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.
So what is the story?
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!
Hare Hare is the most beloved toy in our house. He is much more than a toy, he is a member of the family. He pretty much comes everywhere we go. The photo above shows him looking out the porthole on the passenger ferry that goes from the mainland to Clare Island. Hare Hare has been my youngest’s companion since birth! He is however loved by us all. He is well worn now after nearly seven years constant use, his feet have been replaced once and his ears are due for renewal. We’ve tried doing a nose job, but it was unsuccessful.
Over the years Hare Hare has developed his very own character. He is exceptionally kind, is the best hugger in the house and is a first responder to all medical emergencies. He will eat pretty much everything but carrots are his absolute favourite.
In his earlier years, he was known to go missing for a few hours at a time, but thankfully with just one exception, he has always been found at bedtime (when he really comes into his own)! My youngest used to have the habitat of hiding him in things, on that occasion he was missing overnight, he was found (by some miracle) outside, stuffed into the end of an unused 4″ water pipe!
There is no doubt in my mind that he has magical qualities. He is our knight is shining armor. Our hero. Our Beloved Hare Hare.
This week’s weekly photo challenge is Variations on a theme. So I felt it was a perfect excuse to show some bumblebee photos. As many of you will know I have a soft spot for this amazing creatures. The queen’s are currently hibernating and it will be another six weeks before we see them (usually around Saint Patrick’s Day – 17th March – here in the west of Ireland).
When the queens emerge from their winter sleep they need to find food. Early spring flowers and shrubs like dandelions, willow catkins, crocuses and flowering brassicas are good source of pollen for them. A simple way to help bees in your garden is to allow dandelions to bloom before you start cutting the lawn.
The gallery above shows a variety of queens, workers and drones from a number of different bumblebee species.
Sunday after the snow, when the sun came out.
We haven’t seen much blue sky these last few months. The constant grey can be depressing, as can the constant damp. So when we do finally see some blue sky or witness a sunrise we get this unexpected feeling of serenity.
Last year, the combined rainfall for October and November was just over 130mm. This year for the same period it has been 275mm. Admittedly, last year was a drier autumn than average and this year’s figures are closer to mean figures.