and yet are so useful for us today…simple things like the fact that a cobweb, placed over a cut, will stem the bleeding and help to heal the wound! Soldiers going into battle hundreds of years ago carried a tiny box with cobwebs inside to treat deep cuts inflicted by the sword!

As the weather has blown a gale outside, I’ve been in the kitchen making chutney and curries…freezing the curries for ready meals later on. Imagine having to light the stove in July, but the weather has really been that bad!

Bad weather means I get to sit and drink tea and read…so there are advantages to be had from the wettest day!

I picked these flowers from the garden last week and as you can see, the display includes Dill. Over recent days the scent of the Dill has changed from a liquorice smell to a very sweet coconut scent and it is gorgeous!

Posted in Abundance, Bealtaine Cottage, Ecology, Garden, Growing Food, Inspiration, Ireland, Organic Garden, Permaculture, Smallholding, Uncategorized

Permaculture Cottage ~ The Hare and the Ducks

Managed to snap a pic of the baby Hare who has come to live at Bealtaine, just as he emerged from the shelter of the underneath of the shed this morning.

He wasn’t at all fazed as I stood near the back door snapping away with my camera.

There are 3 ducks staying here at Bealtaine for a short break.

The hens are very intolerant of them and boss them around continually.

If the weather dries up any time soon I will get all the wood on the sheds painted.

Harvesting continues in and around the Blackcurrant bushes.

For the moment I am freezing them.

This is a good way of collecting and saving daily.

The ducks are sticking together…but will be happy to return home on Thursday…I’m sure!

If you enjoy the free content of this blog, please consider making a donation using the button below. My PayPal account can receive your donations and will convert from your local currency, and you don’t need a PayPal account to make a donation. Thank you!

Thank you for supporting this blog

Posted in Abundance, Beltane, Gaia, Garden, Gardening, Inspiration, Ireland, Organic Garden, Permaculture, Smallholding, Summer, Uncategorized

Permaculture Cottage…Groups of Plants and Jack….

Jack has settled into Bealtaine very well and now runs around the cottage playing with anything he can steal…usually one of my socks, scarves or shoes…

Highly scented Buddleia, drooping under their own weight, hang down after the storms of recent days.

No butterflies as the weather has been so bad recently…hoping all that will change at the weekend when warmer days are promised!

Intense permaculture planting of Bamboo, Spirea, Horse Chestnut, Buddleia, Dogwood and Greengage, bullying and pushing weeds away from them…

More intense planting of Gunnera Manicata, Cherry and Ribes.

The permaculture gardens here at Bealtaine Cottage have lots of rain and like to pretend to be a rainforest!