Friday, May 8, 2015

A trip to the coast.

Although we are retired and in theory our time is our own, the reality is rather different, we always seem to have some on going project, normally connected to another project that needs the second project to be done before the first one can be completed. The current job is trellis making, the reason, more shelter belt and various climbing plants waiting to be planted out. OK, so we could go out and buy trellising, but most of it is made from rather weak wood and by making it ourselves we get the exact length we need, and it's more fun to make your own.
Knocknarea with Maeve's Howe on top.
However, this week we got our day off and a trip to the coast. We never really need an excuse to visit Co. Sligo, we lived there for many years and to us it is the most beautiful County in Ireland, it has an energy about it as well as a fantastic coast line,
Interesting, but we don't know what it was.
wonderful countryside and many interesting ruins, added to that we can collect  washed up seaweed and fresh mussels for a free lunch the next day, the mussels are for me, Simon no longer eats them after having pigged out on them when we lived close to the coast.
3 Dozen of the finest Sligo mussels.
It put him off for life, but I will eat as many as we collect, on this occasion three dozen. Cooked with white wine, cream and bouquet garni they are simple and quick to cook, I could have eaten another dozen with ease. We collected eight sacks of seaweed which will be added to the compost heap or possible used around the potatoes.
There was a big sea running which made the coastline even more spectacular.
I was very surprised to find Garlic Ransoms growing in the hedgerows, I have never associated them with the coast,
Pink and Bluebells.
there were lots of Spanish bluebells as well, no doubt dumped when they became too invasive in peoples gardens.
Remains of a castle possibly.
We also spotted at couple of ruins which we had not seen before, one was probably a castle or stately home, the other one remains a mystery.
The first Early Purple Orchids were just appearing,
and closer to home we saw a wonderful verge full of  Cowslips.
Strawberries are now ripening daily, the mange tout peas are in full bloom, the first pods have formed, there should be a picking by Sunday, and the asparagus has recovered from the cold spell that we had.
In the past week a further six trees have been planted,
Lough Key Crab.
two beautiful Crab apples which we bought from Knockvicar  Organic gardens, these trees are believed to have originated in the area and were propagated by Seed Savers in Co. Clare. We have  also planted an eight food high Horse chestnut, a red Hawthorne, another crab apple and one weeping silver birch, with all the other trees that we have planted in the past four years we should have created our mini woodland, mainly with indigenous Irish trees.

Next stop, Iceland.
A headland, Sligo

22 comments:

  1. Its funny how we develop food phobias from over indulgence. In my case it wasnt voluntary, i was a child living a self sufficient life on a farm. When something was in season, there was just too much of it on the plate. I wouldnt have dared refuse it but as an adult i do not eat beetroot or mushrooms. Thanks for sharing your day trips with us.

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    1. Lynda, I didn't know that about you; interesting!

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    2. I don't think I have any food phobias, there is very little I don't like, I once had food poisoning from mussels eaten in a restaurant in Spain but it has never put me off them.

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    3. Hey Anne, where exactly are you. My Irish employee is leaving this Sat for home. I told him to drop in an see my friend Anne and he has asked where? He asked me what i wanted him to bring back and i dont know what to ask for. I dont drink so whisky wont suit.

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    4. Hi Lynda, we live near a small town called Castlerea which is situated on the boarder of Galway, Mayo and Roscommon, we are in Co. Roscommon, just.
      Regarding a gift, things are rather expensive, but Bog Oak, Waterford Crystal, Belleek porcelain or Celtic Knot work are all very Irish. Ireland used to be renowned for it's linen but I don't think it's made here anymore. What part of Ireland is he from?

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    5. Ballingsloe (County Galway). I love listening to him tell of his family property which is a small farm where all the family live almost side by side. There is a big reunion and he is coming from OZ with his wife and two toddlers (Oh Lordy, flight nightmare) and sisters from US etc. I will miss his laughter for the next month. Hmm they all sound a bit expensive so how about i just ask him to bring home my favorite Irishman.

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    6. Ballinasloe is not far from us Lynda, about an hour. If he finds himself in our area he can give us a ring. I will leave a message on your blog.

