Monthly Archives: August 2019

Beautiful Burren

Last weekend, we had the opportunity to visit County Clare for the annual bee recorders event held by the National Biodiversity Data Centre. This is the second such event I have attended and it is wonderful to learn more about our amazing bees as well as meet like-minded individuals who are happy to run across a meadow chasing a bee with a net! This is the bee we were searching for. The Shrill carder bee, Ireland’s second rarest bee. It’s stronghold is County Clare, probably due in part to the flora rich habitats.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Shrill carder bee (Bombus sylvarum)

I have not been to County Clare for many years. It is renowned for it’s spring flowers but it’s late summer flowers are just as amazing and brilliant for pollinators.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Exposed limestone pavement and wild flowers

This area of Clare, where we spent our time, is known as the Burren. The word comes from an Irish word “Boíreann” meaning a rocky place, and it certainly is that. It is a limestone karst region, with much exposed limestone pavement but also flora rich calcareous grasslands.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Flower meadow

There are so many beautiful meadows. Many like above photograph are dominated at this time of year with devils-bit scabious. But others like the one below are packed with knapweed and hawksbit.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Flower meadow

There are amazing limestone walls, ancient tombs, the Burren National Park and more.

But really it is the flowers (and of course the pollinators) that make it a really special place for me. We will return.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Ox-eyed daisy and other flowers

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

wild marjorum with bee

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

purple meadow

Advertisements

Arable flowers

In the National Botanic Gardens of Wales, which we visited in the summer, they had an area sown with arable wheat which had all the traditional arable “weeds” – which are in fact all wonderful flowers that attract many pollinators. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I liked it so much I took photos from lots of angles.

 

I would really love to replicate this is my own garden. In the summer it provides food for insects and in the autumn food for birds!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Arable meadow

Heritage Week Events

This week Ireland celebrates Heritage Week. It is a week to celebrate all the wonderful things in Ireland’s natural, cultural and built heritage. There are over 2000 events happening throughout the county. As part of the week I will be hosing two events this coming Wednesday, 21st August. See below for details.

000

To find out what events are happening on your area follow this link.

Heritage week events

 

 

Six on Saturday

I managed to get another photograph of a dragonfly today. I spotted this one while cutting the beech hedge. It was a little worn, possibly having been caught out in a couple of the very heavy showers we had today. I think it is the blue form of a female common hawker, but open to correction. Neil has corrected me – it is a Brown Hawker, Aeshna grandis.

Dragonfly

Dragonfly

Finally the coneflowers are flowering, but there doesn’t appear to be many flower heads.

Coneflower

Coneflower

The chicks are growing and they had their first explore of the greenhouse today.

Chicks

Chicks

And look what my daughter found in the garden, left over from the Easter bunny!!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And finally we have been enjoying the first blackberries from the hedgerows and bog road!

blackberries

blackberries

Thank you to The Propagator for hosting Six on Saturday.

Large carder bee

This little beauty is the large carder bee or Bombus muscorum.

Bombus muscorum

Bombus muscorum

While widespread in Ireland it is not common and classed are having a near threatened conservation status. I don’t get them in my garden so was real treat to find them on a visit to the north coast of Mayo earlier in the week. Here is the large carder (right) alongside the common carder (left).

You will notice the large carder on the right is larger is size and has a blonde abdomen.