Monday, May 18, 2015

A walk in the woods.

Last week we managed to play hooky again, away from the daily work load of maintaining our life style.
This time it was a trip to the Bluebell Woods in Knockvicar. The correct name for this woodland is Derreen Woods but is always referred to as the Bluebell Woods, reputed to be the most photographed woods in the area.
Although it was midweek there were over a dozen cars parked up, all with local registrations.
A convenient natural seat.
 It was a beautiful afternoon, sunny and dry which is somewhat a miracle, this month we seemed to have rain just about every day so far.
The woodlands covers a large area which leads down to a lake. It was a carpet of blue, and the perfume was fantastic.
Ferns are beginning to unfurl.
Ferns were just coming into leaf and the forest floor is covered with Beech seedlings, enough to start a dozen new woodlands. There were also primroses which seem to be having an extended season, violets
Wild Arum.
and wild Arum was just making an appearance.
Garlic Ramsons.
It is also a good place to see wild garlic and earlier in the spring, wood anemones.
We had hoped that we might see Red Squirrels as we have in the past, this area has a good population of them, but we failed on this occasion. The only sound was that of bird song and the fresh green leafs rustling in a light breeze. It was a lovely afternoons trip, people clearly respect this woodland, they keep to the forest pathways, they do not pick the flowers and leave no litter behind them. Everyone we met was armed with a camera.
One of our lemons, so juicy and sweet. 
Despite the unseasonable weather the garden and tunnel are producing well,
Todays pickings.
dinner seems to be based around what ever is ready for picking. We are now harvesting a pound of Strawberries every other day, the rhubarb is growing like a weed and the spinach keeps on coming, along with masses of lettuce and watercress.
Polemonium, bees love this plant
The first Papaver.
The early summer flowers are just starting to bloom, soon the garden will be full of colour again, even the roses are trying to bloom.
A double flowered Campion.
Euphorbia, Fireglow.
Hardy Geranium, Mourning Widow.
An Alpine Aquilegia.
Japanese Quince. 
Calendula, this has been blooming outside all winter.
The Hubbard  chicks are now nearly four weeks old and are now outside in a safe run.
They have grown well and now weigh 1.5 lb average. When they are six weeks they will have a large ranging area and will no longer require heat at night, at the moment they still need a little heat, this is provided by a  60watt bulb in their house. Hubbard birds are a slow growing table bird, they will reach the desired weight at around eighty four days, unlike the quick grown birds which fill the supermarkets, these birds are slaughtered at less than forty days old, fed exclusively on high protein ration and never see the light of day, never mind having a chance to graze on grass. No wonder they taste of nothing, but they are cheap and that is what the supermarkets demand, the profit does not go to the farmer, they are lucky to see a return of 8cents a bird, this seems totally wrong to me when they take all the risks and if something does go wrong and they lose a flock they receive not a cent in compensation.  

16 comments:

  1. Surely those photos are not real. Its a place of magic. You are so lucky for it to be within a short trip away. Everything is just so beautiful. I bet it makes you smile from ear to ear.

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    1. Many years ago we had an Israeli wwoofer staying with us at this time of year, we took her to the bluebell woods, she was totally lost for words, she had never seen or smelt anything so wonderful , we will always remember that day , the look of total disbelief on her face. Yes, it is a magical place, we love those woods.

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  2. The bluebell woods look amazing, we don't hVe any large bluebells woods here. Hopefully my little wood will be blanketed with them once the trees get established. I'd love to see photos of your straw hut and stone circles in a post please

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  3. Will post more photos once the lime rendering is completed. We bought a pot of bluebells last Sunday at a table sale, hopefully these will be the start of our bluebell carpet.

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  4. Beautiful. I love a woodland walk but it's even better when the bluebells are blooming. I'm really impressed with your harvests, it seems so early to be lifting potatoes and picking strawberries, that tunnel work brilliantly for you.

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    1. We have to keep at it Jo, it's not easy especially when you get a frost so late in May!

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  5. Home produced food tastes far nicer than bought food like cheap supermarket chickens.

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  6. Oh my goodness, your woods look like an enchanted forest! All good photos, reallly. Home grown food is such a joy.

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    1. We love that woodland it is enchanted!

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  7. Nice pics and 'Hurrah' to home grown lemons from the 'Wesht'!

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    1. Lots of fruit forming for next year, lets hope we can give it enough light during the winter.

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  8. those woods ae stunning, you can see why they are the most photographed, glad you had good weather for the day of hooky! flowers are beautiful. A pound of strawberries every other day?! take me there! xxx

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    1. The strawberries keep on coming, might have enough to make jam soon.

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  9. Absolutely beautiful Anne! I'm afraid I have lost a bit of my growing mojo at the moment, but looking at your produce is inspiring :) Don't think I could manage lemons though!

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  10. The weather has been awful but things are still growing well. The lemon tree has had lots of blossom and there are now lots of tiny lemons formed, it remains to be seen if we can keep it warm and light enough during the winter.

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