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    7. Thanks for your contact details - i will pass on. PS. He works in factory as electrician, Im Commercial Manager. Tee Hee. We are all equal here anyway. Cheers - back to work.

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  2. What a wonderful coast, thank you for sharing

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    1. We love the Sligo coastline it is so rugged, Mayo is also beautiful,as is Donegal.

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  3. I don´t often remember to buy mussels, though they´re cheap. The red tide seems to be shutting down producton more and more often in the rías now.

    Such beautiful shots! Lovely, thank you.

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    1. I seem to remember mussels being maybe a couple of euro per kg in Spain, I used to buy them often, at that price why wouldn't you? Here they are much dearer but I like to get mine fresh from the sea, and for free is possible.
      Yes, the coastline is lovely, quite similar to Galicia and also to where Ian and Luis live.

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  4. I loved your description of projects. It's so true that one thing hinges on another in a seemingly endless chain!

    I'm guessing we all have those food experiences that put us off of eating certain foods. Mine used to be Swiss cheese, having gotten sick on it as a child for overindulging.

    Lovely photo tour, thank you for that.

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    1. The trellis is now finished and wood treated but rain stopped play so it's not erected yet. Tomorrow hopefully then the climbers can get planted.

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  5. What a lovely "day off".
    Ransoms are the only garlic that Tony (knowingly) eats.
    Can't remember the last time we came across wild cowslips. Councils and farmers alike are too fond of spraying here.
    I so applaud all your tree planting, if only more people with space would do it. Tree's are a big part of our survival. I have city friends with no land who sponsor tree planting. Tony uses crab's for cider making.
    Drooling over your mussels, lucky girl!
    Love finding old ruins (probably cos I am one, I like the company) usually peaceful calm places.
    We do have British bluebells in the managed woods close to us, such a rarity these days.
    Your coastline is stunning. Am determined to get there soon, but have to do a working trip to France first. I don't know where the time goes but I keep losing it.
    Sending very best wishes and hoping to meet one day.

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    1. We were very impressed last time we came to the UK, all the motor way verges coming from the airport were full of cowslips, primroses and bluebells, they must mow rather than spray. We when we were in Brittany we were so impressed with the roundabouts and verges, not a bedding plant in sight, all planted with native wild flowers, it was a delight to see. I afraid I conceder most farmers as irresponsible, they pay little attention to maintain their land or increase drainage they reach for the chemical solution for rush docks and bramble, they destroy hedgerows instead of maintaining them and then wonder why they have soil erosion.
      I find old ruins romantic, you see the way they were constructed, we often imagine the people that lived in them.
      Quite a few bluebell woods in our area if you know where to find them.
      We have lost count of just how many trees we have planted but we have now come to a halt, no more room unless we get rid of the donkeys which we wont as we need their manure. It would be good to meet up when you come over, I think we would have a lot to talk about.

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  6. What a lovely day out, and collecting fresh muscles too, delicious. I love them but I don't have them often. I loved seeing the verge of cowslips, one of my favourite flowers at this time of year.

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    1. So few cowslips around nowadays Jo especially around here, too much chemical fertilisers used.
      As we live an hour from the coast now we always try to combine seaweed collection with muscle gathering, I could easily give up meat if I could have fresh seafood every day.

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  7. Aren't the Lough Key crabs a gorgeous pink! I don't think I have ever seen an apple blossom of such intense colour. Nice pic of the ransoms too, another plant on our 'try to find' list!

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  8. The colour of the flowers and the red of the leaves was what drew our attention to the crabs Matt, we really didn't need more trees as we had bought four large trees only a few days beforehand, we just couldn't resist the colour.
    Garlic Ransoms, Derreen woods, known as the Knockvicar bluebell woods have them, the woods are looking beautiful now, Forest park in Boyle also have them, and closest to us are the woods attached to Clonalis House, take the road from town as though you were coming to us, just over the Suck river bridge on the right you will see them there, very close to the edge of the woodland. I think we have also seen some in the woods around Lough Lynn house.

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  9. Great photographs. I have never visited Sligo. Kerry, Clare and Cork are the counties I have most visited here in Ireland.

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  10. Thanks Dave, it helps having such a photogenic coast to capture.

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