Monday, October 29, 2012

Lecale - Part 2

One one shore of the narrows, the strip of water at the mouth of Strangford Lough, where each tide 350 million cubic metres of sea water rushes in or out, lies the village of Strangford.

This is the starting point of a beautiful circular walk through farmland, woodland and lough shore.

at the end of Castle street is this lane way : magnificently called the squeeze gut

it follows a sunken hollow into the woods

a glimpse of Castle Ward House 

autumnal trees

across the lough to Audley's Castle

Charlie inspects a a romantic ruin on the shore 
looking across 'The Narrows' to Portaferry

delicate shore flowers

Castle Ward

rocks seaweed lichens

Castle Ward Bay and Audley's Castle


October sunshine through a stand of Scots pine

golden flowers

back through the woods

to Strangford Castle

Saturday, October 27, 2012


Elaine has been teaching groups at Glebe House to felt over that last few weeks.

Charlie and I have tagged along for the ride in order to avail of some of the great walks in this area.

The Lecale peninsula (IrishLeath Cathail) lies in the east of Ulster, on the South Eastern side of County Down, covering an area of some 78 square miles (200 km2) between Downpatrick and Dundrum. It is an area of historical and geographic significance, bounded by the Quoile Marshes(now drained, but formerly extensive), the Blackstaff River, the Irish Sea and Strangford Lough. It has an oddly isolated position, virtually cut off from its hinterland.. (thanks Wikipedia)

I'd like to share three of them with you. They are all stunning, each different in their own way, and all within 10 miles of each other:

Charlie is ready for the off!
Ballyhornan Beach and Gun Island

This walk is part of the Ulster way and the Lecale way

It's a mixture of cliff path and beach walking
with some wonderful bays and inlets
there were some lovely waves
gun island from the low cliffs

looking down to a small inlet
some interesting plants

and flowers even at the end of October
amazing rock formations

rocks folded by the closing of the Iapetus Ocean over 400 million years ago

a parcel of pebbles

more amazing rocks

little flecks of quartz

sentinel on Gun island


rock pools


and back to the beach - wonderful

 Parts two and three to follow

Saturday, October 20, 2012

mists and mellow fruitfulness

You can never get enough of the Mournes! No matter what, there is spectacle. Today is a beautiful October morning, calm, a bit warm with mist and a pale pink dawn leading to glorious sunshine.

We are open today as we are every weekend, and we have a thrill of anticipation for guests who will come to sample our craft, the food, and the wonderful scenery. What could be better?

We picked up some nice organic asparagus yesterday, so today's soup is cream of asparagus - a favourite!

misty morning, Mournes

the gallery in brilliant sunlight

portents of a great day ahead

autumnal colours, Slievenaboley and cows - against the horizon


Bernagh looms out of the dawn mist

sunlight catching the dew

one of our rescued chickens has found a new place to lay her eggs - definitely free range now!

Asparagus soup - lunch with a view

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


After  a night's (usual) heavy rain, this morning we had about an hour of torrential downpour - complete with hailstones.

The drains on the road, which had been reasonably OK coping with the heavier than average downpours this year  gave up the ghost, and we were inundated, with some never-before-seen-sights in our new garden:

off the fields and on to the road

at our gate - the drain just can't take it

and in!

down into the garden
and on down the yard

in through the front gate....

the side gate ...

and over the front step

down to the garden

we have a lake!

and in the 'vegetable' garden

paddy fields!
here there are newly planted cauliflowers - it said keep them well watered!

a new water feature beside the green beans - there's rhubarb there somewhere

our placid little river

now a raging torrent
 Meanwhile back in the house:

Furby surveys the front garden/river

the kitchen is awash

thank goodness for wellies

the Turnip House Courtyard
still, at least all our new works are nice and dry

a touch of Venice! not that bad!