Author Archives: Murtagh's Meadow

About Murtagh's Meadow

As an ecologist I have always had an interest in nature. I love gardening and would spend all day outdoors if I could. I also enjoy taking photographs and writing. I live in the west of Ireland with my young family.

A frog in the hand….

Regular readers will remember we had plenty of frogs in the pond earlier in the year and lots of spawn. The tadpoles are now developing into little frogs. My youngest spotted a couple moving from the pond to the hedgerow.

A frog in the hand

A frog in the hand

They are so tiny. The fact that any of these creatures can make it to a full -sized adult frog is truly amazing. How big the world must seem to them!

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Saturday Bumbles

Red-tailed bumblebees are lovely looking bees. The workers and queens as below, are jet black with a red tail. The males are similar but have a yellow band on it’s head and yellow face hairs. They are only occasional visitors to my garden but they are around at the moment, though this one was photographed on the West coast of Ireland.  They have a “near-threatened” status in Ireland.

Bombus lapidarius

Bombus lapidarius

June Garden Update

Our late spring has jumped to mid summer and we seem to have missed a whole month, as temperatures soar to 24 degrees – not really typical for the west of Ireland, where we’d be happy with temperatures in the high teens. Everyone is afraid to complain about the heat in case the rain comes back! We Irish have a funny relationship with the weather.

Still, my June garden is blooming. Lupins are proving very popular with the bees and other, perhaps not so welcome, creatures! Though with the heat the flowers seem to be going over quickly.

The blue irises have put on a great show – much better than last year. And seem popular with hoverflies and the larger bumblebees like Garden Bumbles.

My favourite areas are the new wildflower meadow and also around the pond, where ragged robin adds it’s glorious pink. Butterflies enjoy the blooms, while hoverflies, are keen on the ox-eyed daisies.

Foxgloves, aquilegia and geraniums are dotted elsewhere. Certainly June adds colour!

Sunlight

This month’s monthly meetup from Wild Daffodil is Sunlight. We’ve had a lot (for the west of Ireland, at least) of sun over the last couple of weeks – with temperatures well above normal.

So on Monday, because it was a bank holiday here, we had the opportunity for our first summer day at the beach – one of our favourite summer-time activities. The sunlight shinning though the clear water and the shadows of the seaweed were very inviting, and I couldn’t resist having a quick refreshing dip!

Seaweeds, like terrestrial plants, will use sunlight to photosynthesis. So generally you will only find seaweeds in water of certain depth and clarity. And some seaweeds like the one below have air bladders to help keep them afloat, and so, close to the water surface.