Sunday, October 30, 2016

Out and about in Autumn.

This afternoon there was this beautiful rainbow.
We need little excuse to take day trips out, especially if it's around the West Coast of Ireland. Simon's  sister was over from Canada so it was a good enough excuse to stop work in the garden and take some time out.
Walled remains of a domestic enclosure.
 One of the trips was to the Ceide fields in North Mayo.
Wall excavation.

Bog pine, carbon dated to 4thousand 3hundred years old.
Believed to be the oldest known field system in the world, the site covers around two hundred ha. and dates back  three thousand five hundred years. Each homestead was around two ha. comprising of small stoned enclosures.
View from the top of the Ceide fields.

The climate was around two degrees warmer than it is now, which made farming possible in such and exposed area.
One of the other trips was to beautiful Sligo,
taking in Mullaghmore 
and Classiebawn Castle, once owned by Lord Palmerston.
Raghly harbour.
Then on to Raghly harbour, which once was as important as Killebegs for fishing. We know all the places well but always manage to see something new, this time we spotted another castle,
Ard Tarmon Castle, not the best view.
Ard Tarmon castle was built in 1648 by the Gore family, it burnt down in the early eighteenth century so the moved just up the road to another of their properties, Lissadell.  Ard Tarmon  remained a burnt out shell until the 1980's when it was bought by a German family who have restored it to it's former glory. It is now luxury self catering apartments.
Things are now back to normal so work continues. The new tunnel is finished, there are eight raised beds, one I'm hoping will be for flower growing, and one is earmarked  for fruit.
Garlic is up.

Onions are shooting.
The garlic and onions that were planted little over a week ago are all showing growth, so are weeds!
Not much remains to be done in that tunnel, but the older one needs a good sort out, I have made a start with the strawberry plants, removing suckers and  this years leaves.
In a weeks time the Hubbard birds will be ready for slaughter.   We had been taking our birds to a processer who did a great job at a reasonable price, unfortunately he has decided he has quite enough work to do with his own birds. We know of another processor  just a few miles down the road from us  but he is charging far too much so we are  back to doing our own processing.
Plucking machine, hopefully it will make life a little easier.
Plucking a bird is quite  hard work, doing eighteen is very hard work so we have invested in a plucking machine and a Baby Burco for scalding the birds before plucking, hopefully this will make the work a little easier.
The  Autumn colours have been brilliant this year,
one of our beech trees has all different colours
and the Mahonia also has some great colour coming, it will soon be in flower,  there are lots of flower spikes waiting to burst out.
Freddie relaxing.


  1. Again lovely photos. Interesting bog tree.

    1. Thanks B.G The bog pine has always fascinated me, you normally only hear about bog oak.

  2. Gorgeous photos! The rainbow is beautiful ♥

    1. Thanks Summer, we don't normally manage to get a good shot of a rainbow, by the time we get the camera it has faded, this time we struck lucky.

  3. That's interesting about the plucking-machine. I wouldn't have thought they would be available for small-scale use. I hope it works well!

    1. I hope it works well as well Mark, it cost enough, but at least it is Italian and they normally make good stuff. You would be surprised how much is available for the smallholder Mark, it's surprising just how many people do produce their own poultry for the table as we found out from the hatchery.

  4. Will be interested to see how the plucking gadget fares. I have heard of them but heard ABOUT them that they are designed to do 'commercial' birds - ie those barely feathered, fluffy, overgrown baby chicks that pass as commercial broilers in the supermarket food chain. Be interesting to see how it copes with our fully feathered free rangers. I will watch your next few posts with extra interest!

    1. Well this plucker is meant for the smallholder, not for commercial growers, I think that the temperature of the water is very important, get that temperature right and any bird should be easy to pluck. We will find out how good it is in the next couple of days.

  5. Wow, you have been busy, looks like some great trips. The bog tree is so impressive. Beautiful rainbow and autumnal snaps. I like the one of Freddie too, what a poser! xxx

    1. I though we had taken you to the Ceide fields, maybe next year. Yes Freddie is a bit of a poser.

    2. We went but the centre was just closing as we got there. We did see the cliffs though x