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.
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.
I've been enjoying a peaceful and reflective Easter, filled with walks and wildlife. It started with the sun on Good Friday, when hubs and I decided to revisit a favourite walk, last undertaken in May of 2012.
Right now, I have a stunning view from my window. The tree across the road is wearing a badge of blossom. It looks like a wedding guest, proud to show off some fresh blooms for the occasion.
If you're a regular reader, you'll know that hubs and I are enthusiastic seaside explorers. We're out in all weathers, just waiting for the thrill of sand underfoot and waves on the horizon. Our latest adventure took place in Stradbally, County Waterford.
I went down to the woods and sure enough, a big surprise awaited me. My usual path to the stream (and on to the frogspawn, I delight in spotting every year) was blocked by a host of fallen trees.
I'm missing Swansea this week; the place, the feel, my family and friends back home. I enjoy life in Ireland but sometimes I just get this ache . . . It's probably because it's over four months since my last visit.
I've been back to Killonerry, reflecting, relaxing and spotting the sights of summer. As I let my mind wander a trio of dogs came into sight, a lean and rangy lurcher, a cheeky black terrier and a bouncy, sandy-coloured Alsation cross.
'The apple tree throws down its dead and we kneel, fools for its blackened, overripe flesh.'