Bridget

Posts Tagged ‘forest’

In praise of green…

In green living, Ireland, nature on July 8, 2012 at 6:37 pm

Ireland is famous for it’s greenness…there is even an old song that mentions Ireland’s 40 shades of green. We may complain about our weather…all that rain can be wearing…but it is that very rain that makes Ireland the lush, green place it is.

Green is such an important colour…it is the colour most often accociated with Nature and being in the countryside. It is the colour of the heart chakra and is in the middle of the colour spectrum. It holds the balance between the red, hot end of the colour spectrum, and blue, the cold end of the colour spectrum.

Green is soothing and helps to reduce feelings of turmoil and negativity. Everyone feels better after a walk in a cool green forest.

Tourists are drawn to Ireland because of the slow pace of life here, away from the city anyway, maybe it is the predominance of green that helps people to chill out and have time to stop and chew the fat (chat). 

What can be more soothing to a person’s soul than gazing into the green canopy of a beautiful tree…even if the sky behind is grey!

Green food is full of vitamins and minerals which help to keep our bodies in balance. “One of the causes of heart disease is a diet low in the antioxidant vitamins C and E and beta-carotene. Green leafy vegetables are a particularly rich source of these.” Secrets of Colour Healing by Stephanie Norris.

The old adage “Eat your greens” was very sensible advice indeed…

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The Search for the Sacred Well. part 2.

In Ireland, nature on April 17, 2012 at 7:22 am


As the weeds and brambles were removed the old stone that surrounds the well was revealed…



and our  excitement and sense of  achievement was invigorating. Loads of baby frogs in the water here…now they can stretch their legs and swim.



As the well was revealed John was moved to recite a poem….http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0jtDP4W7ECo&feature=share


The men showed off by trying to move this large stone into it’s previous position. They had partial success! On another day we will return with wellies to rescue the old stone that has fallen into the well.



Being in this seldom visited spot makes me wonder…who were the last people to use this well…when last the last bucket of drinking water taken from here…did people come from far and wide to seek healing here? How long since these beautiful stone walls were built in this sacred place?


According to John’s research the well water here was reputed to be a cure for stress. How fitting in these times that we should seek it out and rejuvenate it.



Oblivious to all else a small child builds a fairy house from moss and twigs…topped by a white feather.



Reluctantly we realise that evening is creeping in…and we must return through the forest…



past the skeleton of a long dead tree…



to where the Bluebells grow.


Click on pics to enlarge.

Dogs and trees and Spring sunshine.

In Animals, Trees on April 4, 2012 at 3:10 pm

When we arise in the morning the first job, after putting the kettle on, is to let the dogs out of their shed. They then come in the house for a while. If it’s sunny they like to lie down and catch a few rays in the sitting room where the couch is appropriately situated.

In the field the animals do the same thing. How clever they are to avail of this solar energy…actually  I think they’re a lot cleverer than most people give them credit for. I’ve also noticed many times that the bulk of their bodies will be facing full on towards the sun to expoit it fully.

On Sunday we bought 30 bare root trees at the local garden centre. It’s the end of the bare root season now so they were selling them off at half price. They worked out at an average of 80 cent each. Bargain! The haul included Birch, Alder, Rowan, Poplar, Larch and Acer. A small forest in the making.

After soaking them overnight we planted them up on Monday morning. Working together the job was done quickly. Compost was emptied into the wheelbarrow… Andy held the tree upright in the pot and I backfilled it with compost. Took about an hour to plant the lot.

The bigger trees we placed near this rain water barrel which will be convenient for watering throughout the Summer. In Autumn we intend incorporating our small field…below the polytunnels…into the garden…these will then be planted there. The smaller trees are at the other side of the house near another rain barrel.

In the shade bed these lovely Primulas have started flowering. I have that to confess that this was one I “slipped” from another garden I visited. Naughty but I will share it on as it bulks up. “Slipping” is a word Irish people…especially older people…use for taking a cutting or an offshoot with roots from a plant. Years ago many people had cottage gardens where all the plants would have been grown from “slips.” Does anyone else know of this phrase?

In the polytunnel Parsley and Rocket give lots of green pickings. This is Wild Rocket which has…for me…a nicer flavour than the ordinary Rocket. Parsley and Rocket together make for a really nice pesto which I will make when the current batch of Wild Garlic pesto has run out. Basil is already planted and germinated for the Summer pesto.

And in the polytunnel the dogs are once again strategically placed to catch the rays of the afternoon sunshine.

