Yesterday as they say in South Carlow was a” pet day”. Lovely gentle warm breeze, no hint of cold   and a great day for walking. We had a Group of 9 in total and we were walking to Watch our Woods Wake Up.  The wood is a mixed one with glorious broadleaves, a lot of Oak and some patches of fir. As we walked alongside a beautiful crystal clear River (Mountain River) with the sun sparkling through the bare leaves, we could definitely see that spring was on the march.

Mountain Stream

Mountain Stream

 Cow Parsley was springing up, lots of small Herb Robert, plenty of Hart’s Tongue ferns and the bright yellow Lesser Celandine.

On the River a pair of Dippers flew swiftly downstream, a Robin was singing his little heart out and a scolding Wren sat on a small tree and  churred at us as we walked silently by.

The Laurel was in bloom – it has quite a strong scent and there were masses of Gorse in glorious bright yellow patches through the wood. Water Dropwort was in the River and sheets of beautiful white Wood Anemones were growing along the bank of the river. They are such lovely flowers; so delicate so simple, so beautiful. The Marsh Marigolds were magnificent close to the Barrow and sheets of Bluebells will soon bloom in gay profusion in early May.

 

Wild River Barrow

Wild River Barrow

 

We heard Rooks overhead, plenty of Blue Tits and Great Tits, Magpies and we  flushed up a pair of Mallard at a bend in the River. No sign of our summer migrants yet. There are plenty of Jays in the wood, blackbirds, Thrushes and Mistle Thrushes, each now staking out their territory This wood is going to become a very noisy place with song bursting out from every tree and bush in a few short weeks.

The larch is beginning to green up, Elder and Alder are budding and Willow Herb is beginning to leaf.

 

We also found lots of Hairy Bittercress, Dandelion leaves and Wild Garlic which we picked and gave to our guests to bring home and have a lovely wild salad.

 This is a lovely time of year and we have got to grab it as it comes.

Our Next Walk is on Saturday March 24th when we are going to try and see as many different song birds and identify their calls. This will be followed by our  Foraging Walk on March 31st where we

will hunt for edible greens from the wild, take them home and eat them!.

Let’s go walking!

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About Mary White

Mary White is a keen hill walker and nature observer and intimately knows the Blackstairs Mountain-River Barrow valley area in the scenic and unspoilt area of south Carlow, Ireland. She has led tours for all age groups in the area over many years. With her husband Robert she leads the Blackstairs Eco Trails 2h Tours

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