This week the Lens-Artist challenge suggests that in addition to their challenge, we link to some of the other creative opportunities our fellow bloggers make available. Cee does a wonderful job keeping us all up-to-date with the current challenges. So I have chosen two of her challenges to link to this week. First her CBWC challenge and this week’s topic is “birds”.
While birds can bring lots of colour into our gardens we can also appreciate their beauty in black and white.
The second of Cee challenges is her flower of the day (FOTD) challenge. In Ireland, it is mid-winter and really we shouldn’t be finding any flowers around. But I photographed this meadow buttercup, the essence of a summer meadow flower, on the 1st January.
So I am almost at the end of my 12 days of Christmas wild things, and I am cheating slightly as I am going to show some images from a wildlife camera that is set up in the wood just below the house. It’s taken me a bit of time to get a good location, as I had a lot of half animal and blurry images where the animals have come too close. But here are a couple of the better ones.
Firstly a pine marten. We have seen them in the past and know that they are around, though more by the signs they leave behind (mainly scats, i.e. their faeces). It is great to get an image to be sure.
And a much less illusive mammal, the fox, which we see a lot more regularly.
And finally for those of you with good eyesight – a little mouse, probably a wood mouse going by it’s shape.
Every new year we have a sort of family tradition to go to the beach. Ross Beach on the north-west coast of County Mayo is one of our favourites. It was a bit dull and damp. Wind and rain were forecast for later in the day and as you can see from the photograph below, the sea was already displaying some impressive waves.
I took some photographs of some of the sea birdlife as I continue with my 12 days of Christmas wild things. The oystercatchers seemed undisturbed by the wave crashing behind them.
There were also some delicate sanderling. You wonder how such small, beautiful birds can withstand the Atlantic storms, but these are obviously tough little things. They are winter visitors to Ireland and most are of Siberian origin.
And finally some Brent geese (light or pale-bellied). I love seeing these winter visitors from high-Arctic Canada. They were drinking some fresh water that was coming over the sand from a small stream.
Firstly, I would like to wish you all a Happy New Year. I hope 2022 lets you find kindness at every turn.
Continuing with my 12 days of Christmas wild things, today we went on a community sponsored 8 km walk to raise funds for a new community park in our small village. Despite being a grey day it brought lots of laughter and joy.
You may notice in the photograph above that the gorse (bush with yellow flowers) is already blooming. This plant does flower early, but 31 December seems particularly early. We also saw quite a few dandelions in bloom, Herb-Robert and the hogweed shown in the photograph below (with accompanying mating flies).
At least the trees look like they should in winter.
A big thank you to all the blogging community out there for your continued support and comments. I look forward to reading your blogs in 2022.
So continuing with my 12 days of Christmas wild things, we had a lovely walk at Union Wood in Co Sligo today. Lots of nice things seen but I thought I would just share my favourite shot of the day – taken within Union Wood Nature Reserve, with the lensglobe nestled in a beautiful bed of moss and the majestic oaks reflected in the glass.
Cathy alerted me to the fact that in the UK, the Wildlife Trust challenge people to the 12 Days Wild at Christmas, running from the 25th December to the 5th January. The idea is to do something to help nature but I was thinking it may be nice opportunity to just observe and record nature too. I am going to try and share with you what I see each day. I am starting on the 24th though as this may well be one of my wildlife highlights of the year.
We went for a local walk and spotted these two Irish hare in our neighbours field. I think they thought it was spring as they were chasing each other around.
Hares, and particularly Irish hares, are among my favourite animals.
They ran though the whole field, coming quite close at times.
All I have to show for this day is our Christmas tree. This year it is a birch tree.
We enjoyed a lovely walk with my sister and spotted this raven who appeared to be cleaning his beak on this old fence post.
A finally a cute little mushroom from our walk today, not sure if it is going to grow to a shaggy ink cap or if it is something totally different.