Bridget

Posts Tagged ‘hay’

Rural Rambles from Arigna.

In Animals, arigna on December 15, 2011 at 5:46 pm

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The Sun when it appears in these dark December days has a watery wintry feel…in tune with the weather I suppose. The air is damp and the earth is permanently wet. When out and about one is aware of the particles of moisture in the air. The dogs have to be dried off before they come into the house in the evening. They spend the days outdoors and come into the house as darkness falls. They enjoy their house time relax before going to their shed for the night.

The sunsets have not been very dramatic in the recent cloudy grey weather. This one a few evenings ago is as good as it’s got.

 

The animals are all being fed hay now…they really appreciate this on rainy days as they don’t like getting wet. A lot of people think Donkeys coats are waterproof but that is not the case. In the mornings they get a little treat. Daphne really likes carrots as do the goats. Enid the milking goat gets an extra treat of some organic concentrate while she is being milked. Other favourite treats are Ginger Nut biscuits, Polo Mints and bread of any type.

In the garden the Fuschias continue to flower. I have never seen flowering to continue so far into the year. They are not of course as plentiful as earlier in the year but they are a welcome splash of unexpected colour at this time.

Spindle  has now lost it’s leaves but the berries are still giving a good show.

On the lane the sloes still hang from the leafless Blackthorn. Usually these would have been consumed by birds by now. Tradition dictates that these and indeed any berries are not picked after Halloween as it is said that the Pooka would have breathed on them at that time.

Lower in the valley the Arigna river slowly meanders on its journey to Lough Allen.

Autumn Equinox @ Prospect Cottage.

In Animals, arigna, Foraging., Gardening on September 20, 2011 at 10:35 am

The changing colours of Autumn are upon us, much as we may not like it, changes are afoot. Human beings do not much like change, we like other inhabitants on this Planet are creatures of habit. Although when change is forced upon us we are quick to adapt. At this time the Autumn Equinox is upon us, hard to believe it’s 3 months since Summer Solstice. It’s said time flies when you’re having fun, well time is certainly flying!

The last of the wild berries can be harvested on nice dry days. All sorts of Fungi are to be found in woodland and pasture. Nature’s abundance is still there for the picking. Still to come are the almost ripe Hazlenuts of which there are lots this year. Sloes, which are best after the first frost has softened them. Elderberries will be fully ripe soon too. They are great for jams, chutneys, cordials and wine. A tincture can be made from them which is said to be a wonderful restorative and immune system enhancer.

The animals also benefit for the abundance of the season. Daphne loves apples, not too many together though as they can cause bloat. Peelings left over from making jams and crumbles are always a welcome treat. Last week I collected a big box of windfalls from our neighbour’s orchard. They will provide treats for a few weeks.

The Goats too are fond of Apples. They also watch for falling leaves at this time of year and really enjoy them. Soon their bodies will be preparing for Winter by growing their Winter coats.

For us at this time when day and night are equal we must also adjust our minds to the coming of Winter. Enjoy the first frosts and the sunny days they will surely bring. Gather the last offerings from Nature. The larder is filled with the abundance of Summer, all is well. Who knows, we may be snowed in again this year! Soon we will head to Tipperary for the day and bring back a trailer load of hay and straw to bed and feed the animals over Winter.

May you all enjoy this time of adjustment. Enjoy the longer nights, make it a time for enjoying each other’s company. The frantic activity of the garden is now winding down. Think of some craft projects to work on over the Winter. Walk in the woods and enjoy the Trees as they too make their seasonal changes. Happy Equinox to All!