Two Kilometres

That’s all we’re allowed during the Covid19 lockdown for ‘necessary exercise.’ But I have spent years now exploring the townlands around us and I like nothing better than to ramble out with my camera looking out for whatever comes my way, like Rossbrin Castle, above. Robert has done something similar this week – each of us with our own take on what life is like here right now.

From the top: Seven-spot Ladybird; Peacock Butterfly; Mr Bull and his two cows observing social distancing

I’ve learned so much this way about the natural world. A lot of it has ended up as blog posts on Roaringwater Journal or as entries on my Wildflowers of West Cork Facebook Page.

From the top: Herb Robert, Greater Stitchwort and Ground-ivy

There is archaeology and history all around us too, from a wedge tomb to a tower house, from mining complexes to ring forts and standing stones.

From the top: a ruined farmstead bears witness to population decline; Mount Gabriel looms over a pastoral scene; the old gate once led into a mine

We miss our friends, The Chat in Budds, our Irish lessons and conversation group, the Book Club and Art House Cinema and Talks at the Vaults and all the other events that get us out into the community and keep us curious and learning. We miss our long drives, our Holy Well and Stone Circle hunting trips – and our lattes!

From the top: Tadpoles; Ivy-leaved Toadflax on an old stone wall

But these are small, first world, complaints and we do know how privileged we are to be well, to be able to buy groceries online, not to have small children to entertain and educate at home, and most of all to live in such incredible surroundings. It’s a good reminder not to take those privileges for granted.

I think I have barn envy

Meanwhile, we want to support everyone’s efforts to flatten the curve and we are in awe of the selfless dedication of so many people and desperately sympathetic to those who have lost income. The best way we know to do this is to be cooperative and follow the rules. And that’s what we are doing, mostly staying at home and when we go out keeping our walks to a 2km radius.

From the top: Contrasting textures – bark and barn; Distant view of Castle Island with the remaining castle wall and the abandoned farm houses

So herewith is a selection of what we’ve seen in the past few days as we walk several different 2km routes that present themselves from our front gate. Many of the wildflowers are tiny and only lots of practice enables me to spot them in the verges or the fields.

From the top: Dandelions and Celandine; Common Mouse-ear; Thrift and Scurvygrass 

It seems like spring has been slow to come this year although when I look back at previous years I see much the same assemblage of flowers for late March and early April. But beyond a golden day or two, it hasn’t warmed up yet so there is no sense of spring suddenly ‘bustin’ out all over’. Nevertheless the hedgebanks are slowly coming to life and I see something new every day.

From the top: Wild Strawberry; Three-cornered Garlic (AKA Three-cornered Leek); Scarlet Pimpernel; Primrose

The rock faces at my favourite bog soak are always fascinating, although you have to lie flat with your face an inch from the surface to really grasp the miniature world that teems on its surface. I’m still determined to improve my knowledge of lichen and mosses, but I can’t pretend I’ve advanced much.

From the top: Devil’s Matchstick, a type of Cladonia lichen: I don’t know

How are you all doing out there? Leave a comment and let us know – we want all our dear readers to stay safe and well!


22 thoughts

  1. I so enjoy your blog posts! I travel to Ireland yearly as an artist for an exhibition and to obtain more creative inspiration and family information. With things as they are this year I am not sure I will make it which is desperately sad for me. Keep the beautiful posts coming from you and your husband! Margaret Dukeman


  2. I could live with these 2Km walks my local park is becoming very difficult to endure even the dog is complaining !


  3. Lovely photos, as ever! I believe you may have the best 2k radius ever.
    I have been wondering how you are surviving without the lattes, though.
    Stay safe and well, and thanks for the lovely views into your world.


  4. Hi Finola, I really enjoyed the picture of the Bull and his two cows observing social distancing, it brought a smile to my face.
    Also always enjoy all the beautiful wild flowers you have in your area.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Finally able to comment! How lovely everywhere us looking, it’s the small details as well as the wide views and the colours. I’d love to walk down there with you, missing you both.


  6. Beautiful images. Good to see how the Spring is changing the countryside at home while we observe Autumn slowly unfolding here in lockdown on the other side of the world. We wonder what the season will be when we are finally able to return home.


  7. Lovely sunny pics to enjoy on a pretty dismal evening here. Was planning a walk myself but rain stopped play ! – thank you for a very colourful vicarious one !

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I love your detail photographs and the naming of the different plants. The other wider landscapes with interesting landmarks are also excellent. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Thank you for this, it’s a real treat every weekend especially your wonderful photos and now I know that it’s celandine growing in my lawn.

    Liked by 1 person

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