In the west of Ireland, snow is not common. And we’ve had quite a bit already this winter. This afternoon, we had a dusting of unusually, soft powdery snow.
Miniature daffodils in snow
Usually, it is damp snow perfect for making snowmen. We’re told we will get more snow tomorrow night as Storm Emma makes her way from the Bay of Biscay and hits some cold Siberian air. Blizzard like conditions are expected in the east and south, where snowfall has already been heavier. The last time we had a blizzard was 1982, so it is really not something we are used to! Keep safe everyone.
The photograph below shows hawthorn branches encrusted in various different lichens. Trees are not just trees, but living ecosystems in their own right.
There are at least eight different lichens here, and these are all on the same tree! It is estimated that there are 1,165 species lichens growing in Ireland, so maybe eight on one tree isn’t that many after all!
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
What could be warmer than the rich yellow of gorse flowers against the sharp green leaves?
Gorse (Ulex europaeus) is a native shrub to Ireland. It is also known also by local names such as whins and furze. It’s is often found growing in hedgerows. In the past, it was used for fodder and a fuel source.
The flowers are richly scented and can be described as smelling of coconuts or pineapple. Though it’s close relative Western gorse (Ulex gallii) the flowers are not scented. The petals are edibles and were used for dying eggs at Easter.
Post inspired by Wild Daffodil’s Photographic Monthly Meet Up – Warm.
Primroses are one of favorite spring flowers. They seem to be flowering early this year. At the edge of our garden, there are the remains of a hedgerow. It used to be a field boundary but these days it just has a few old hawthorn trees, and one or two bushes of gorse. The trees are planted on top of a soil bank and at the top of the hill the bank is particularly steep and each spring it is carpeted in primroses. The snails or slugs seem to like the flowers too, as many of the flower petals have chunks missing out of them.
The scientific name for our native primrose is Primula vulgaris. There is also a salmon pink variety, which is much less common but also thought to be native. In fact, I know where some grow in our neigbourhood. In Ireland, primroses are typically found growing in hedgerows, woodlands and roadside banks.
Hare Hare is the most beloved toy in our house. He is much more than a toy, he is a member of the family. He pretty much comes everywhere we go. The photo above shows him looking out the porthole on the passenger ferry that goes from the mainland to Clare Island. Hare Hare has been my youngest’s companion since birth! He is however loved by us all. He is well worn now after nearly seven years constant use, his feet have been replaced once and his ears are due for renewal. We’ve tried doing a nose job, but it was unsuccessful.
Over the years Hare Hare has developed his very own character. He is exceptionally kind, is the best hugger in the house and is a first responder to all medical emergencies. He will eat pretty much everything but carrots are his absolute favourite.
In his earlier years, he was known to go missing for a few hours at a time, but thankfully with just one exception, he has always been found at bedtime (when he really comes into his own)! My youngest used to have the habitat of hiding him in things, on that occasion he was missing overnight, he was found (by some miracle) outside, stuffed into the end of an unused 4″ water pipe!
There is no doubt in my mind that he has magical qualities. He is our knight is shining armor. Our hero. Our Beloved Hare Hare.