Landscapes here in the west of Ireland can be dominated by grey, particularly in the winter months.
But the clouds can break to reveal those extra browns and greens.
And if you are lucky the sun will break through, and the clouds will play shadows with the ground.
And if you are near water you will get those amazing cloud reflections, as lake water doubles up as sky.
Water lilies on lake
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.
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Inspired by CFFC – Farm Animals
The Lens-Artist challenge this week is to show your favourite fences. In County Mayo, west of Ireland, fences tend to be functional boundaries for livestock, often composed of post and wire fencing. I actually much prefer wooden fences, but they are few and far between here in the west.
These fences are not pretty objects, but are often found in nice places, like along the coast, where they are sometimes unwelcome.
We are experiencing exceptional high temperatures for the West of Ireland – we seem to be going from one extreme to another this year. Yesterday, we hit 27 degrees and today the forecasters say we may hit the 30s! In the garden, flowers are suffering – not being used to this heat and constant sunshine.
However, one flower is looking pretty groovy. I planted these alliums last winter and am really impressed by the geometric patterns. They really are like fireworks. And I will be seeing if I can get some more this autumn.
Also joining in Cee’s Flower of the Day.
Yesterday, this little wren accidentally got into the house.
Most of the doors and windows are open as we experience exceptionally warm days, with yesterday temperatures reaching 25 degrees Celsius. Normal May temperatures in the west of Ireland tend to be in the mid-high teens.
The wrens had converted last year’s swallow’s nest into their own nest and have been busy feeding the chicks the last couple of weeks. The young appear to have just fledged. This little fellow proved hard enough to catch! But my husband, a trained bird ringer, got him eventually.
We didn’t think it would wait around to be photographed, but either because of the shock of being caught, or the near-by presence of one of it’s parents (with beak full of food), it stayed long enough for me to get a couple of shots, before making a short, yet confident flight to the beech hedge.
During lunch we watched both parents come and go with more food to the hedge. The fledglings remained concealed though so we are not sure how many there are.
Wrens are among Ireland’s smallest birds. The female lay clutches of 5-8 eggs, and she alone will incubate them. They feed on insects and spiders. Both parents will help feed the young. For more information can check out Birdwatch Ireland’s Wren page.
Heritage in Schools is a scheme run by the Heritage Council, here in Ireland. I have recently become a member of the Heritage in Schools panel. This panel is made up of individuals with expertise in various heritage subjects including science, geography, history and culture. Primary schools are encouraged to invite members of the panel to visit their school so that the children may develop a greater awareness of Ireland’s natural and cultural heritage. The children have fun learning outdoors and get to enjoy many different aspects of heritage and the environment. The cost of the visits are subsidised by the Heritage Council.
My own workshops will focus on biodiversity, pollinators, Ireland’s wildlife, and school gardens. Workshops can be tailored to the needs of the school or the individual classes.
I am looking forward to working with schools here in the west of Ireland.
For more information click on any of the following links: