Hello one and all, this is Róisín, Dara’s mum and I’ve been pleaded upon to write the next instalment for 30 Days Wild. I absolutely love how Dara is engaging. motivating and spurring us all on – it’s a real family affair and it feels really very special to be part of his challenge. I really admire the individual bloggers who are single-handedly taking the challenge, but since we spend a lot of time outdoors, or for the kids, at school, it does feel like a mammoth task for Dara to complete on his own.
Today, was spent much the same as the last few days, dodging showers and appreciating the doorstep beauty Fermanagh has to offer. The morning was mostly taken up with our Garden Bioblitz (my partner Paul is going to write about this tomorrow!), we found some cool species and we admired the many fledgling families of birds in our garden. As the late afternoon brought decreasing amounts of grey cloud and the promise of blue, we set out with our lovely rescue greyhound Rosie for a walk around our favourite community garden space and the public walking path; which borders the land of a very lovely farmer we know in Bellanaleck (about 7 min drive from where we live). The land here although intensively farmed in some areas, has the most glorious loughside meadows, full of Flag Iris, Ragged Robin, Cuckoo Flower, Stalked Buttercup, Red and White Clover and goodness know what else – if you got down close enough to look. Such a wonderful sight – colours blending and merging like a Monet painting brought to life.
Meadows are such wonderful spaces and next week we’ll (hopefully) be embarking on a Magnificent Meadows road-trip – to discover and explore the many different meadows managed by Ulster Wildlife. We have been massive supporters of this project over the last couple of years and it has been joyful to see it grow and bloom with every passing year. The colours of a meadow bring all the senses alive and because this one is situated beside the beautiful Lough Erne (as so many of most wild and wonderful places are) they are bordered by reed beds. The song emanating upon us like orchestral symphonies; the deep craking sounds of the Sedge Warbler, the burbling Reed Bunting, the bombastic Blackbird and the bubbly squeaks of Swallow and House Martin. The Meadow Pipit struggles to be heard but if the ears atune you hear its gently skipping end notes piercing the collective chorus. At some point each bird may make itself known, if you watch and wait.
We also had the wonderful privilege and pleasure of seeing a Pied Wagtail and fledglings having a family gathering on the path and the field. What beautiful and charismatic little bundles they are. They certainly put a huge smile on our faces.
There was an abundance of life at every twist and turn and as the sun came out there were a great many walkers on the path enjoying the evening air. We watched a resting Common Blue Damselfy among the grasses, its stunning gossamer wings like a silken cloak.
What a sublime walk we had, the balmy air, the leftover dewdrops of earlier rain and the very obliging wildlife which seemed to stay still for us to marvel and gaze at.
Dara puts many of us to shame with his writing but I hope you enjoyed my humble offering for today’s blog. I’d also like to say (while I can), a huge thank you to everyone for the support and encouragement you, his readers, have given him. It is welcomingly heart-warming to see his confidence and esteem blossom, so too has his knowledge broadened because he wants so much to learn and then share his knowledge with others. He is certainly a bold knight on a quest and I think we can all agree that he is doing a magnificent job. To many of those who have asked (or wondered) I absolutely do not help him – encourage, influence and the odd time make some grammar suggestions, yes, absolutely. When Dara was much younger we yearned for people to experience his words and knowledge in the way we had the wonder of seeing. Later, we just felt privileged to be the chosen ones to learn from his wisdom, humility and depth of feeling and curiosity. It is has been enchanting and moving to see how now, he can share with you, his many gifts.
Thank you so much for reading