Saturday, 29 June 2013

Dunluce Castle

After our visit to The Giant's Causeway and a well deserved rest, Imran, Zach and I went to visit Dunluce Castle which was only a short drive from our cottage.  It is built right on the cliff edge with a great view of the ocean.

 It started to rain as we were coming out of the castle so we changed out minds about exploring outside.
On the way home we decided on a fish and chips supper so called into Bushmills to see what we could find.  Three chips shops in such a small village. These two were opposite each other and we decided on "Flash in the Pan". Had to wait a while as they cooked them fresh as you ordered.

The rain started again just after we got back home. 

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Wild flowers of the Giant's Causeway

It is amazing how many different wild flowers grow among the rocks of the causeway.  There seems to be very little soil so they must be very hardy plants, especially with the harsh weather conditions of the northern Ireland coast.  Wherever there are flowers I am there with my camera.

Sea Campion

English Stonecrop. 

Don't know what this i yet but I will search. 

Kidney vetch

 A mixture of vetch, thrift and daisies

Spring Squill

A mixture of colours among the lichen covered rocks.  The pink flowers are thrift or sea pinks. 

Kidney vetch, daisies, spring squill, ribwort plantain and on the right the yellow bird's foot trefoil. 

Flower covered rocks looking out to sea. 

Friday, 21 June 2013

Day two of holiday in Ireland

After a good sleep we decided we would visit the Giant's Causeway.  Zach and I were ready first so we went a little walk round by the cottage to see what we could find. 

We could hear these rooks long before we spotted their rookery in a nearby tree.  They probably had young in their nests and were very vocal. 

Bluebells beside a small ruined cottage

In the nearby field we saw several cows with their calves.

also black and white lambs

Red campion in the hedge. 

When everybody was ready we went into the village of Bushmills to do a bit of shopping then we drove to the Causeway.  We were fitted with small receivers with earphones so we could listen to the guide telling us the history and folklore of the Causeway.  He pointed out lots of interesting things about the geology and the tales of the giant,  Finn McCool, who is supposed to be responsible for building it all

This is our guide, a local man who certainly had the gift of the gab, must have kissed the Blarney stone

Zachariah listening intently to the stories of Finn McCool.

This is Finn McCool's camel 

and up on the hillside you can see his dog looking out to sea. 

Zachariah still listening intently to the giant stories

 Here are Finn McCools chimneys. Not smoking the day we were there so he mustn't have been at home

It wasn't a very sunny day but we did see some blue sky and some rather large waves.  This is very dangerous part of the coastline and responsible for many shipwrecks.  On 26th October 1588 the Girona which was one of the ships of the Spanish Armada sank during a storm.   The wreck was discovered in 1967 and excavated in 1968 and 1969 and many personal possessions and jewellery belonging to the 1300 sailors and noblemen on board were recovered.  There were only 5 survivors of the wreck. 

Remarkable columns of rocks which were formed 60 million years ago following volcanic eruption followed by cooling of the larva which formed hard rock called basalt. The columns have regular sides of varying numbers. Most have 5 or 6 sides but there are some with 4, 7 and 8 sides

Lots of places to climb on them but a bit worrying while carrying a baby. She did make it down safely. 

 A wave from Imran and Zach

Time to come back, I didn't go out there I needed to rest my feet so waited with the pushchair.

Dad had to retrieve a rather wet wellie when Zach left it behind

I'm the king of the castle!

In the middle of this photo you can see Finn McCools organ pipes.  No recital today as he was not home. 

It was very crowded with people climbing everywhere.  This made it difficult to get photos with no people in them. 

A very tiring day again and we were relieved to see a bus waiting to take people back to the visitor centre so we didn't have to walk. It was up hill on the way back.  Once at the visitor centre we had lunch and shopped for souvenirs. We were pleased that we had taken the car and didn't have to walk back the the cottage as Zach and I were rather tired after all the walking.  My next post will be of the many wild flowers growing among the rocks of the Causeway. 

Monday, 17 June 2013

Last week in the garden.

I took a stroll round the garden with my camera last week but never got round to posting the pictures.  I will continue with holiday posts later and post garden pictures now.

 This is a small lawn at the front of my house by the garage which I have left to grow wild for maybe 6 or 7 years now.  It is developing into a lovely meadow. In early spring it has lots of primroses and some cowslips and now, as you can see, it is full of ox-eye daisies, buttercups and red clover.  There are many other flowers though which you can't see in the photo.

In the back garden by the pond these two clematis grow up the fence.  The pale pink one has finished flowering since I took this picture but the purple one is in full bloom.

Close up of the pink one taken last month

Close up of the purple one. 

Damselflies by the pond

 Large red damselflies Pyrrhosoma nymphula, female above and male below

This lovely clematis is creeping over the fence from my neighbour's garden. It gets more afternoon sun on my side.  

Below is a closeup of the clematis

This is rose garlic which in very invasive, as are lots of the flowers in my garden, fortunately this dies down completely after flowering.  The bees and butterflies love it. 

 Closeup of rose garlic. 

Below is one of my patches of London Pride. Always reminds me of my grandma as she had some in her garden.  Another one for the insects

Oriental poppy, it always rains when  this flowers so it never last very long as the flowers are quite fragile.

This is the dreaded lily beetle making a meal (its last) of the seed pod of the Snake Head Fritillary .

 And finally my garden helper Poppy, who chases round the garden like mad whenever I am out there.  She is eating the ornamental grass here.