It’s amazing what you can find when you’re not looking for anything! My better half came across this tiny little flower whilst she was cutting the grass (the blades of grass around the flower give a sense of the small scale). We think that it is the beginnings of an Early-purple Orchid, but are not entirely sure, maybe some of you green-fingered readers will be able to help us out here? I know some people like to treat their lawns with all sorts of chemicals so that they can enjoy a velvety grass-only lawn with not a weed or any moss in sight – I’ll gladly put up with a few dandelions here and there if it means we can get to see such lovely flowers as this:
Courtmacsherry comes alive during the summer months. It really is a beautiful place and a perfect spot for holidaymakers (if only the sunshine could be guaranteed!)
Whilst I was there yesterday it was pretty quiet, but there is anticipation in the air. The Church of Ireland community are beginning to get the wonderful little church building ready for the summer season and those involved in the tourism industry are hoping and praying that this year will be a good one.
Of course there is a clear parallel between the work of the Lifeboat Station and the work of the Church. Both are in the business of saving souls; the Lifeboat crew save people from drowning, Jesus saves us from ourselves and sets us on the rock of salvation…
From Psalm 40:
It all happened a couple of weeks ago. Every year the General Synod of the Church of Ireland awards prizes for web sites, magazines etc. This year my blog won a prize. I have to say that when I look at my colleagues’ blogs (links to the right) they really are very good. They write very interesting and thought provoking posts which are often supplemented by excellent media including video and photographs. It must be hard to make a judgement between them all. As there have been different winners each year (as long as I’ve been blogging anyway) I think they must be sharing the prizes around a bit, which is nice – because, honestly, they all deserve to win.
My prize arrived in the post this morning – a £40 Eason’s voucher, which is wonderful, though I hope they accept sterling vouchers in Cork otherwise it will be a very long drive to spend it!
Thank you everyone for all your support and encouragement. I would have given up a long time ago without it :-)
– Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone
For a couple of weeks towards the end of last month we enjoyed the company of some new neighbours. It was lovely to see them running and playing in the large green field behind our house. Often when my wife opened the back door to hang up some washing or do a bit of gardening they would come trotting down to the fence to say hello. They were quite happy to pose for a photo too!
Then, just as suddenly as they arrived, they were gone. The field is now empty again, save for a large white horse that keeps to the distant end. Whether the calves have gone to another field or to market I don’t know, but we miss them :-(
For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. (Romans 7:15)
Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! (v24, 25a)
We had great fun watching this mother duck and her ducklings (all twelve of them) make their way from a stream then across a road and finally into the lake at Fota recently. At the first attempt the mother just hopped out and charged off and then realised that there were no little ones following her. They were left stranded because the bank was too high for them to jump up. So the mother duck had to go back and lead them to a place further down stream where they could climb / hop out. Then they made their procession towards the lake as you see in the picture. I wonder how many of these twelve cute fluffy ducklings will survive to adulthood – I expect they make a fine lunch for several different predators?
Following is not always easy but we have the perfect Leader who looks after us in ways beyond our understanding and will ultimately lead us to our final destination. Of course we can choose to go off on our own way but that is a path where we lead ourselves to certain death. Thankfully Jesus comes looking for us and longs to bring us back into the fold (getting into a knot of mixed metaphors here)! But He will never force us against our will, we have to be willing to follow Him knowing that it really is the only sensible option, but more than that, it is the way to the fullness of life and love and joy and peace and forgiveness…
This was the view from the Rectory garden just after ten o’clock last night. Too large to be a star, my best guess is that it’s Venus (see here).
Photo notes (If you’re interested in the technical aspect of the picture): I set my camera on a tripod, placed on firm ground and put a timer delay so that there would be no vibration for the long exposure necessary. To my surprise I noticed however that even though there was no wind and I didn’t touch the camera during the exposure the picture is still slightly blurred. The only conclusion I can come to is that the slap of the viewfinder mirror caused it. Unfortunately my camera does not have mirror lock-up, which would have prevented this. Next time however I will take a much longer exposure and hold the lens cap over the lens for the first second so that the initial vibration is not recorded on the final picture.
My better half has created the wonderful beginnings of a vegetable plot in a small area of the garden by the back door. There are potatoes, cabbages, raspberries, strawberries, lettuces, radishes, a few other things that I’m not sure of and one of our favourites, Mange Tout. (Since the above photo was taken they have grown quite a bit and are now supported by a clever arrangement of canes and string.)
Potential: Existing in possibility, capable of development into actuality…
It’s probably the Welsh blood in my veins but there is just something about the Carmarthenshire coast. It’s not especially spectacular when compared to say the West Coasts of Ireland or Scotland but it has its very own beauty. The beach rambler would never tire of the sheer variety of coastline, vast sandy beaches, small rocky coves, cliffs and dunes, the abundant wildlife (and even the good ol’ tacky amusement arcade here and there). Many childhood memories are brought to mind in these places – lemonade in glass bottles, sandwiches with more sand in them than ham or cheese, Granddad with a knotted handkerchief on his head, huddled in a bus shelter in the rain whilst eating salty chips, my grandparents Morris Minor. Ah yes what a wonderful place and what special memories.
Now as we occasionally get to travel across we witness a new generation of grandchildren accumulating wonderful memories, as plentiful as the shells gathered into their seaside buckets. The world might be a slightly different place – lemonade is now called different things and comes in a plastic bottle, chips no longer come packaged in yesterdays newspaper and many other changes which on their own are tiny but when put together represent a subtly different world. The new generation of Grandparents though are just the same, just as loving and doting and instrumental in passing on to their grandchildren that love and kindness which will still be there when their turn comes, as it surely will, when they will watch their own grandchildren run about in frenzied joy in a world that is the same but different.