Tuesday, 23 June 2015

The Magic of the Meadow

I was delighted to take some new promotional shots of Mary White, Director of Blackstairs Ecotrails and also my Mum! Together as a family we run Blackstairs Ecotrails, an ecotourism business in the heart of the Blackstairs Mountains in South County Carlow. It's a magical place to explore and it was such a special place to grow up in. The Old Rectory and a newly converted barn act as our base from where we lead guided hikes, workshops on foraging and wild food, herbal remedies and our annual wild food summer school in September.

We hope to inspire people to explore their own environment and begin to see the beauty that is all around us. One place our visitors always love to explore in summer is the wildflower meadow beside the house. We recently planted it with young oak trees and have let nature take over the rest. The wildflowers that have appeared are incredibly beautiful. 

I chose the meadow to photograph Mum as the sun set and she picked some Oxeye Daisies for the kitchen table. I wanted to capture the magical feeling of walking through a wildflower meadow, knee deep in grasses and poppies, buttercups and daisies. It reminds me of running through this same meadow as a child, hiding from the world, searching for fairies and making dens in the hot scented grass.  I was hoping to capture some of this childlike happiness with these photos and I hope perhaps I did. If you find somewhere like this,  run your hand through the grasses, breathe deeply and feel your spirit soar. It's a kind of magic!

Friday, 15 May 2015

Snow in Spring

The blossom is sighing on the wild cherry. Petals flutter to earth, gently, like snow. Quietly beautiful in the hedgerow, this old cherry brings joy every Spring.  If you look closely, the white against green looks like a deep oil painting, crafted with perspective and unique colour. So beautiful, so rich, so wild.

 It brings to mind the poem by A.E. Housman:

LOVELIEST of trees, the cherry now
Is hung with bloom along the bough,
And stands about the woodland ride
Wearing white for Eastertide.
Now, of my threescore years and ten,
Twenty will not come again,
And take from seventy springs a score,
It only leaves me fifty more.
And since to look at things in bloom
Fifty springs are little room,
About the woodlands I will go
To see the cherry hung with snow.

Monday, 20 April 2015

Behind The Reeds Lies A Whole New World

Behind the reeds, if you look closely, a secret world exists. Veiled by golden stalks, a swan glides serenely towards her mate. She looks at me curiously as if to say, "who are you and how did you find us?". We quietly acknowledge each other and she seems to give me permission to take her picture. The reeds sway, their feathery heads tickling the sky. Gold against blue seems impossible in April but the camera doesn't lie. Despite the sunshine, there's a chilly east wind and I continue on my walk, happy that I've had a glimpse of this secret, quiet world behind the reeds. It was a privilege to see. 


Saturday, 11 April 2015

Grey to Green

WAKE UP WAKE UP Spring is here! A few days of sunshine woke up a sleepy winter world this week. Grey is slowly changing to green.  Leaves are unfurling, buds are swelling, birds are singing. Verdant splashes dot the landscape. The time for grey is over. It will of course all pass again but for now, these little buds, these unfurling fiddles, the early leaves fill my heart with a certain joie de vivre. Sing with the birds! Spring has sprung and joy abounds. 

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Luck of a Raindrop

It's my first blog post of 2015 and after a winter which I've found colder and longer than most, I thought a post on rain might help to wash away those dark days and introduce us slowly to Spring. 

It's late March when I finally venture out with my camera. I've been meaning to start this blog for so long. It's been lurking at the back of my mind slowly forming itself in my subconscious and yet how to start? Where to start? I told myself I'd have time to start when I was on maternity leave. Well, as all new Mums will know, the first few months with a newborn are busier and more exhausting than any other job! Four months later and I am finally finding a little space, with a baby on my knee, tip tapping away on the keys, contemplating the world again. 

Raindrops glisten on the wild cherry blossom on this cold Spring day. They have been steadily falling for about an hour. The sun emerges briefly from behind a cloud and the blossom glows, bejeweled with fat, dripping drops. They wink at me before making their descent to earth, soaking into the ground, finding the roots.

I am filled with hope of all the things yet to come. Spring and it's primroses, followed by the bluebells and then of course the foxgloves, one of my favourite flowers. Everything has it's time and place in nature. This is my journey to find my place, to find inspiration and it has started with these raindrops.