Monthly Archives: September 2019
Six on Saturday
After a week with little rain, the wet weather has returned and so my own garden is showing little new, bar a little aster. However, I was at the biodiversity day at Enniscoe House today near Crossmolina, Co Mayo, giving a talk on pollinators and managed to get a few wet photos from their lovely walled gardens – they have a formal garden and vegetable area.
- A rather weathered dahlia.
2. I have this Japanese anemone but their’s (unlike mine) was putting on a great display of flowers despite the rain.
3. A lovely sunflower
4. Rosehips – not sure what the rose is but the hips were quite big and long (and a little blurred!).
5. There was still roses in flower too.
6. And finally apples – they had a quite a few varieties.
Thank you to the Propagator for hosting Six on Saturday
Take me home country roads
We are lucky enough to live in the countryside. I have lived in cities, and in housing estates of small towns but grew up in the countryside not far from where I live now. For me being surrounded by country views, and the relative peace and quite of the countryside is a blessing.
At this time of year spider webs adorn the country.
Late silage being cut.
Hawthorn berries in the hedgerows.
As it is coming to the end of pollinator season for 2019, it seemed an appropriate time to have a celebration of all the magic off pollinators and the work they do.
Butterflies and moths are only incidental pollinators, it is the bees and hoverflies that visit the flowers for both nectar and pollen.
Here are some more magical pollinators.
Six on Saturday
We have had a few visitors this week in the garden. First the hawthorn shield bug. This I think is it’s final instar before it becomes a full adult.
The second visitor was a red-tailed bumblebee (Bombus lapidararius). I very occasionally get red-tailed bees in my garden, though I see them elsewhere in Mayo. For some reason they don’t seem to like my garden. This chap is a rather worn and weathered male.
And yes the pumpkins are getting to pumpkin size. My children are already claiming theirs for Halloween! They have five to choose from. I have one decent sized squash and one little one.
We have plenty of autumn raspberries this year. If the weather stays mild we should be able to continue harvesting for a couple of weeks yet.
I just wanted to share this photo, I did mean to take the carder bee, but the hoverfly popped in too! Comfrey is still flowering and the bees love it.
I know I have shown this poppy before. It is always popular with pollinators. Here a hoverfly and a solitary bee are sharing the same flower. Pollinator season is nearly over so I have to get my fill in!
Thank you to The Propagator for hosting Six on Saturday.
The latest Lens artist photo challenge is silhouettes – here’s some from the garden this week.
There is certainly a feel of autumn to this collection:)
Inishbiggle (Inis Bigil)
Inishbiggle (Inis Bigil in Irish) is a small island (just under 3km2) that lies between Achill Island and the mainland off the west coast of Ireland. We had the opportunity to visit the island a couple of weeks ago. The journey, just takes a few minutes in a small boat from the mainland.
The island has only very small roads and with hardly any cars, is the perfect place to walk and enjoy the beautiful scenery.
One of the oldest building on the island is the church, a small pretty building on the eastern side of the island.
The island was only first inhabited in 1834. At it’s peak the island had a population of 171 and throughout the early 20th Century the population remained about one hundred. By 2006 the population had dropped to just 24. Today, there are just ten households occupied throughout the year and only 14 people living on the island permanently. The majority of inhabitants are over 50 years of age. The ferry man told us there was no longer any children living on the island.
In the past, farming and fishing would have been the main occupations but today only a couple of landowners continue to farm (sheep and cattle). Tuft is still being cut in some places.
The island has a magical quality to it. It is so peaceful, the views are stunning and the light is special.
But at the same time there is a sadness, a feeling that humans time here is coming to an end. The men who took us across on their boat were very conscious of the changing climate. They could already see the impact on their community, with rising sea levels and increasing strengths of storms. They showed us at how extra stones cages have had to be installed at the pier to protect it and how the floating platform needed and extra 30cm added to the top to deal with higher tides and storm surges. We often think of sea rise as only affecting tropical islands but for these islanders it was very real too.a
The island’s isolation is both it’s magical charm and it’s potential ruin.
Ferries to the island are available from the mainland at Doran’s point or from Achill island, see this link.