Posts Tagged ‘lough allen’

Who said Sunday was a lazy day?

In sustainable living on November 13, 2011 at 5:49 pm

This morning we decided to drive down to Lough Allen, which is about 5 miles away, and have a walk on the pebbled foreshore as we often do. However it was not to be as the lake was further in than usual at this time of year. I think the good weather of the last couple of weeks had made us forget all the rain that preceded it. The pathway was not to be seen, completely covered with water.

It’s challenging farming here, this is nearby farmland completely flooded. This land will not be usable again until next Spring. Our old house and land came right down to the lake about quarter of a mile further on from here.

 Our next stop was an old cottage that is for sale. Regular readers will know of my liking for poking around old places, I just love it! This one still has the crane over the fireplace where the kettle or pot used to hang in bygone years. There would be a hook hanging down nearer the flame on which to hang your vessel. I bet many a good meal was cooked here.

It’s been a while since the bed was slept in! Even I have to work hard to see potential in this one. Surrounded by Sitka Spruce forest and up a very long lane with a gate half up which must be kept closed, I don’t thing this one will sell in a hurry!

Back home by 2.45. The wine, made from the last of the grapes is bubbling away.

Soon the stove is fired up and throwing out welcome warmth. Quick coffee and then the house is filled with the scent of Summer…

Strawberry jam cooked and potted up.

Then to the polytunnel to get some salad to go with the rice and dhal we are having for dinner. Yes, we still have Nasturtiums in flower. The frosts so far have been very mild. So that’s it, another lazy Sunday ends!

The Old Coal Mine.

In arigna, Off the beaten track. on November 4, 2011 at 11:47 am

After leaving the Famine Grave (previous post) one passes through the old abandoned coal mine works on the way back to the road. The statue of Our Lady is above the now blocked up mine entrance. The men would always stop to say a prayer on their way into the mine. Coal mining finished in Arigna in 1990. There is a Miner’s Museum about a mile from the village where many of the ex-miners found employment as tour guides.

I love exploring these old abandoned places. One can imagine the activity that was carried on here in the not too distant past. How rapidly things can change and deriliction sets in.

Nuts and bolts still sit on the workbench. I wonder if the people that handled these are still living?

Coal from these hills was used to power the power station on the shores of Lough Allen about 7 miles away. That too is now gone.

Strong steel doors built to protect whatever valuables lay within…

now thrown open to the elements…rusted into their open position.

Illegible writing on the concrete roof of the old shed.

A place of work and activity where people once made good livings lies abandoned and derelict. Just a place of interest now to walkers and explorers like ourselves. How quickly things can change.There’s a lesson there I think!


In Off the beaten track. on July 10, 2011 at 2:59 pm

The east window of the ancient Abbey of Tarmon, Drumkeerin, Co. Leitrim.


Nothing left now except the stone walls and the beautiful window above. Built sometime between the fourth and fifty centuries this was a Franciscan Friary. All is quiet now here on the western shore of Lough Allen.

Wonder what these sticking out stones were for on this old farm building. Any ideas anyone?

They stop at the little window. I’ve asked several people and nobody knows what they are for!

This now deserted farm shed was once an important shelter for animals on the smaller farms that were part of the Irish landscape pre EU days.

Inside the lovely flagstone floor is being taken over with Ferns and wild flowers.

The Hydrangea continues to bloom each year despite it’s isolation.

The old laneway once used by the men who travelled to work on foot to the local coal mine. Deserted now and being reclaimed by Nature.

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.