Five years ago I wrote a piece about the incredible biodiversity that flourished along the Caol Stream, right in the middle of Skibbereen. At the time, the flood relief project was underway, and it wasn’t totally clear how much clearance of the vegetation would take place. I was optimistic, given the resilience of nature, that once things settled down, the wildflowers would once again creep in to populate the banks of the stream.
I am no longer optimistic that this will happen anytime soon, if at all. The photo above shows you what the same area is like now. So this post is an elegy for the missed opportunity that this project represented – the opportunity to balance the needs of the people of Skibbereen not to be flooded repeatedly, with the need to conserve our biodiversity.
Please click on this link to see the riches we have lost:
One of our goals in writing Roaringwater Journal is to say – Look what we have here! And one of the things we have in abundance in West Cork is a flourishing wildflower population. There is nothing so good for the soul as wandering our boreens and enjoying our amazing floral heritage. This little movie will show you what I mean, although it’s only a tiny selection of the richness.
Like Lying in the Grass, all the flowers are native, and all photographed within the last two or three weeks in West Cork – that is, late June and early July, 2021. Both posts are a testament to our biodiversity – always under threat. The music is the same, too – Turas go Tír na nÓg by the incomparable Michaeál O’Suilleabháin from his album, Templum, available here.
Here’s the list of all the flowers in the video:
Foxglove – title slide +2
Ragged Robin X2
Sheep’s-bit (the blue one) X3
Oxeye Daisy and Common Vetch
Cat’s-ear, Oxeye Daisy, Bedstraw
Tutsan (a type of St John’s-wort) X3
Tufted Vetch (blue) and Meadow Vetchling (yellow)
Tufted Vetch X2
Hedge Woundwort X2
Purple Loosestrife X2
Foxglove and Meadowsweet
Wild Strawberry (consumed after photograph taken)
Upright Hedge-parsley X2
Hedge Bindweed (white)
Field Bindweed (pink and white)
Common Centaury X2
Bell Heather X2
Spear Thistle and Fuchsia (Fuchsia is not native) X2
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