Spring has been a difficult time. It’s not just the social isolating, or the threat the pandemic poses. Our family lost our beloved Step Mother to the Covid 19 virus on April 18th.
I’ve written 4 pieces for the Waterford News and Star since the lockdown. They meander through the last few weeks with the story of what happened to May, our Step Mum, running through them. I can’t say any more than that. I look forward to writing all about her some day. Her’s is a heroic tale.
Meanwhile, being socially isolated has had its challenges and its glorious moments too.
The glory was in the incredible spring we have had in Ireland this year. Just as the lockdown began and we were restricted to a 2km distance from home, the earth started to warm. Foxglove Lane has been blossoming ever since. I began working from home after the crash in 2009. I have been blogging about this small patch since February 2011. It’s 9 years now. Maybe next year I will be celebrating 10 years! In that time I have learned a lot about land and nature. Stuff I never fully understood.
Recently, it’s been fascinating to be joined by so many others falling in love with nature all over again. It’s such a joy to find them enthusing about small treasures in the hedgerows, wild flowers, birds and animals they are meeting on their restricted 2km outings. Luckily we can now walk for 5km so life is looking up!!
We are falling back on different rhythms. Here we have an early dawn chorus followed by the quietest mornings. As always, birds are our friends and now that youngsters are leaving their nests we have plenty of daily drama. Our couple of acres are completely wild. The best part about this, has been the beginnings of a self seeded willow wood. We never ever planted a willow here. But now there are a few varieties running amok in a beautiful way. They grow fast and house a multitude of birds and critters.
The smallest touches of cutting back or weeding out the EU grass that sometimes strays into our land is all that is required. Mother Nature seems to have a way of organising things so that the ferns, nettles and brambles don’t dominate too much. I’ve learned that as far as I can see, nettles will win out over brambles any day! Who knew. Although most urban gardeners wouldn’t approve I’m sure!! We have a clear few metres around the house and yard so that human earthlings also have some space.
Ireland has been so beautiful at the same time as we are all stressed. Then it dawned on me that it might be some time before we can travel again. I look back at our last trip in particular and enjoy through my photos the wonderful places we visited along the Portuguese Camino Route and up to Santiago.
I am one of the very lucky ones who can live out the lockdown in a beautiful place. Soon I hope to see my sons, family, and friends. Meanwhile I’m waiting for the foxgloves to flower. When they do, expect lots and lots of purply pink from me!!
Yota Schneider says
Dear Catherine, I am so sorry for your loss. I can’t even imagine. Thank you for taking the time to share your beautiful world with us. I always look forward to your photos; a window to beauty and peace. Foxglove Lane is lucky to have a guardian like you. Be well.
Catherine Drea says
Yota, it’s lovely of you to say that. I actually very much feel like a guardian at this stage of my life. Even more so since I am rooted to this spot! Go well and stay safe my dear.
Harry Goodheart says
Hi, Catherine, and sorry for your loss. Thanks so much for sharing the wonders of spring; you have a great appreciation for the beauty underfoot. Not so keen on your “protected content” alert though…feels like a shopkeeper following you about the store. Do people really lift content? If so, it may be a form of flattery…You could just add a watermark to your photos.
Foxglove Lane says
Thank you so much Harry. I appreciate your kind words. Well I added that protection to my site many years ago after a number of quite upsetting events which brought me in contact with some very unsavoury characters indeed! Having said that, I think the subscriber list are able to save photos from the regular emails? Is that what you meant?
I’m sorry to hear about the loss of your stepmother. I imagine the ways to support each other through grief are limited, making it even more difficult. I’m glad the walking restriction parameters have been extended to 5K. I’m afraid the US will pay dearly for clinging more fiercely to human rights than to protecting each other. But then, I also grieve for the small business owners. A local beloved coffee shop announced they are closing for good yesterday.
Thank you for the glimpse of beauty you bring to my life. The dewy plant closeups have been my favorites lately.
Catherine Drea says
Yes it was hard. Instead of the traditional Irish funeral, I watched it online. So one day we will all be in the same room and have a proper celebration of her life. Thanks for your lovely support Maery Rose. Much appreciated x
Diana Studer says
pulling away even that layer of comfort, being together, remembering and hugging.
My sympathies on your loss.
Catherine Drea says
Many thanks Diana. I hope you and yours are staying safe and well. C.
I’m so sorry for your loss. It’s all so heartbreaking. Your couple of acres sounds so beautiful. I too am lucky to have the desert surrounding me for long walks and foraging. So appreciative of what we have…