Monthly Archives: March 2016

Wordless Wednesday – Hellebore

 

Hellebore

Hellebore

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Enniscrone

We have had a few dry days some with sunshine and while temperatures were still cool we took the opportunity to get out and about, particularly as the kids were off school.

Enniscrone (sometimes spelt Inniscrone or Inishcrone) is on the boundary of County Mayo and Sligo. A seaside town with many of the typical seaside town features but the one that it is most famous for is its seaweed baths. I have only ever had one – whereby you submerge yourself in a bathtub full of warm sea water and seaweed. The bath is thought to have many therapeutic benefits for the skin and is also relaxing – if you don’t mind pretending you are a mermaid.

This old Cliff Bath Building dates from 1850 and though no longer in use, stands proud at the northern end of the beach.

Cliff Baths

Cliff Baths

The old baths over look the bay and strand.

The old stone pier was built in the 1870s and while once important for fishing boats, today is used mainly by private boat owners and those organising sea angling trips during the summer months. We found it the perfect picnic site as it gave full protection from a cold wind.

In the summer, the beach is very popular with local people, so it was nice to visit on a quiet March day. The kids still enjoyed building some sandcastles and gathering seashells. And of course enjoying an icecream before heading home.

Detail from the Old Cliff baths

Detail from old Cliff Baths

Bumbles are Back!

I’ve been on the look out for bumblebees and today they are back! Three days earlier than last year. After a wet, cold January and February here in the west of Ireland, we are finally getting some dry weather, and today the temperatures reached about 14 degrees, in beautiful spring sunshine.

Most of the bumblebees I saw today were feeding on the willow in the garden (it’s a cultivated form which produces pollen a bit earlier than some of our native willows). The catkins are full of pollen.

Willow pollen

Willow pollen

Problem was the bees seemed to prefer the higher branches so it was next to impossible to get a good photograph. They appeared to be mostly Buff tailed queens (Bombus terrestris) though I think there may have been an Early bumblebee queen (Bombus pratorum) too – but it was too high and too fast for me to get a proper identification.

The droneflies were there too and where a bit more accommodating.

Drone fly

Drone fly

However, I did find a bumble feeding on the daffodils further down the garden and it posed perfectly.

Bumble on daffodil

Bumble on daffodil

I’m a little puzzled by this one as the yellow banding is usually the same colour in freshly emerged queens but this one has two different colours. Still a lovely bee! I am delighted the bees are back. I really feel spring is underway now.

Butterflies Bliss

Spring is still cool here in Ireland, and warm days and butterflies are still a while off. But inspired by this week’s Discover Challenge to look at one of our senses made me think about butterflies.

Butterflies are a real feast for our sense of sight – colourful, delicate, and just pretty amazing.