Category Archives: Rural life

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.

my countryside

County lanes

At this time of year spider webs adorn the country.



Late silage being cut.

my countryside


Hawthorn berries in the hedgerows.







Is climate change affecting our neighbourhoods?

In the past few years our own neighbourhood has experienced floods due to rivers busting their banks;

River in flood

River in flood

We’ve had snow in March;

Daffodils in snow

Daffodils in snow

And exceptionally mild winter’s leading to early springs.

Common frog

Common frog

You may say all these things are just vagaries of our Irish weather, but there is no doubt that these extremes in weather events are becoming more common. For now though we are still blessed with a beautiful green landscape that Ireland is famed for. But how will species and landscapes cope if we find ourselves experiencing even more of these strange climatic events.


Post inspired by Lens artist photo challenge #36 – Around the neighbourhood





Farm animals

In the west of Ireland, we have no shortage of farm animals. Among my favourite are the poultry. Especially chickens. I could watch them all day, they are such characters. This is Junior. He is very handsome.


This is Junior’s father and some of the hens. We can’t let Junior and his father be too near each other because they fight, and every morning there is a competition to see who can crow the loudest.


Just down through the fields this is our neighbour’s donkey.


Our other neighbours farm cattle and deer.

Inspired by CFFC – Farm Animals

Swinford Agricultural Show

It was all action at the Swinford agricultural show last Sunday. Despite the damp weather, there were  sheep,  cattle, horse jumping and a dog show.

We’d missed the poultry show earlier in the day but could still view the varied breeds of ducks, chickens and geese. The geese were handsome and well fed; the cockerels and ducks ranged from handsome to bizarre!

And of course there was the craft and collect tent. Cakes, jams, breads all to make the mouth water.

There were vegetable specimens I could only be envious off, though I could have improved on the apples.

Beautiful crafts by adults and children. I was particularly taken by this doll, who looks the image of our Irish president Michael D Higgins (one on left with tufts of grey hair).

And of course lots of colour in the flower section.

A great way to end the summer holiday.

Lens Artist Photo Challege # 8 Colorful

In Ireland, street festivals have almost become the norm in the summer. It’s a way for small towns and villages to increase numbers of tourists to their local area and they can be often be very colourful.

Sweet stall

Sweet stall Tubbercurry Fair

Street festivals are a way of celebrating what those communities have to offer. Some examples here in Mayo there is the Ballina Salmon Festival and the Foxford Riverfest, Swinford has the Síamsa Sráide, a celebration of transitional music and song, and lots more throughout the country.


This year, we have the opportunity to visit Tubbercurry Old Fair. The old fair day was a tradition in Irish towns. People from rural areas would go into towns on these days (usually one day in a month) and buy what they needed. Cows and livestock would be brought to the fair to be sold and so on.

The Tubbercurry fair day festival tries to recreate this event – but along with all the things that would have been on a traditional fair day there are all the new things too. Today, the fair gives an opportunity for gifted crafts men and women to display their wares as well as given demonstrations of their talents.