Monthly Archives: September 2018

Look Up

This week’s len artist photo challenge #13 encourages us to look up.

When I  am taking photos of flowers I sometimes like to get the perspective of looking up.

Poppy heafs

Silhouette of poppy seed heads

During our summer visit to Wales, I kept seeing these willowherb flowers.  Here they were growing on a tall soil roadside bank,  allowing me to look up and get the blue sky background.


Willowherb against blue sky

Also in Wales these beautiful rose where climbing up an arbor in a garden.






Autumn fruit

We have had a great crop of apples this year but early autumn storms mean that we have also a lot of windfalls. We are using apples in everything ; apple and blackberry jam, apple crumble and cakes, apple puree/sauce, dried apples.  Last weekend, I was going to try and make plum (again windfalls) and apple jam, but the resulting puree was too nice, so we’ve just added a tiny bit of honey and are using fresh. It went really well with pancakes!

The storm also broken my favourite Victoria plum tree which always produced the nicest plus in the garden , so we will have to get replacement (Apologies for quality of photos, my camera is currently out of action so having to use my phone camera!).

Birch Shieldbug

I have always liked shieldbugs. We don’t see them that often despite their colourful appearance, because they are also good at hiding. I am using my camera phone as my own camera is out of action, so not the best image!

They belong to the order Hemiptera, which is the same order as aphids, pond skaters and frog hoppers. They have a sucking mouthpath which they use to extract fluids from plants.

West of Ireland Fences

The Lens-Artist challenge this week is to show your favourite fences. In County Mayo, west of Ireland, fences tend to be functional boundaries for livestock, often composed of post and wire fencing. I actually much prefer wooden fences, but they are few and far between here in the west.

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These fences are not pretty objects, but are often found in nice places, like along the coast, where they are sometimes unwelcome.

Mullet peninsula

Mullet peninsula

Silver strand

Silver strand

Erris head

Erris head



Swinford Agricultural Show

It was all action at the Swinford agricultural show last Sunday. Despite the damp weather, there were  sheep,  cattle, horse jumping and a dog show.

We’d missed the poultry show earlier in the day but could still view the varied breeds of ducks, chickens and geese. The geese were handsome and well fed; the cockerels and ducks ranged from handsome to bizarre!

And of course there was the craft and collect tent. Cakes, jams, breads all to make the mouth water.

There were vegetable specimens I could only be envious off, though I could have improved on the apples.

Beautiful crafts by adults and children. I was particularly taken by this doll, who looks the image of our Irish president Michael D Higgins (one on left with tufts of grey hair).

And of course lots of colour in the flower section.

A great way to end the summer holiday.

National Hare Survey – Citizen Science

We are involved in a national Hare Survey of Ireland.


As part of the survey, the National Biodiversity Data Centre has joined the National Parks & Wildlife Service (NPWS) and Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) in launching a monitoring portal for hares in Ireland.

Anyone can submit all there hare sightings by following this link.

hare survey


For help with hare identification there is also an online identification guide.

This is a great opportunity to take part in a national survey.