A Morning walk by the Canal.

In Foraging., Off the beaten track. on August 30, 2011 at 12:24 pm

This morning I left our car into the garage at Drumshanbo (our local town), for a service. I filled in the time while I was waiting by taking a walk by the Lough Allen Canal just outside the town. It was such a calm, still morning, the water was like a mirror, everything reflected in perfectly still water. Under the bridge you can see the lock which brings boats from the lock into the canal and onto the Shannon river.

The canal was built in the 1820s for commercial traffic. It was used continously until 1930 when it fell into disuse. It reopened again in 1970 and is now used extensively by pleasure craft.

The lane alongside the canal is a widlife haven. Lots of birds calling and darting about as I walked quietly, observing the hedgerow crops which are a foragers dream.

Haws are just about ripe now. They can be used to make wine and jelly. They are of course also a valuable Winter food for the birds. The old people always said that lots of berries signify a hard Winter to come, nature or God, depending on your belief, providing for our feathered friends.

The Blackberries too are beginning to ripen. They are high in vitamin C and can be frozen for Winter use. They also make delicious jam, jelly, wine and cordial.

Further on the ubiquitous pile of silage bales, someones store of Winter food for their animals.

Even further in was this stash of firewood. This will keep someone toasty through the Winter months.

A stand of Beech trees, enticing you to walk through them admiring their gracious beauty.

  1. Beautiful photos. I am eager to see some green back in our gardens.

  2. I really enjoyed this stroll. The photos are beautiful…especially the first one of the bridge.

  3. This was a nice walk you took us on today. I like seeing what is around other towns. We have canals here too. I never thought to show that.

  4. Well I can see why you chose to not sit at the car service place and wait… what a beautiful walk! Our blackberries are ripening too and I must stop just picking them fresh every morning to eat with breakfast and get serious about freezing them. Wish I had a canal. Then I’d need a boat I guess…

  5. Reminds me of the Grasshopper and the Ant.

  6. So many beautiful and wonderful natural reasons to love Ireland.

    We’ve just started picking blackberries this morning, although I agree with you, in that I think they need just a bit more time to ripen to their full, delicious glory. Last year we picked thousands upon thousands of them, and what I didn’t use for jams, smoothies, baking with them for scones and muffins or as a topping for cereals (yum!), we froze them, just as you’d mentioned above, for the winter months. Perfect for using in porridge this past winter to keep us toasty and our taste buds very happy, as well as the birds who regularly come to visit.

    Beautiful photos, Bridget. Thanks for sharing your part of Ireland’s natural magic with us.

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