Tag Archives: nature

Forests.

8 Dec

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Forests are places where we can get back in touch with our inner selves,

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where we can get away from the stresses of the world about us,

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where we can breathe in the sounds and scents of nature,

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where for a short time nothing else matters but being there…in the Forest.

How many Planet’s do you need?

21 Aug

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Apparently yesterday was Earth Overshoot Day, the day when humanity exhausts Nature’s budget for the year. From this day forward, the Planet will be operating under an ecological deficit, using more resources than the Planet  can produce and emitting more carbon dioxide than the Planet can filter out.

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Originally developed by the New Economics Foundation…who I admit I’d never heard of…Earth Overshoot Day has been falling by a few days earlier each year…an indication of ever-increasing patterns of consumption. In 1993 Earth Overshoot Day fell on October 21st. In 2003, it fell on September 22nd.

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For us to continue consuming resources as we are 1.5 Earth’s are needed. The US, China and Qatar are among the worst offenders. If everyone lived like your typical suburban American it would take four Earth’s to support the population. To live a lifestyle like the residents of Qatar 6.5 Earth’s would be required.

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If you go to the site where I got all this info http://www.earthday.org/blog/2013/08/20/earth-overshoot-day-2013 you can calculate your ecological footprint.  I was shocked to find that even though we don’t eat meat or fish…recycle all that we can…grow a lot of our own veg…it would still take 2 planets per year for us to continue as we are. The questions were obviously set for the typical American lifestyle as there was no option for solid fuel heating…no option for alternative energy systems…no option for buying from charity shops or farmer’s markets.  So I don’t really buy the 2 Planets result but still it provided food for thought. I’m sure we could all do more in our everyday lives to ease the pressure on our Planet.  Food for thought indeed…

Go on… do the survey…I dare you.

What’s wrong with daisies in the lawn?

4 Jul

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This is our lawn…just before cutting…full of daisies. I quite like them actually. We don’t spray our lawn with anything…never fertilise it…I think it makes a grand lawn.

Recently I started following a blog called http://www.naturegirlireland.blogspot.ie . It’s the blog of Mary Reynolds gold medal winning Chelsea gardener.

Mary did a post recently about lawns http://www.naturegirlireland.blogspot.ie/2013/03/glowing-green-fingers.html…I was shocked at some of the statistics quoted. No offence to American people who visit here but all of the stats are from America.

1. America has 40 million acres of lawn which use 238 gallons per person per day to keep.

2.American research (University of California, Irvine) demonstrated that carbon emissions would be far lower if lawnmowers were       eradicated.

3. The EPA in the USA reckons that Americans use 800 million gallons of oil per year in lawnmowers.

4. Pesticide use is 20 times higher in residential gardens than on farms.

Now I’m sure if similar research was carried out in Ireland the stats would be just as bad. All the big supermarkets now carry all sorts of garden chemicals which people carry out in the same bags as their groceries. Weeds are not hoed on a sunny day anymore they are sprayed with weedkillers. The giveaway brown strip of grass along the road is a the telltale sign of  such activity.

On a recent sunny Sunday I was shocked to see a guy with a knapsack sprayer spraying his yard. Shocked because he was wearing no mask or protective clothing …and must shocking of all…a child of about 4 years was walking along beside him as he sprayed. No protection either of course.

Have people lost touch with Nature altogether I wonder? Do people not realise they are poisoning their land…themselves and their families and of course our struggling insects too.

The Earth cannot continue to tolerate what we are doing. It is starting to fight back.   Floods…melting ice caps…dying bees…all a result of human stupidity.

We must wake up and smell the flowers…before it’s too late.

It’s such a joy to go into our garden and hear the buzz of the bees…the song of the birds…the sight of insects flitting about.

Yes! We have daisies in the lawn. I love them!

 

As Solstice approaches…

17 Jun

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As the longest day approaches everything in Nature is full of vitality and bursting with energy. The weather is good… not as hot as our recent heatwave which suits me…and probably most Irish people better. I don’t think we are genetically disposed to very hot weather…most of us wilt when it gets above 23 or 24c.

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Cherries are starting to swell on the trees. It’s looking good for Apple and Plum harvests too…and of course the Blackcurrants never let us down. Even in the recent bad Summers the Blackcurrants came up trumps. The seem to like the conditions here in the north-west. Lots of freezing, jamming and chutney making to be done later it seems.

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In the polytunnel the first bed is made.

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The first thing to be planted was a Mexican Midget tomato. It already has flowers so shouldn’t be too long before we get lovely little sweet Tomatoes here. Several varieties of Lettuce, Basil, Rocket, Chervil and Dill were planted plus 3 more Tomato plants. That’s that bed full…time to get another one constructed.

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In the front garden Guelder Rose (Viburnum opulus)  is in flower beside the pond. Not one of my favourite shrubs but I can’t see us taking it out either…but then again maybe we will. Andy isn’t a big fan of it either.

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Within the pond the Water Lily has been teasing us for days with it’s semi-open blooms.

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Under the shelter of the verandah  the Clematis has burst into flower.  Not the dark purple I’d like but still quite pretty. It’s one of the plants the previous owners planted here. Maybe I will replace it in the Winter with Clematis jackmanii my absolute favourite Clematis.

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On the lane the Hawthorn flowers are just going over. Soon they will make little Haws which will light up the hedgerows with their vibrant red come Autumn.  The cycle of the year continues…as it always does.

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