Tag Archives: lens-artists

Magic pollinators

As it is coming to the end of pollinator season for 2019, it seemed an appropriate time to have a celebration of all the magic off pollinators and the work they do.

peacock butterfly

Peacock

Butterflies and moths are only incidental pollinators, it is the bees and hoverflies that visit the flowers for both nectar and pollen.

White tailed bumblebee

White tailed bumblebee

Here are some more magical pollinators.

 

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Lough Gill, castles and woodland

Recently we had the opportunity to visit Parkes Castle on the lake shore of Lough Gill in Co Leitrim.

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Lough Gill from the Shores of Lough Gill

The castle is a restored plantation* castle from the early 17th century, though within the grounds there is evidence of an earlier 16th century Tower House.

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Evidence of Tower House in foreground on right hand side of photo

The Castle is now in ownership of the Office of Public Works (OPW) and we received an excellent guided tour from one of their staff, who explained a little about the history of the castle and how it has been restored.

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Parkes Castle

One of the more fascinating facts was that the castle would have been home to over one hundred people including the family, guards, and servants.

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Lough Gill

Afterwards we took a drive to the other side of the lake (now in Co Sligo) where there is a lovely forest walk at Slish wood, by then the sun had come out too.

 

Inspired by this week’s lens artist photo challenge – seascapes and or lakeshore

 

Addendum

*As Cathy noted I should have really explained the term “plantation castle”. Put in simple terms during the 16-century the English Crown was seeking to extend their control over Ireland. One of the ways they tried to do this was to confiscate land from Irish landowners (both Gaelic clans and Hiberberno-norman ones) and replace them with English or Scottish settlers. Between the 1550’s and the 1650’s Four Plantations took place in Ireland. Each plantation was the result of a rebellion by the Irish who were trying to resist the extension of English control over Ireland.

 

 

 

 

Wales

This week’s Lens-artist photo challenge is a special one as they are celebrating their first anniversary! So the choice is ours – so I thoughts I would post some photos of our recent visit to Wales.

Friendship – we made a new friend in Charlotte at Old Oak Barn, the self catering accommodation we stayed at. Charlotte has a beautiful garden and was so generous with her time, even sending me home with some seeds gathered from her garden to try. You can see more about Charlotte’s garden here.

Charlotte's Garden

Charlotte’s Garden

Imagination – The National Botanic gardens of Wales is full of imaginative planting, beautiful sculptures and of course fabulous plants and flowers.

Connected – Wales is very well connected with its history, with many wonderful castle to visit and explore.

Wales is a lovely country full of great places to visit and friendly people.

Thank you to the Len-artists of their year of photo challenges. I look forward to the coming year.

 

 

Six on Saturday favourites

This week I am combining my Six on Saturday with some of my favourite things.

The wildflower meadow is just coming into it’s own. One of my favourites parts of the garden.

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I did say in a comment that I would post some of my yellow alliums this week. I just love flowers.

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And these alliums are one of my favourites, they remind me of fireworks going off.

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And of course I cannot post about my favourite things without including a photo of a bumblebee……………

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And growing my own food is another love – broad beans with another bee!

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And this year I am loving vetch, because there seems to be so much of it and the bees are loving it too.

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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

 

 

 

 

Spring???

 

It is unnaturally warm. Some parts of Ireland it was 17 degrees Celsius today, here in the west only 15, a temperature we would be happy with in May.

The mild weather has brought out the bumblebees. Queen bumblebees hibernate over the winter. In usual years we would see the first queens emerge in mid-March.

Bombus hortorum

Bombus hortorum

The first bees were spotted by my children on Sunday, and over the last couple of days we have seen some more. This was the first one I managed to get close up to photograph.

Garden Bumble

Bombus hortorum

The spring flowering heather is a new addition to the garden planted to provide early food for the queens. They need both nectar and pollen after there long winter sleep. Heather,  crocus , hellebore, dandelion and willow are all good early food sources.

Bombus hortorum

Bombus hortorum

With Climate Change resulting in much less predictable weather patterns, bumblebees are vulnerable. If the weather turns cold again the queens can only survive a couple of days without food.