WILD THINGS

corona times

I heard recently of a number of Covid-19 cases in this area, within a couple of kilometers of my home. Mostly they are kept hush, hush, until it eventually leaks out. It really is uncomfortably close.  An employee of the shop that delivers my groceries was infected.  That’s very close!  Best not to dwell on it, but it’s a fact to be aware of.

DSC_2702 bee and flower I’m still continuing with exploring around the garden for subjects to photograph, in the absence of opportunities to go out and about on the beaches and cliffs etc., due to the Covid-19 restrictions.  These wild yellow rapeseed flowers are so attractive to bees that I happily encourage it in the garden. Currently there are apparently several varieties of bees around it.DSC_2701 bee and flower

 

DSC_2703 bee and flower

 

DSC_2704 bee and flower

 

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DSC_2730 bee and blossom

The bee in the picture below looks different from the usual bee visitors.

DSC_2731 beeI just love these fellows with their fancy hats below, ribwort plantain, they are called. They commonly grow wild all over the country, as far as I know. I would be delighted if someone could tell me their name.  As kids, we used to play a game with these, each child holding one by the stalk and trying to bash hell out of the head of the other’s to knock the head off.  At the time it never occurred to me that they were so pretty.

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DSC_2722 butterflyThis poor butterfly appears to have had a lucky escape from some pair of claws or jaws, I think.

DSC_2660 bluebells

Above are wild bluebells by the roadside outside my home.

DSC_2746 insect in apple blossom

I don’t have a clue what type of insect is on the apple blossom above and below, it’s possibly some type of bee mimicking fly.

DSC_2747 apple blossom with insect

 

DSC_2749 insect in buttercup

Buttercup with insect above. Below is some skinny type of fly, like a gnat, on a red currant bush.

DSC_2754 insect on red currant bush

 

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Wild primroses above.

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Wild daisies colonising the rockery, choking out a delicate campanula. I’ve left it for now, being such a pretty flower.

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Captured through the double glazed window. Not an ideal method for wildlife photography, but good to record the images of the birds on the patio feeder.

 

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Below is another recording of garden birdsong.  The picture brightens when you click it. The purpose of the video is to play the sounds of birdsong in the garden. You can see the Atlantic Ocean in the distance, yet with a northerly wind the sound of the incoming waves, normally nice to hear, makes a louder hiss than desirable on these recordings. I’m surprised at just how sensitive the camera recorder is.

And just to end this post I would just like to mention that I saw my first swallow of the year today! It’a great to see them return.

STAY SAFE!

 

BLOSSOMS, BIRDS AND BEES

corona times

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I’m continuing to search for inspiration in my own garden, while under restrictions imposed because of Covid-19. The apple trees are breaking into blossom and they look so gorgeous! This year they have a different significance. These photos will always remind me of the time I was confined to my home for fear of catching or spreading the dangerous corona virus. I never thought I would be prevented from walking on the beaches, but it has happened. Some of the beaches were getting too busy for safety, so they were closed.

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The weather has been just wonderful, most of the time, which makes it so much more bearable to be confined and out in the garden.

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I look forward to the apples. No sign of a blossom on the other fruit trees – cherries, plums and pears; but the apples trees are developing nicely.

Below is a video recording of birdsong at sunset. This one is a bit of a cacophony of sounds, from grasshoppers or crickets (or both), to various birds all chirruping together, some cattle in the distance, and all blurred by the white noise of the sea, which seemed particularly noisy on this occasion for some reason. One day I may get up and make a dawn chorus recording – but to be honest, it’s rare for me to be such an early bird.

This is for those of you who are confined to apartments, and who might be missing the sounds of nature.

STAY WELL FOLKS!

STILL PASSING TIME…

corona times

I’m losing track of time, but since my last post on this topic the restrictions have tightened and I’m limited to staying around my house.  So, I am trying to find subjects in my garden and very close by. No more cliff or beach walks, and another three weeks minimum of this has recently been announced. 

A local covid-19 case was diagnosed recently, a mile or two from here, with a holiday home visitor contact, I believe. This was the first I know of on the peninsula. It illustrates the importance of staying put and not travelling to holiday homes, running the risk of bringing the virus with you. Most people are observing this advice, but some do not.

The good news is that our government has announced a reduction in transmission rate of the virus and it’s now down to one or less than one per infected case, which mean the restrictions are working. The total number of cases in Ireland is 13,271, with 486 deaths.

I’m trying to get on with some painting; I procrastinate a lot, but it’s hard when the weather is so nice – I prefer to be in the garden topping up my vitamin D and doing a few jobs outside, in this wild unruly space, where the birds are happy and unfortunately so too are the brambles, rushes, rampant yellow iris, montbretia and fast growing indestructive willow. I’m so glad the japanese knotweed hasn’t found its way down here yet, although it’s not too far away! Any ambitions I might have about growing pretty wildflowers are fairly swamped by the over aggressive growth of these highly invasive species, which refuse to be controlled, so far.

I have however managed to complete some paintings; here is one of them. It shows the Tiaracht Island, one of the Blasket Island group, viewed from Clogher on the Dingle Peninsula. It’s an oil painting on canvas, 70 x 50 cms.

Tiaracht

Sunsets still happen, of course, although they have different levels of beauty.  I’ve previously captured and posted several from outside my home. Here are some recents.

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DSC_2633 Emlagh Sunset

 

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Above is Sybil Head, and I like to remind people that this was a location of the Star Wars movie The Last Jedi. The set, a replica of the ancient stone beehives on Skellig Michael, was placed on top of this headland for the entire summer during that filming.

DSC_2635 Three Sisters from Emlagh

 

Above and below you can see the Three Sisters, iconic images of the Dingle Peninsula. Here they are at sunset and in bright daylight.

DSC_2511 The Three Sisters from Emlagh-

 

Below is a photo of the recent pink moon – not looking so pink here – just a tinge, perhaps. It was covered with clouds within seconds after this. I barely had time to grab this.  Atlantic clouds! It was clear over the rest of the country

DSC_2567 emlagh moon

 

 

Like thousands of others at this time the birds are attracting my attention. There was a newcomer to the garden feeder recently; I’m still trying to discover whether he is a redpoll or a linnet.

I decided to have a  bit of fun recording myself playing some tunes with my flute along with the birdsong in the garden. The birds don’t always perform to order, and you have to take whatever type is active at the time, but there is usually some kind of peeping and chirruping. At first I tried sound files only, not wishing to video myself playing, but WordPress didn’t accept those files, so I had to start all over again using  video, which was difficult in terms of where to place the phone to get some kind of half pleasing image on it. The result shows an upside down image and the cold breeze did nothing for the tone or the tuning of my concert flute, but it was only for fun. I’d never have thought of doing it were it not for Covid-19. 

I tried a couple of bird related slow airs, here is The Lark in the Clear Air .

When you click on it the image it seem to right itself.  Don’t know why it won’t stay upright then! But the purpose of the exercise was really just to record the sound.

 

I consider myself lucky to have a peaceful environment and a good outdoor space in which to take some exercise and fresh air. It must be so hard for some people who have less comfortable surroundings in which to be confined, especially if they are trying to keep children entertained, or deal with stress and conflict –  even domestic violence.  I really feel for them, and especially those who are confined to apartments.  I’m not religious so I don’t pray, but I sincerely wish the best for everyone in these very unusual and (for some people) very difficult times. KEEP SAFE, all of you!