So here in Ireland we should be celebrating Biodiversity week. Usually there would be lots of events on, but of course with lockdown things are postponed or cancelled. But we can still celebrated online. For me it is a week to celebrate our wonderful biodiversity. So I want to start with a celebration of garden biodiversity as it is right outside our door. Just by providing a little bit of wildness in our gardens we can provide homes for some wonderful creatures. (All the photographs below have been taken in my garden).
Our wildlife pond supports frogs, newts and damselflies to name just a few.
We have four nest just on our house alone – two starling nests, a swallow’s nest and one wren’s nest. The young starlings from one of the nests fledged over the weekend. Below are photos of the adults who have been very busy finding food.
Flowers – native and cultivated provide food for pollinators. More on bees on Wednesday world bee day.
Wildflower meadows and wilder areas provide homes for a myriad of insects, and the insects and the seeds of the flowers in turn, feed the birds and small mammals.
A little bit of wildness may also attract some mammals to the garden. We had a hare visit this weekend (photo on left taken by my son).
If you live in Ireland look out for online activities this week.
After an exceptionally wet winter here in Ireland, we have had a really dry spring. But we did have some rain overnight and this morning. This allowed me to take some photographs of some wet plants for the lens-artist challenge this week – all wet. In order to increase the impact of the raindrops, I did a bit of adjusting of the shadows afterwards.
We visited The Burren in County Clare last August. If I was to return I would go in early spring to see the famed spring flowers. The late summer flowers were stunning but when botanists speak of The Burren they talk about the spring flowers particularly.
Another place I would love to return to is Clare Island. We visited in January 2018, but if I was to return I would go in the early summer to see the wildflowers and nesting sea birds.
One day, when we are back to some form of normality, we will again visit the many amazing places we can find in Ireland.
What strikes me when I am reading other bloggers posts is that it doesn’t matter where in the world we are, our experience of covid-19 and the restrictions that have been necessarily imposed on us, are all very similar. People are being very stoic. We are getting on with our lives. The fact that the children are at home when they should be at school, people are taking in the stride. The fact that we have to work from home means many of us are using technology a lot more – technology we probably should have been using better to reduce travelling before this.
And many of us are taking time, while we find ourselves having to distance ourselves from our family and friends, to enjoy the wonders of nature.
So to give you hope, and make you feel like taking that walk (and if you are in Ireland that means no more than 2km from your home) – here are some spring images to inspire. All these are taken close to my home. And I know I am blessed to have countryside that I can enjoy while others are stuck in flats or housing estates – so if that is you, these are especially for you.
And finally, our neighbour’s donkey viewed with a 40-150mm lens, from a distance. Keep safe and well.
The 17th March is Saint Patrick’s Day in Ireland. Usually we would be celebrating our day with Saint Patrick’s day parades – instead everything has been cancelled in the chaos that is Corvid-19. It feels very surreal but all too real. Schools are closed and all activities and events are off. Like many families we are in self-imposed isolation, only going out to stock up on food.
Still it is Saint Patrick’s day and I feel the need to celebrate Ireland. So I have chosen the chaos of our Atlantic coast to share with you. Stay safe and well everyone.
My first few choices is the very appropriate Down Patrick Head, on the north west coast of Ireland. A wild and beautiful place.
And to end a sunshine one. Stay positive and hopeful, the sun will shine again.
County Mayo, in the west of Ireland, is criss-crossed with numerous roads. It is estimated that the county council are responsible for over 6,200 km of roads — 136 km of national primary roads, 271 km of national secondary roads, 590 km of regional roads and 5,275 km of local roads. Many of these local roads are single track, narrow roads as in the photographs below.