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.

Things to come

This week’s photo challenge is Favourite Place. There are too many of them. In County Mayo alone I could list half a dozen. So I decided to stay close to home – my own garden. I would happily spend all day pottering, planting, weeding. Here are some glimpses of the garden in it’s glory – summer time. A nice reminder of things to look forward to on a cold wet March day.


Spring Equinox

Wishing everyone a lovely Spring Equinox.

I hope more spring like temperatures will follow. There is the odd bumblebee flying through the garden, but things really need to warm up a bit for them. There is no point planting any seeds outside as night time temperatures are still falling below freezing,  though I am trying some salad crop in the greenhouse. Fingers crossed they will grow!



Saint Patrick’s Day

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

We usually attend the Saint Patrick’s day parade in one of the local town’s with the children’s school, but this year they decided they wanted a break. It was a dry day, but bitterly cold with a blustery easterly wind.

Avoiding towns we headed toward the Nephin Wilderness Area (Wild Nephin). It is a rather grand title for what is 11,000 hectares of planted forest and upland agricultural land, though admittedly there is also plenty bogs, heaths, lakes, rivers and mountains.

The landscape is stunning. There is plenty to see, particularly if you like walking or cycling. The area includes much of the Nephin Beg Mountain Range,  which is a beautiful but little explored part of Ireland.





Captivating Frogs

Captivating may not be a word you’d immediately associate with frogs. However, we are spending a large amount of our meal times watching the frogs in the garden pond and my youngest is particularly captivated by their antics. Our kitchen window overlooks the pond and is a perfect place for observing them.

Yesterday’s count was an estimated 150! Last year there was 63, so it is a big jump in numbers. Today  is damp and it looks like they are beginning to disperse, as there are a lot more sitting around the top of the pond, and moving away under the beech hedge and through the garden.


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I love to see frogs in the garden as I know they will do their bit in keeping the slug population down.

Frogs are back

So what is the story?

Frog Spawn

Well, the frogs are back in our garden pond. They actually first arrived over a week ago. But then the temperatures dropped and we had all that snow and they vanished. But yesterday they returned! I counted 99. Today, they are in such a mating frenzy I cannot count them! Trouble is as soon as you go out to take a photograph most of them disappear under water, so I cannot show you what it really looks like. Luckily, some are braver and not so photo shy – or perhaps they just have their mind on something more import, like producing the next generation!

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