Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Spring in December ♥

With the thrill of Christmas over and us all feeling smothered by a bout of coughs and colds which just won't shift, we decided that a good dose of fresh air was just what we needed. The Christmas weather was a complete washout, meaning that my great plans of a lovely family Christmas Day walk went out the window, so when the forecast showed just one sunny day this week, we couldn't wait to get out the door and blow away the cobwebs.

Going to one of our favourite haunts - the beautiful Fota House and Gardens, we took the opportunity to let the boys blow off some steam and try to fend off the sickness with some cool, fresh air.

As we rounded the path to enter the most scenic part of the gardens something wonderful caught my eye - a bush of hot pink rhododendrons in bloom. This particular bush is always a favourite of mine to see in spring and it makes for a great photo opportunity spot... but seeing it in all it's glory on Christmas week left me with a feeling of mixed emotions - joy at colour creeping back into the landscape (flowers are one of my favourite things in life after all) and sadness at what could have caused the spring blooms to blossom in December, far before their intended time.

As we walked throughout the gardens the hot pink rhododendrons weren't the only flowers putting on a show. I spotted what I think are bushes of jasmine in full bloom (I'm in desperate need of a flower encyclopedia!), their sweet and beautiful scent filling the cold air, as well as other shocking pink flowers dotted here and there. In our haste I forgot to check the patch where the snowdrops and daffodils shoot up every year, but I wouldn't be surprised if they're already rearing their dainty heads too.

While it's absolutely lovely to see flowers in bloom again, I can't help but feel worried about nature and how it's suffering due to the actions of mankind. When I shared the picture of Beau and I looking up at the rhododendrons on my main Instagram gallery, a follower of mine from South Africa expressed her concern at the effects of global warming on nature and the seasons and I completely agree with her.

I'm someone who has always followed the Gaelic calendar regarding the seasons, as this is what I was taught in primary school and it makes perfect sense when it comes to nature and various festivals (mid-summer for instance) during the year. However, as the years go by the calendar of nature becomes more and more skewered with daffodils in December and snow showers in April... it would be foolish and naive to think that the world isn't changing and not in a good way.

I'm just left hoping that some blooms will be left for spring and summer.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Our Woodland Christmas Tree ♥

I don't know if it's because I'm not a child anymore, or if it's because the world has changed so much in recent years, but Christmas just doesn't seem to have that unbelievably exciting and magical atmosphere it once did for me.

With two young boys I think this is quite sad to admit, but that wonderful Christmas spark that was once so present within my heart has now fizzled out and I'm left feeling quite disillusioned by the whole thing.

Now don't get me wrong, I absolutely love planning Christmas surprises for my sons - seeing their excited little faces on Christmas morning when they see the whole host of lovely gifts Santa has bestowed on them... but there a lot of things about Christmas these days that I find so unnecessary and I feel as though it's ruined the magic of the season a lot for me.

This is why I've begun new traditions within our own little family unit, as a way of trying to get that magic Christmassy feeling back in my heart and making wonderful memories for us all to cherish forever.

One of these new traditions is our woodland Christmas tree.

We're a family of outdoor lovers, with two little boys who can't bare to be stuck inside and myself loving the beauty, calmness and clear-headed feeling that being outdoors gives. Nothing makes me feel better than going for a walk outdoors - it instantly gets rid of my headaches and worries and this year I decided to bring the festive cheer to one of our favourite haunts - the fairy woods.

We chose a lonely little tree in a clearing to decorate and I'm not quite sure of the exact time of tree but I've narrowed it down to a spruce, fir or pine... if any people knowledgeable about coniferous trees could give me the correct answer I'd be most appreciative!

We decorated the little tree with red and gold decorations, tinsel, some pine cones and red star to see a top of it. It looked quite cheery and festive amongst the dreary and wet backdrop of the woodland in winter.

I told Tyler that we had decorated this tree for the fairies and that Santa would leave their presents under it. He was quite pleased by this. I love adding folklore to our outdoor adventures, it makes it all the more special and hopefully will leave him with a wild imagination and precious childhood memories to remember forever.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Winter Wanderings ♥

Winter is upon us, with her bitterly cold days, winds which burn your face and those odd spots of wonderful sunshine which make everything feel lovely again. This year is the first year that I've really struggled with the cold. The tips of my fingers are always numb and I'm never fully warm - even when sitting in front of a roaring fire.

I'm trying not to let this deter me from getting out and about with my boys, although it does take me an age to not feel frozen anymore once we retreat back inside. The fresh air is worth it all though.

This little blog has turned into a seasonal photography project - not on purpose at all though. I think the overall lack of time for me to post on here regularly coupled with my passion for snapping pictures has just made it this way.

I have to admit though, I absolutely love that it's turned out like this.

These past few days I've gone on some winter wanderings with my littles, taking the opportunity to capture the essence of a winter in Ireland on camera - the cold grey days, the dampness everywhere, the undressed trees, raindrops obscuring the camera lens and those odd spots of sunshine filtering down through the clouds.

We have a long winter ahead of us before those gorgeous sunny daffodils and dainty little snowdrops start peeking up again, so I'm sure I'll be capturing even more wintry scenes in the coming weeks.

For now though, here are my captures from this weeks winter wanderings - cold, grey and wet, yet also sunny, clear skies and mildness, a display of a typical Irish winter and it's ever-changing weather.
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