All around, the coral mountains, crumbling stone walls, lakes - a shade that borrows from sea, that could belong to somebody's eyes . . . These were my impressions of County Galway, as we journeyed towards Clifden, a town known for its extraordinary position, nestled between the foothills of the Twelve Bens and the magnificent Atlantic Ocean. The day was sleepy with heat, an atmosphere reflected in this island, furnished with sloping trees.
A flurry of butterflies awaits us, as we prepare to make the most of a rare blue sky. The weather has been stubbornly grey recently, so here is a chance to show my little girl that life can have a shine all of its own.
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!
I've been seeing wild rabbits everywhere, in people's gardens, at the side of the road, emerging from woodland. None of them have been white or have caused me to fall into a pit and hallicinate so I think I'm safe enough ;) .
I refuse to do 'The January Blues' this year. Not interested. Instead, I'm following a rainbow, not literally, of course. I know all that 'Wizard of Oz' stuff isn't real. But, in a murky month like January colours take on a greater significance.
When I was watching Springwatch a month ago little did I know that I would be one of the lucky few to spot a Pine Marten. The animal was featured on the programme and named as a rare and endangered species.
I hope I'm not going to jinx Waterford by saying this but we seem to have escaped the snow. That's not to say Jack Frost hasn't shaken us firmly by the numb hand. We did experience a gentle flurry yesterday, but it never looked close to delivering the full horror of a snowstorm.
Did you know that lambs can stampede? Neither did I until I went for a nature walk the other day and found myself observing...
If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you may have heard me mention my new family of three - the swallow chicks! Ok, so they're not quite mine, but as their nest is situated just a few feet from my door I have adopted the 'watchful aunty' role and I think we're beginning to bond!