As a child, I always associated aquariums with magic. There is certainly a mysterious quality to creatures who live underwater and it can be fascinating to see them up close and learn about their habits. Galway Atlantaquaria gave us our first opportunity to introduce our baby daughter to some of these creatures.
Our first family holiday - myself, hubs, our baby, and The Cliffs of Moher. Although the weather was rather grey and an edgy wind accompanied us, it seemed fitting as we breathed in the landscape, the sheer scale of the cliffs and their brooding, domineering presence. Tourists swarmed in all directions. Any time we paused to take a photo, a person appeared beside us.
I wanted to go to the sea, realised I hadn't been in almost a year. Why? I love the sea. I grew up with...
Lately, I realised that I haven't written a nature-related post for a long time. I'm going to blame this on pregnancy, rain, and less time with my husband at weekends . . . Firstly, pregnancy does not mix well with hills, beach-walking or any kind of rough terrain. I was doing really well, up until I reached around 32 weeks, then I experienced two bad colds, began to feel nauseous all over again and lost a bit of my fitness.
On a recent visit to my home town of Swansea, I tried to think of something a bit different to do. My husband and I were meeting a friend and the options were slightly limited, due to my pregnancy and the fact that I've been getting some pain on my right side. Suddenly, I remembered Plantasia in Parc Tawe - it's got insects, fish and animals, as well as lots of greenery and exotic blooms, doesn't take too long to walk around and also has a coffee shop.
It seems we have a friendly grasshopper, content to stretch out on our doorstep and chirp a greeting. Obviously, he doesn't realise his size puts him in great danger of being stepped on! He's so relaxed that my husband was able to take a very detailed close up of him.
I've been looking out for a certain kind of caterpillar, thinking of its presence as a sign; a prime indicator that autumn is here. The caterpillar I refer to is known as a 'Hairy Molly'. I think this is actually a slang term for the larvae of the fox moth, but don't quote me. I've just done a small bit of Intenet research and it can only be trusted so far!
Mahon Falls is a place I go to find peace. It is characterised by mountains, stubborn sheep (with horns like celtic knots), rushes, greenery, gushing water and pure air. Well, the air is usually pure. On this occasion a group of smokers gathered in front of our just parked car, obscuring the view and lending smoke to the fresh and clear atmosphere.
Before the storms, there was Dunmore East . . . This is what I shall tell myself when my country cottage is under siege from swirling gusts and whipping rain. Yes, I've read the weather forecast for the coming week and it doesn't look good. So today, I'll be reflecting on a fresh, but sunny afternoon, spent at the harbour in Dunmore East.