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Courtown woods and beach in May 2021

Updated: Aug 11, 2023

I slept well last night and managed a lie in until 9 a.m .I was quite pleased with that because I am told that the weather was rather inclement during the night. There were strong winds and driving rain which, thankfully, yours truly was blissfully unaware of.

I pulled up the blackout blinds and light burst into the room . Early morning sunshine and brightness gives a person a great feeling and zest for action during the day. This is particularly true at this time of the year. It is even better on summer mornings with the warmer air and added brightness. You look out at the world and you get that “It’s so good to be alive” feeling.

Looking out on the garden today it looked like our plants had received some special tonic. We had such a prolonged dry spell that the overnight rain had energised the plants to shoot forth and present their best shade of green. It was delightful to see plants that looked parched and dejected last night looking so well this morning. We noted that the bell flowers in particular appeared to have had a growth spurt overnight. The lawn had ,unfortunately ,also sprung up showing a much more radiant shade of green. Lawn mower is beckoning.

We sat down to breakfast making sure we hydrated properly with our two cups of warm water with added slices of organic lemon to start our healthy morning ritual.

After breakfast the outside world looked tempting with some watery sunshine and the

thermometer was displaying a reasonable 12 degrees with no appreciable wind about. It was time to flex the muscles with some road, forest and beach exercise in Courtown.

On my journey down I noted a few joggers who had stopped at the side of the road. They were strenuously pulling their legs up trying to stretch some muscles like those Olympian Athletes we see on TV. They were holding their ankles and pulling up first right leg then left. I suppose they are doing themselves some good, but I just thought, in my old-fashioned way that they were mere posers on an early morning footpath. Forgive me.

When I eventually arrived in Courtown Harbour I was amazed at the freshness and the greenery of the ditches. They are also awash with the yellow of the May bush flowers. The ground was speckled with flowers that had been blown off the Whitethorn bushes. Some of the newly planted trees along the path to the beach were showing a sign of life . They were responding to their overnight thirst quencher after their drought period since they were planted. There was an invigorating feeling about the place.

As I crossed the road my aural system was bombarded by the lashing, crashing , bashing sound of the waves on the rock armour. I stopped and looked out to sea. On my right I saw Courtown pier in a mist. On looking again ,I realised it is a huge wave crashing over the pier wall with its resultant white enveloping spray. The overnight wind had certainly died down, but the sea was still quite angry, rough and choppy.

Further down the coast I see Cahore point appearing and disappearing in the sea mist and on shore fog. It had a real magical feeling about it looking across at it over the multi-hued sea waters and blue and black sky overhead.

As I walk along, I feel the refreshing ,invigorating sea mist on my face. It is such a great feeling of freedom and to be getting a free facial at the same time was an added bonus.

I now go up a sandy sloping path, offshore, to join a forest trail. This is pure heavenly bliss, with the sea to my right and forest to my left. The forest undergrowth is bedecked in all its splendour with a carpet of blue bells and wild garlic. It is a wonderful sight to behold while at the same time inhaling the lovely refreshing garlic smells wafting through the woodland air. Some walkers cannot abide the smell. Others speak about how the plant is so invasive. I must say that I love the wild garlic plant with its grassy look and its ornate white flowers. I love it too when I get it’s smell because summer is just around the corner.

The trees are beginning to cover up their winter nakedness and are donning some lovely newly minted greenery. The sycamore is resplendent with its new expansive leafy green clothes. The ash and beech likewise are breaking out of their winter hibernation. The climbing ivy is advancing its clinging wrap around tentacles around a lot of trees.

On the ground the ivy and ferns are thriving . The Dandelions which have given us so much colour during March and April are beginning to go to seed and scatter themselves to the four winds. Thank you, dandelions for your super pollinator role again this year. The lesser celandines are still showing some lovely colour while primroses are in their dying days and returning to mother earth for another year. They have been magnificent this year.

Overhead in the trees there is a great chorus of songbirds. I loosely remember a song from my teaching days which went something like ‘Sun and wind and shower ,blossom fruit and flowers, butterfly a winging, Lark and linnet singing. “The recall might not be accurate ,but the words express the mood in the woods today.

All the forest streams are bursting with overflowing water today. I head up to higher ground and there is a waterfall in the woods due to the excessive overnight rain. It was so nice to sit on a tree stump to soak in the peaceful atmosphere .There are many groups around clicking the scene. I do likewise on my newly acquired I phone 11 mega pixel twin lensed camera phone.

I come back down and look out over the sea again. Way out towards the Wind Turbines off the Arklow sand bank I notice a single boat. It is the service tender for the sea monsters to ensure that the electricity generated at sea continues its daily path to shore.

Back on the beach and I hear some different sounds. The waves are shifting shale up on the once sandy beach. This grating sound is so different to the sea crashing on the rocks further back. I reach Dodd’s Rocks at the end of my outward journey.

Now I sit down on the rocks for 10 minutes and absorb all the sounds of a wild enough sea. It is relaxation, mindfulness paradise while also giving me time to absorb a good dose of vitamin D to help my immune system ward off any threatening virus.

I note the emerging sea pinks on the rocks while the May bush is still putting on a great display of yellow blooms. The bees are delighted with such richness of supply of pollen to feed their young and nectar to make honey.

Yes, today summer has sprung and like spring Tagann borradh agus fás faoi gach aon ní.

It is time to trudge homewards to dine and replenish the energy system box for an afternoon in the garden.

Mick O Callaghan

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