A Poetree Walk. (part 2)

In Ireland, Off the beaten track. on March 13, 2012 at 7:32 pm

Inside the little housey there is room to sit on an old log. A great storytelling spot…for a few small people.

These old broken down walls would once have been well maintained to contain animals. 

A pathway now marked by the feet of walkers and sightseers would once have been someones daily path…

to the little shed just beyond. It’s very low…perhaps a shed for chickens!

If only these stones could speak…what stories they would tell…of fairies and giants…and who knows what else!

The cutaway forest on the hill behind this enormous rock looks so stark and bleak. A good place to rest weary bones though!

A spring well…the locals would have drawn water by bucket from here in years gone by. Nature has reclaimed it once again…

Rock art…

 and a 19th century lime kiln give signs of previous dwellers here…

and the felled trees cry their bitter orange tears.

A Poetree Walk. (part 1).

In Ireland, Off the beaten track. on March 12, 2012 at 6:56 pm

No, I have’nt made a mistake, I did mean poetree! So, what is a Poetree Walk? A Poetree Walk is a shared walk in a woodland that combines tree appreciation with the reading of poetry, self-penned or otherwise.  The idea was concieved by Edward Durand, a poet from Sligo and John Willmott, a maker and keeper of Laybrinth Gardens. Check John’s work on www.celticways.com . The walks will take place on Sundays from March until the end of October in woodlands throughout Ireland. Check it out on www.squidoo.com/bards-in-the-wood . So, yesterday saw us in the Cavan Burren, 200 acres of woodland, megalithic tombs and Bronze and Iron Age archaeological remains. A special and beautiful place.

Sitting on a mossy carpet above the Fairy portal Susie recites her touching poem about a fabulous tree she knew which has since been destroyed by humans.

An offering is made to the wee folk at the Fairy Cairn…

and another beautiful poem is shared with all.

Bee Smith captivated all with her poems and knowledge. Bee is an amazing woman… originally from America… she has a vast knowledge on Fairy folklore and Celtic spirituality. If you are visiting Ireland do check out her website www.irishblessingstours.com . Bee can take you to the special places,  away from the well beaten tourist treks.

As we walked on we came to an area where the forest has been cut down. Could they not have left this one tree by this huge glacial rock? It seems not!

The last inhabitants left here 50 years ago…an end to thousands of years of habitation in this area.

This magnificient stone makes up one side of a little shelter. There is enough room for a few people to sit inside.

Join me for part 2 tomorrow.

Click on photos to enlarge.

Amongst Trees.

In nature, Off the beaten track. on October 6, 2011 at 9:51 pm

Evergreen Oak

Yesterday was National Tree Day in Ireland. To mark the day I went with my Mother who is staying with us for a week and my friend Saffron to Lough Rynn Estate near Mohill in County Leitrim. There is also a lovely walled garden there and the big house is now a successful hotel. But yesterday it was the trees which held my interest.

Majestic Scots Pines.

Being amongst trees is for me like meeting old friends again. There is an easiness in the relationship,  a feeling of security to be amongst them, a belonging that cannot be falsified. Maybe it stirs my primeval memories of when our land was covered in great forests.

"Eye" on Monkey Puzzle tree.

Entering a forest is like entering a sanctuary, a place of comfort and safety. A place to walk amongst nature in all its glory. It is calming and soothing to the human mind. It is so amazing to touch, to connect with these plants that have lived here for hundreds or even thousands of years. What have they witnessed? If only they could speak!

Yew with berries.

 But then, maybe they speak, it is us who are not listening. Observe their generosity. How they provide food and shelter for man and beast. Many modern medicines have their origin in trees. They cleanse the air we breathe. They shelter our homes from the ravages of weather and throw shade on a warm day. All without words, without acknowledgement from us.

Fungi on a dying Beech tree.

 There are of course people who love trees, who see themselves of their protectors. One of those people is 65 years old Teresa Treacy from Tullamore, County Offaly. For many years she has been planting thousands of trees by hand on a farm owned by herself and her sister. It was her mission in life. Three weeks ago she was thrown into jail because she would not allow an electricity supplier to clear 14 acres of her beloved forest to erect plyons. What a shame on our once tree covered country. The judge who jailed her said she would not be released until Teresa withdrew her contempt. She did not do so. She remained firm, like a well rooted Oak. Today Teresa was released from jail thanks to a huge public outcry. Hopefully she will be left in peace in her favourite place…amongst trees.