Sunday, March 20, 2011


We are lucky enough to live in the country, we love what we do. When we are out on the farm we see all sorts of things. Ireland was lacking in lots of wild creatures due to intensive farming, but following a special scheme for farmers to try and protect the environment, there has been some improvement. We also try very hard to make our farm a place where nature can thrive. Every year we plant new trees and hedges.
I can tell you where every oak tree is on our land, where the crab-apple trees are (whose fruit I use for jam). Also where the damsons grow (more jam). I have strong opinions about how hedges should be cut to have the best nesting areas for birds! Our rivers are fenced in such a way to keep the farm animals away from the water, to let the wild-life thrive. Riparian zones, no less!

We have a long stretch of land along a pretty large river, about 30 mins away, which is where we graze a lot of our animals during the summer. I get to go there almost everyday from April to October..I see lots of normal things..rabbits, hares, day I almost walked into a fox as I turned a corner, around the end of a hedge! However occasionaly you get to see something very special, like Kingfishers and Otters. I can't tell you how excited I get when I see things like this!

At the farm where we milk our cows, about 10 minutes from our house, we have a resident Buzzard...there were very few in Ireland until recent years, but they are slowly repopulating the country, so we consider this a great honour. We see a kestrel regularly and occasionaly a sparrow hawk, and again, rabbits, hares, all manner of birds, including a heron who lives on a small river on the land.

We have land at our house too, which has a beautiful fast-flowing river at the bottom of the farm....a really lovely spot to sit and think....not that I ever do, but if I did, this is where I would go!
After milking this morning, Colm drove in our lane at the house, and came into the house and told me that he had seen something unusual in the field, and that I should go out with my I changed the lens and off I went in search of treasure.
This is what I found....

Irish White Hare

Isn't he/she beutiful....

Irish White Hare

A White I know that white hares are not that rare in the "wide world", but in Ireland, they are really quite rare. It seems that following our very harsh winter that hares have started turning white. There is even a survey of sightings of them.
They turn white sometime during the winter and moult back to brown in Spring, which this one seems to be doing.
It was so incredibly exciting for us to have seen this creature, let alone to get a chance to photograph one...we are not serious birdwatchers, or nature watchers...just a couple of people trying to make our farms better places for birds and animals to live, whilst still trying to run an efficient, money making business.


Joy said...

Wow, you got a great shot of a hare! Molly (sitting on my lap) is saying, "Hop! Hop!"

You are blessed to live in such a nice nature area - I suppose you can't get away from it since it's your living (:

And how funny, I just wrote a naturey post and saw your post in my sidebar.

Although we live in the suburb of a large metro area, our yard is on the edge of a lake and protected wildlife/nature area.

justmejay said...

What a lovely post, Millie!

If only more people felt like you and your husband...

Medrie said...

Such a beautiful and inspiring post. You are wonderful custodians of the land -- what a gift the pleasure you take in nature is to your children.

Cindy said...

What a nice surprise to see and photograph! I always think it's a treat when we see wildlife that we wouldn't normally see. At our old house, which backed up onto a small lake, we once saw a Bald Eagle catch a fish right at the edge of our yard. That's the closest I've ever been to one. We've also been seeing pelicans at my parents' house. Pelicans aren't rare to see here, when we're at the beach there's always plenty. But my parents' house is about 12 miles inland and this is the first year I've seen them on their lake.

Great post!

Nicole said...

You and especially your kids are very lucky to live and grow up in such a beautiful place, surrounded by nature and wildlife. How lovely!

Millie said...

Oh Joy....that's so cute about Molly!
Isn't that a funny thing that both you and I wrote posts about almost the same thing at the same time! Nature and data!
We are very lucky to live where we do, but it sounds like you live in a pretty cool spot too.

Thanks so much Justine...we really enjoy what we do, enjoying the nature that's around us is the icing on the cake.

Thanks Medrie...that's very kind of you to say. My Mother is an avid bird watcher, and has a great interest all wild creatures. She raised me to be interested too. I am hoping my children will have the same interest...mind you it's hard not to in the house!

Wow Cindy...a Bald Eagle! That's amazing! Interesting about the Pelicans too, I am sure there is a good reason for them being there. I wonder what it is!?

Thank you Nicole...I hope that the children soak up a bit of what is around them. We saw Osprey in Scotland last year when we were camping. The campsite owner brought out his telescope for the children to look was amazing!

motherof5 said...

Jed and I salute you and your efforts!

Millie said...

Thanks Nicole and Jed!
Much appreciated!


Related Posts with Thumbnails