Monthly Archives: July 2019

Wildlife Wednesday

The children and our visiting cousin from American found this little fellow by the compost heap yesterday.

Hedgehog

Hedgehog

Excitement turned to sadness as we discovered he was injured. He was dragging one foot behind him and the other looked hurt too. He did eat some food we offered and we put him in a safe place overnight, with food and water.

Hedgehog

You can see his leg sticking out behind him

This morning we brought him to our local vet. She told us his leg is broken and he also appears to have further internal injuries around the broken leg. She is not sure he will make it, but is keeping him till tomorrow to see if there is any hope for the poor thing. It was amazing seeing a hedgehog so close, just sad that it was not a happy, healthy one. We don’t know how it got injured. It may have got hit by a car and managed to get itself to the compost heap as it is only a few metres away from our small road.

Hedgehogs will use compost heaps to find food and also for hibernating in. They mainly eat insects including earwigs, beetles, spiders, caterpillars, slugs and earthworms. They hibernate in the winter when these animals are scarce and hard to find. As our winters are relatively mild in Ireland hedgehogs generally hibernate between October and March.

In Ireland, hedgehogs are protected under Appendix III of The Berne Convention and under the Wildlife Act (1976) and Wildlife (Amendment) Act 2000. Hedgehog populations have declined dramatically in Europe, but no research has been carried out on hedgehog populations in Ireland. Use of slug pellets, increased use of chemicals, agricultural intensification and road kills are all thought to contribute to declining numbers. For more information click here.

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Lough Gill, castles and woodland

Recently we had the opportunity to visit Parkes Castle on the lake shore of Lough Gill in Co Leitrim.

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Lough Gill from the Shores of Lough Gill

The castle is a restored plantation* castle from the early 17th century, though within the grounds there is evidence of an earlier 16th century Tower House.

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Evidence of Tower House in foreground on right hand side of photo

The Castle is now in ownership of the Office of Public Works (OPW) and we received an excellent guided tour from one of their staff, who explained a little about the history of the castle and how it has been restored.

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Parkes Castle

One of the more fascinating facts was that the castle would have been home to over one hundred people including the family, guards, and servants.

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Lough Gill

Afterwards we took a drive to the other side of the lake (now in Co Sligo) where there is a lovely forest walk at Slish wood, by then the sun had come out too.

 

Inspired by this week’s lens artist photo challenge – seascapes and or lakeshore

 

Addendum

*As Cathy noted I should have really explained the term “plantation castle”. Put in simple terms during the 16-century the English Crown was seeking to extend their control over Ireland. One of the ways they tried to do this was to confiscate land from Irish landowners (both Gaelic clans and Hiberberno-norman ones) and replace them with English or Scottish settlers. Between the 1550’s and the 1650’s Four Plantations took place in Ireland. Each plantation was the result of a rebellion by the Irish who were trying to resist the extension of English control over Ireland.

 

 

 

 

National Botanic Garden of Wales

On a recent visit to Wales, we visited the National Botanic Garden of Wales – always a great place to spend a few hours and marvel at the beauty of plants. It was a hot sunny day, not ideal for taking photographs so I played a bit with the pop setting on my camera, to create some more dreamy affects.

 

The domed greenhouse at these gardens is particularly spectacular, but it was too hot too go in!

National Botanic Garden of Wales

National Botanic Garden of Wales

 

And of course when in Wales you have to be on the look out for any dreamy dragons.

National Botanic Garden of Wales

dreamy dragon

 

 

Six on Saturday

In my own garden again this week. I definitely need more flowers for this time of year as the delphiniums and lupins have pretty much gone over.

1. The day lily is doing well, but I never did divide it last year so must try this year. I saw some lovely day lilies at the National Botanic Garden of Wales which I will post about soon.

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Day Lily

2. This is an old heritage climbing rose (sorry did not keep the name). It has a lovely smell. It was slow to start but has a good few blooms now.

Climbing rose

Climbing rose

3. This poppy seeds itself all over the vegetable plot, adding extra colour and food for the bees. I have scattered seed in the flower bed but for some reason they never germinate there.

poppy

poppy

4. The yellow loosestrife is getting crowded out by the day lily – another reason to divide the latter!

Yellow Loosestrife

Yellow Loosestrife

5. In the vegetable garden the potatoes are coming on nicely despite being set late. I have always liked potato flowers.

potatoe

potato

6. And the runner beans are doing their thing too.

Runner bean

Runner bean

You can read more Six on Saturday here.