Bridget

Posts Tagged ‘wind turbines’

Out and about in Arigna. part 2.

In arigna, Off the beaten track. on August 16, 2012 at 4:18 pm

We sheltered in the old school shed during a rain shower. One could almost hear the laughter and chat that went on here in times gone by. No ipads and mobile phones then,  just skipping rope and hide and seek. I wonder did children have the problems they have now. I suppose not,  but I’m not under the illusion that all was better then. The problems were just different.

Remains of other old buildings add to the air of abandonment.

The roof on this building, just down from the school, looks remarkable good. Some lovely stone in the walls here.

Ferns and mosses seem to love the lime in these old walls.

In the distance the mountains are being taken over by wind turbines and monoculture plantations of Sitka Spruce. Money being made for people who live far away from here. With the threat of fracking on the agenda who knows what will be next on the horizon. Fracking rigs? Let’s hope not!

As we head home we pass through tunnels of conifers…

and some fast moving Fuschia!!

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An eerie fog…

In Ireland, nature on July 24, 2012 at 10:20 am

Weatherwise yesterday was a horrible day. From early morning it rained non stop. I managed to duck out any get some fruit and veg and give the dogs a quick walk but apart from that it was an indoors day. Just does’nt seem right to have to stay indoors in July. By seven in the evening the rain had stopped and everything was dead calm. A strange sort of evening. Eerily quiet, everything permeated by damp and then the fog appeared…

I noticed it first at about seven thirty. Sliabh an Iarainn (The Iron Mountain) is usually clearly visible and often bathed in evening sun at this time. Last evening it was almost obliterated by the low-lying fog.

The sky was beautifully streaked with shades of  pink to the east…

and also to the west.

The wispy fog came in from all directions.

Within a short time the whole valley was enveloped in the thick fog.  So quiet…

If you look closely you can just about see one of the wind turbines in this pic. I found it very eerie indeed. It very much reminded me of Hound of the Baskervilles…the 1939 movie starring Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes. Based on a book written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle  it’s a movie I’ve watched many times. Always found it soo scary. Is that a dog I hear howling in the distance!!!! I’m off indoors!!!

On a Summer morning.

In nature, sustainable living, vegetable growing on June 11, 2012 at 9:33 am

After a short break when we had lots of much needed rain it seems that Summer is back. Yesterday we had 15 hours of sunshine…unheard of for Ireland. I went out just before 8 this morning to open the polytunnels…already serious heat had built up in there. On the mountain the wind turbines are still. There’s not a breeze of wind to move them. The valley looks so lush at the moment. Grass is plentiful for the animals and they are enjoying the sunshine. I love how the farmers here have left lots of trees. On large intensive farms one often sees all the trees and hedgerows removed to maximise grazing land. Electric fences are used to strip graze the land. This makes for a very boring landscape, no wildlife habitats and of course no shelter for the animals.

The Irises are in full bloom right now…it’s amazing how much these have spread. They were planted only last year. One to watch methinks in case it takes over.

I just love their colour…purple being a fave of mine…and form…the beauty and perfection of Nature. Don’t know the variety of these…the label has long disappeared. On another blog…can’t remember whose…there was a suggestion that rather than sticking the label in the ground by the plant that they were stored in the house or shed. A good idea I think as I can’t remember most of the names…and the labels blow away or disintegrate or the dogs chew them.

 

The perennial Geraniums have also come into flower. Deadheading regularly will keep these flowering for many weeks.

Foxgloves survived the wind and rain remarkably well. I thought they would be flattened. Plants are a lot more resilient than we give them credit for.

Swiss Chard seems to have become huge overnight. I just noticed this morning that this is ready for harvesting. I really love the leaves with the red ribs. Don’t they look fab…tasty too!

All pics taken this morning around 8am.

After the storm.

In flowers, Garden, Ireland, sustainable living on June 9, 2012 at 9:51 am

At last the wind and rain have stopped. For two days we have had strong winds blowing in from the west accompanied by non stop rain. Apparently there has been a month’s rain in the last two days, that’s about 4 inches. The rivers, ditches and lakes are full to capacity and the waterfall, which is usually a Winter feature, is back on the mountain.

 In the garden the worst fatality was the Angelica. It had put on tremendous growth and was standing, rather magnificiently, at about 6 feet tall. It is however battered to the ground this morning. It will,  I’m sure,  rise again.

