Tag Archives: Solstice

Summer days.

16 Jun

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Summer’s here and how lovely it is. Lots of Strawberries from the polytunnel…eaten with sourdough pancakes and chocolate sauce for breakfast.

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Lots of Broad Beans from Autumn sown seeds in the polytunnel. This was from only a few plants. Next crop of these will be outdoors as they take up valuable space under cover for far too long.

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A very sociable time podding them round the kitchen table…with a nice cup of tea of course. The mug with the B is mine and the hands are my Mothers. She is visiting with us at the moment to celebrate her birthday. She was 78 on Saturday.

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Everything in the garden and indeed the whole countryside is looking very lush right now. Perfection in Nature as we head towards Solstice and the longest day.

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Speaking of perfection…isn’t the blue of this Iris just perfection itself. Love this colour! So vibrant!

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Clematis Annabel flowers near the back door.

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This Tree Lupin is much loved by the bees. I’m chuffed with this as it’s one I grew from a seed. They do grow fast once they get going.

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Myself and the Bees are also fond of this tall Valerian which self seeds everywhere. It has a lovely subtle sweet scent. Don’t know if it has the same herbal properties as the lower growing Valerian…anyone out there know?

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As we bask in the warm embrace of Summer there’s much to do. Long days working outdoors…growing,  preserving and of course eating Nature’s bounty. Time too to enjoy the wonder and beauty of it all…

The Longest Night.

21 Dec

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It seems appropriate somehow that the weather is grey, wet and windy as we reach the Solstice. Still fairly mild but the wind and rain do not encourage outdoor activity. A time for being indoors and enjoying the seasonal preparations. Outings to town and the shopping frenzy that happens there make me happy to retreat to the quiet of the countryside. There is a lovely stillness in the air here this morning…it’s as if Nature is taking a deep breath.

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Yesterday we brought in and decorated our potted Christmas Tree. We have had this for three years now. We hope to cut a conifer that needs to go from the garden as a big tree for the porch. I just love decorating a tree with all the baubles I’ve collected over the years. I especially love the lights. At this time of the longest night I think we are all so longing for the return of the light that these twinkling lights and the candles we are so fond of  help fill that need for now.

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I read a lovely quote yesterday that said “Without the darkness we would not see the Stars.”  We need this period of darkness to recoup our energies…spend time with friends and family…to just be.  Soon enough we will feel the need to  get our hands in the soil and once again plant the seeds and tend the crops.  Beneath the surface the first stirrings are already taking place. It won’t be long until the first Snowdrops appear.

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For now let us celebrate the year just gone…look forward to the new year…celebrate the goodness we encounter. Sure enough we will have dark days too…for that is the pattern of life. But always remember…

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out of the darkness there will come light.

Happy Solstice to each and every one who visits here!

 

The Longest Day.

21 Jun

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Happy Solstice to all who stop here. To celebrate the day that’s in it I would like to share a poem sent by my friend June.

It’s written by Jehanne Mehta.

SUNFIRE

To visit the sunfire in this land

We carry a torch, we carry a brand.

To kindle the sunfire in all hearts

We offer our song, we offer our dance.

When swirling flames with red tongues fly

And grey smoke billows to the sky.

What hold us back shall burn away

In the singing sunfire of misdsummer’s day.

This poems reminds me of  the bonfires that are lit here in north-west Ireland on June 23rd. Called St. John’s night here it has been adapted of course from the Solstice festivities of Pagan times. This year it will be magic as it is also the night of the supermoon. The closest the Moon will be to the Earth this year. Astronomers say the Moon will look 14% larger and 30% brighter than usual. Tides will also be higher.

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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