The tinkling of a bell

Whenever I feel a bit out of my element, I listen out for the sound of a tinkling bell. This all started with a dream I had 20 years ago. In the dream I was an elf with a bell on my hat. I was creeping out of a cardboard box that I lived in and observing a beautiful landscape stretched out in all directions around me. Eventually, as I left the box one cautious step at a time, I could hear the bell tinkling on my head.

At that time, this dream helped me to take a chance and dive into a new project I was working on. I could imagine myself wandering off, my hat bobbing along and that sound would always ease the anxiety.

That image still comes in handy every now and then. Especially in these uncertain times. Times when we all need to take different perspectives.

Today I opened a little shop attached to this blog. It has taken a fair amount of work and is still in it's infancy, but it is there! I am slightly spooked by the move so as ever I am bobbing along listening out for the sound of a bell and exploring a new unknown territory.......by the way these photos are of Wild Carrot.

You can now download or buy Foxglove Lane images here please feel free to share any feedback you might have, I would very much appreciate it.


A change is as good as a rest

It's still raining in Ireland and so my mind has wandered back to May and the heart of an olive grove in the mountains of Mallorca.

Arriving during the night through a perilous cliff side track. Smelling before seeing. Ground cover of thyme, rosemary and lavender filling the still air as we walked our final few steps down to the small gate of the house where we would stay for two whole weeks!

The twisted olive trees and the rocky mediterranean coastline were revealed at dawn. The heat of the rising sun soon seeped into our bones and the freckles appeared on our noses. Every evening on the terrace over looking the sea, I took photos of the fading light.  Every day we climbed down the stony path to the rocks and swam out through deep warm water, dreaming.

The sun burning on skin, the dry raked earth and fallen lemons on the streets of the village, five swims and a fish supper to follow. A change is as good as a rest, no wonder we crave it, here in the land of 40 shades of green, and endless days of rain.


Do children have macro lens eyes?

I remember delving deeply into everything.

Collecting pooka snails and ordering them about as they emerged from their shells. Harvesting rose petals and creating watery concoctions to extract their sweet essence. Adding mint leaves into mucky stews and serving them up to the dog.......

Leaving special gifts for the little people. A rhyme wrapped up in a chestnut skin, just the way they would like it. A doll's tea-set cup full of the juice of blackberries, squashed under a stone and decorated with beads from a treasured bracelet.

Elaborate offerrings to entice the faeries out to play.

When the raindrops settled, I saw them in there, dancing and flying about on spectrum coloured wings. Do children have macro lens eyes? Is that the magic we are reminded of when we magnify our world so that all it's ethereal detail is revealed and we are once again enthralled?


Foxglove time!

Ireland's most spectacular wild flower is blooming prolifically on the lane today. The Foxglove, Digitalis purpurea, An Lus Mór, reaching up to 150 cm high and hosting up to 75 individual flowers on each stem is everywhere.

I remember so well as a child putting the little flowers on each finger as faery hats or fancy thimbles and the sight of them still has a magical effect today. Although I am drawn to them it is almost impossible to do them justice in my photographs. But who cares, it is sheer bliss just to be amongst them, and I will keep trying!