By the garden gate the Honeysuckle is coming into flower. I’m so glad this was’nt damaged as it has grown well. The scent is lovely and I really like the flowers. I grew this from a cutting.

Now is a very good time to start taking soft wood cuttings.Was watching Gardener’s World last night on the BBC, Carol Klien gave a good tutorial on how to do this. Carol is brill, I love her easy relaxed way of presenting and teaching.

In the micro-climate of the polytunnel all is well. Growth is rapid right now and everything is lush. Produce is in abundance, right now we are harvesting Lettuce, Spring Onions, Beetroot, Herbs and Spinach. Spinach goes to seed quickly but I sow some new every few weeks. There’s nothing to beat your own fresh Spinach. We also grow Swiss Chard which lasts a year before going to seed but proper Spinach is my fave. I love Nasturtiums in the polytunnel. They are of course edible, but they also attract beneficial insects which prey on nasties like greenfly.

These Nicotiana have come into flower in the last few days. Cosied up in a pot in the closed polytunnel, it was’nt opened for 3 days, has encouraged them to bloom. Thanks, whoever invented polytunnels. It certainly makes life easier, at 600 ft above sea level here, it would be impossible to grow fragile things without them.

Every available receptacle has been used to capture rainwater. The way our weather is changing, who knows, we could be back to drought conditions again next week!

Happy gardening!

Musings from a Smallholding.

In Animals, Garden on January 27, 2012 at 5:14 pm

Serves me right! A few days ago I was going on about the lovely Spring weather we were having. Three days later and we’ve had wind, rain, hail and snow. This was the scene this morning, grey skies and a bunch of birds in the Rowan tree at the bottom of the field. Don’t know what they were…I was’nt close enough to tell.

Half an hour later it is bright and sunny. As you can see the wind turbines are turned north to catch the cold wind. It’s only about 4 c here in the valley today.

The animals run into the shed when it rains. Goats hate getting wet, their coats are not waterproof like Sheep. We do not lock them in at night, the shed is left open and they can come and go as they please. The field is well fenced so there’s no danger of them getting into the garden. Theres a saying that “good fences make for happy goatkeepers”. I certainly believe that to be true! Smokie, on the right, is our oldest Goat, she has been with us for 11 years. We bought her when she was 2 so she’s about 13 years old now. Enid is our milker, actually we’ve just let her go dry, she has been milking for 2 years. The one in the middle is Bella, Enid’s daughter. She will be put in kid next Autumn. I have lots of Goat’s milk frozen so we won’t have to buy milk for a good while.

In the garden Carvello de Nero is going to seed. Also known as Tuscan Kale or black cabbage it has given lots of leaves since Autumn. They are delicious steamed, in soups or even shredded and stir-fried. We also eat them raw in salads, shredded finely. They are going to seed earlier than usual but it’s that sort of year. The seed heads are delicious, treat them like Purple Sprouting Broccoli. The more you pick them the more they produce.

Chives are surprisingly advanced for this time of year. I won’t pick any until the promised frost of the next few nights have passed and mild weather has returned. According to the Met Office this has been the mildest Irish Winter for 53 years. Interesting year so far, unpredictable weather, an earthquake in Donegal (2.2 on the Richter scale), Aurora Borealis visible from as far down as Claremorris and a white Blackbird seen in Dublin. It’s going to be an interesting year!

The Evening Walk. Part 2.

In Animals, arigna, Off the beaten track. on May 8, 2011 at 8:04 am

The wind turbines on Corry Mountain always demand one’s attention. They are a landmark for me. If I am returning home from some journey it lifts my heart to see them, not for love of them, but because I know I am almost there, almost home.

So many wild herbs, I notice new ones daily. This is Burdock, known for it’s blood purifying properties. Not seen very often in the wild now.

An inquisitive cow looks over the fence, a mystified look about her. I often wonder if they think, ponder and peruse like us humans. I think not, their world is much simpler than that.

A little mottled Butterfly dining on the nectar from Lady’s Smock.

So, back home again, back up the steep hill.

The dogs love getting back home as much as they love going for “the walk”, they know that the stove will be lighting in the sitting-room, soon it will be time for the evening treat, a few dog bikkies. For me it’s nice to be back home, even though we’ve just been down the road! A few final chores, closing up the polytunnels, another little bit of looking around the garden, then it’s my treat, a cup of Liquorice tea, maybe something nice with it. Another walk tomorrow.