Ross Beach is one of our favoutite beaches at any time of year. With Easter falling early this year, we have had opportunity to take a few day trips. Heading to the beach is always a bit of an adventure. This time we were surprised to find that the storms over the winter have shifted sand away from the beach. This has resulted in the loss of some dunes, but also the exposure of a more pebbles and stones in one area.
Ross beach, Country Mayo
There was time for some beach-combing and even castle building.
The horses and their riders were also enjoying the freedom of a long beach. Like us, the horses had a paddle, they did not seem to notice that the water was FREEZING!
Following on from my bumblebee post yesterday, here is an important pubic consultation on an EU Pollinator Initiative. The consultation is open to anyone living in Europe, you don’t have to be an expert. If you have any interest in pollinators I urge you to fill out the questionnaire. It only takes about ten minutes, and you have till the 5th of April to complete.
The survey can be accessed by clicking here.
And more information bout the initiative can be found here.
The bumblebees have been around for about a week. But it was only yesterday that I saw them feeding on the willow tree in the garden. Willow is an important early pollen source for bumblebee queens coming out of hibernation. This is what they are after.
Yellow willow pollen
There appears to two bees, the White-tailed bumble and the Buff tailed bumble. These are usually the first bees we see here in the west.
Buff tailed bumblebee
White tailed bumblebee
White tailed queen bumblebee
This week’s photo challenge is Favourite Place. There are too many of them. In County Mayo alone I could list half a dozen. So I decided to stay close to home – my own garden. I would happily spend all day pottering, planting, weeding. Here are some glimpses of the garden in it’s glory – summer time. A nice reminder of things to look forward to on a cold wet March day.
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Wishing everyone a lovely Spring Equinox.
I hope more spring like temperatures will follow. There is the odd bumblebee flying through the garden, but things really need to warm up a bit for them. There is no point planting any seeds outside as night time temperatures are still falling below freezing, though I am trying some salad crop in the greenhouse. Fingers crossed they will grow!
Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!
We usually attend the Saint Patrick’s day parade in one of the local town’s with the children’s school, but this year they decided they wanted a break. It was a dry day, but bitterly cold with a blustery easterly wind.
Avoiding towns we headed toward the Nephin Wilderness Area (Wild Nephin). It is a rather grand title for what is 11,000 hectares of planted forest and upland agricultural land, though admittedly there is also plenty bogs, heaths, lakes, rivers and mountains.
The landscape is stunning. There is plenty to see, particularly if you like walking or cycling. The area includes much of the Nephin Beg Mountain Range, which is a beautiful but little explored part of Ireland.
Captivating may not be a word you’d immediately associate with frogs. However, we are spending a large amount of our meal times watching the frogs in the garden pond and my youngest is particularly captivated by their antics. Our kitchen window overlooks the pond and is a perfect place for observing them.
Yesterday’s count was an estimated 150! Last year there was 63, so it is a big jump in numbers. Today is damp and it looks like they are beginning to disperse, as there are a lot more sitting around the top of the pond, and moving away under the beech hedge and through the garden.
I love to see frogs in the garden as I know they will do their bit in keeping the slug population down.
So what is the story?
Well, the frogs are back in our garden pond. They actually first arrived over a week ago. But then the temperatures dropped and we had all that snow and they vanished. But yesterday they returned! I counted 99. Today, they are in such a mating frenzy I cannot count them! Trouble is as soon as you go out to take a photograph most of them disappear under water, so I cannot show you what it really looks like. Luckily, some are braver and not so photo shy – or perhaps they just have their mind on something more import, like producing the next generation!