Bridget

Posts Tagged ‘ladybird’

International Biodiversity Day.

In Animals, arigna, Bees, Gardening, sustainable living on May 22, 2011 at 7:06 am

So we are still here! The World did’nt end! So we continue on. Today is International Biodiversity Day. For those of us to whom that matters let us carry on. Carry on with living as lightly as we can on this Planet. Carry on with growing as much food as possible. Carry on to encourage biodiversity by not using poisons on our land, by leaving wild areas, by planting flowers for bees, butterflies and other insects.

Here in Arigna our animals are enjoying the plentiful grass. Daphne (above) seems to be on a non stop eating marathon. She does’nt even shelter from the rain, but then it is the soft Summer variety. Winter rain is a different matter, harsh and cold, she hates that, but then so do we. Our milking Goat, Enid, is milking well, about 2 litres each day. Lots of paneer and milky puddings plus lots being frozen for Winter.

Walking by Lough Allen yesterday I spotted these wild Deer tracks. Would love to see the deer but they seem to hide in the shrubbery and forest during the day.

There has been an amazing amount of growth this year. The dry Spring followed by lots of rain seems to have been ideal for everything. Fruit supplies look promising, lots of fruit set on Apples, Plums, Blackcurrant and other bush fruits. The Grape in the polytunnel is also heavily laden. Abundant wildlife is also evident, loads of Bumble Bees this year. Spotted lots of Butterflies and even a Ladybird. In the polytunnel we always have lots of Frogs. Too many insects to name and there seems to be loads of Spiders, more than I’ve noticed previously. Even saw a couple of Leeches earlier in the week, can’t say I like them very much but they are here! I think they like the damp ground.

Ladybirds and Garden pics from Prospect Cottage.

In Gardening, sustainable living on May 19, 2011 at 10:01 am

Rhododendron ponticum  is just coming into flower at the moment. Hated by many because it is so invasive one cannot deny the beauty of it’s flowers. Introduced to England and Ireland in the 18th century it has escaped into the wild choking out all in it’s path. Every Summer grows of volunteers work at cutting it back, especially in Kerry where it has become a huge problem. Each plant sets thousands of viable seeds so it’s progress is speedy. It is also poisonous to animals.

Was delighted to see this Ladybird yesterday, first one this year. They are in serious decline because of pesticide use and habitat disturbance. One way to help Ladybirds is to leave a patch of Nettles in your garden. The Nettle Aphid is a fave food of Ladybirds emerging from hibernation, it is’nt a garden pest. Ladybirds are of course a great friend to the gardener, they will consume aphids, scale insects and mealy bugs. Many people consider them lucky and love to see them. My Mother’s name for them is God’s Cows, that’s what they were always called when she was a child.

The old cottage garden favourite Aquilega is in flower at the moment. Also known as Columbine or Granny’s Bonnet it’s flowers are short-lived but so pretty. It is easily grown from seed and self seeds readily.

The Victoria Plum has set lots of fruits again this year. It likes the heavy ground here. We also have a young Opal Plum tree which has set fruit for the first time. Once again it seems that working with Nature will provide abundance here in the Arigna valley.