Tiger Moth

I have just come across this  photo of a tiger moth from among Mauricio’s photos.  At first I thought it was a butterfly and asked Mauricio what type it was.  So he put me straight on the matter.  One of the main differences between them is a butterfly’s antennae are club-shaped with a long shaft and a bulb at the end.  A moth’s antennae are feathery or saw-edged. Butterflies tend to fold their wings vertically up over their backs. Moths tend to hold their wings in a tent-like fashion that hides the abdomen. Butterflies are typically larger and have more colourful patterns on their wings. Moths are typically smaller with drab-coloured wings.  Not the case here, I must say.

Another difference is a more obvious one;  we tend to see butterflies during the day and moths at night, but this isn’t always the case as can be seen below.




Can’t even get over a bit of a gate anymore.  There was a time when I’d tumble over the gate, head first, throwing the rest of the body over, like a rag doll.  Well nowadays, even though I pride myself in being fit like a fiddle, I tend to climb over the gate upright.  Could it be modesty (after all I was wearing a skirt)?  Could it be fear that I might break a bone or land on my head?  Or could it just “Auld Age”?  There we were, the two of us, holding on for dear life trying to get over a simple gate down the fields like a pair of grannies and not even one grandchild between us.


DSC_7338 (Medium)

The Easter Bunny Litter Lout

I just wanted to let you know, Mr or Mrs. Easter Bunny, that I didn’t find any eggs on the little tour you had me go on.  Your signs are there leading the way, pointing one in the right direction but alas all the eggs are gone.  Could it be that you forgot to take down the signs after Easter Sunday Easter Bunny Egg Hunt?  And that all the eggs were picked up that day?  If so, could you please remove your signs so that we can have a litter free beautiful Charleville once again

Exhilarating or Painful?

Exhilarating I’d say.  Painful? How is a little bit of snow going to hurt you?  Now tell me that!!.  Mind you, it was a little more than “a bit of snow”.  It was a regular blizzard and I was in it running through the woods and estate of Charleville Castle.  At first I was hesitant to go on as I looked up at a cloak of darkness, no a black mass in the sky swiftly coming my way and then the initial single flakes of snow  turning very quickly into a million falling feathers.  Any sane person would have turned back and headed for home but me and my fit of madness went on heading into the eye of the storm.  And it was exhilarating!!  Well there was one annoying thing about it.  The snow got so heavy on my cap that it started weighing down and falling into my eyes along with the odd flake of snow.  Not so annoying as a bit of a nuisance.  The “feathers of snow” were not so kind to my cheeks either leaving them tingling with cold.  Apart from all that I have to say it was a very pleasant experience and something that everyone should endure sometime.

a lizard in a blizzard!!


You wouldn’t put a dog out in it

“You wouldn’t put a dog out in it” said I the other day as I trudged through the mucky and dirty track in Charleville estate and me like a drenched rat.  In fact I was probably the only “drenched” rat there because all the  rats (and you know that there is always a rat within a few feet of you) were all staying nice and dry under some bush or shrub or such like.  Yes, I was the only drowned rat in Charleville that morning and had I had a dog to bring out (Poor little Sweepy dog departed this world two weeks ago) he would have been like another drowned rat and believe me when I say that Sweep always looked a bit like a rat when he got wet.  Today is another of those days; wet, wicked and wet.  You wouldn’t put a dog out in it, that is if you had a dog.  I guess I’ll just go out and be like a drenched drowned rat all on my owneo.

Making Tinctures from flowers

My hawthorn flower tincture is brewing away nicely, almost ready.  The window of opportunity to pick the hawthorn flower seemed to have abruptly finished as quickly as it started this year and it passed me by before I realised that it was too late.  So there I was, head bowed down, disgruntled, dejected, disappointed that this year I was not going to be able to make hawthorn tincture when suddenly  I looked up and spotted a hawthorn in full bloom in the distance.    I made my way over and was so astonished to see all the blossoms still on the tree, still fresh, still worthy of picking.   I was lucky, very lucky indeed that this year one hawthorn tree decided to wait for my tardiness in collecting the flowers.  It’s like as if it said to itself  “that mad one in the gate lodge means to gather some hawthorn flowers this year but she hasn’t done it yet so I’ll give her a little more time to get up off her behind and gather some from my tree”  And that’s what I did.  It was like a gift out of heaven.


And today, I went out and picked some elder flowers and have them now ” stewing” away in a glass jar with vodka just covering them.  It’ll take a few weeks before I can try it.  But I can’t wait.  According to some sources, Elder Flower has many uses medicinally but also stimulates energy .  So if the “mad one at the gate lodge” is to get a new lease of life in the coming few weeks and is jumping for joy all around Charleville Forest, don’t be surprised!!