Ravishing Rowan

Ravishing Rowan

There is a say about how “nature provides”. I have never seen such a stunning display on the mountain ash! Wonder what this means for the winter!!!
Of course what I should be doing instead of skiving off taking photos of trees is working on my (short) speech for the launch of our book A year on our Farm next Monday night, September 9

September 9 here we come!!!

ImageSo we have a date for the launch of our book, A Year On Our Farm; its Monday  September 9th and the launch will be performed on the farm by Damien O’Reilly of RTE. Feel so excited … and nervous.

The printers are hard at work and hopefully I will have a draft in my sweaty little paws in the next week or so.

In the meantime, Sarah, Ruth and myself are in Kerry with my sister and her family. We are staying in the old schoolhouse in Farraniaragh and this photo was taken from our patio; over Derrynane Harbour, Abbey Island and on to Lamb’s head. Its described locally as the best known view in Ireland and it is, without doubt, fantastic. In a summer  like this there is no place like Ireland. We went for a meal in The Blind Piper in Caherdaniel last evening (delicious as always) and the place was buzzing.

We are doing lots of watersports while, back home, Robin is up to his eyes calving. This is the most important period of the year on our farm. Fingers crossed, its going pretty well.

While its great to visit such a lovely place, we are all looking forward to going home to Robin on Saturday; and next week I will be getting stuck into invitations, a press release and sprucing up part of the yard that we are going to use for the launch. Local woman Shelagh Maher is going to do the catering; which will, of course, feature beef!

All we do is the prepare as best we can and hope then that lots of people turn up on the evening.

Link between Katie Taylor and Donal Walsh?

She says: A strong faith in God is a remarkable link in two of the most significant events involving Irish people in the past year; Katie Taylor winning the Olympic Gold Medal in Boxing and the selfless way in which Donal Walsh went about saving the lives of young people as his own live was being so tragically drained away

Katie Taylor has always spoke unashamedly of the importance of her faith and, in victory, did not forget her gratitude. The example of her victory and her modest lifestyle before and since have set her out as a person that the Irish nation and especially our children rightly admire.

When Donal Walsh first wrote of suicide, it was in a letter of anger and to his pals, urging them to see that there were always other options, from someone who wanted so much to live but had no choice in the matter.

There is no death worse than that of a child; sincere condolences to his family.

It is a testament to us that we as a people saw and responded to what he was saying. His remaining time was short but he had an impact on this world that most of us never will.

Were I knowingly faced with my own impending demise I think it highly unlikely that I would have the generosity and depth of spirit to turn it into something that has reportedly already saved lives and no doubt will continue to so. He has inspired a nation and gone a good way down the road to changing the mindset of a generation.

Neither Katie of Donal preached about the merits of one religion over another; what was important was God.

As the cancer drained away his life he remained angry but said it was something he would accept if it got across God’s message about the sanctity of life. Would that we would/could all find such moral leadership in our lives the whole world would/will be a better place.

Who among does not waste time out of every day, put things off until tomorrow, shelved spontaneous stuff for the time that never comes?

Donal Walsh has no more tomorrows but we do.

New Limousin Bull

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Bought a new Limousin Bull at the Limousin Society’s May sale in Roscrea on Saturday … now its just a case of sitting back and waiting for the next two years to see what his calves look like!

As to why I bought him … he was early in the sale and I was in a rush to get to the Leinster match in Dublin …. no, seriously, from the first time I saw him, I felt he had a presence so I was happy when I looked him up in the Catalogue and realised he also had excellent figures.
Unfortunately someone else must have thought the same …because he cost a bit more than I thought he might!

He’s five star for terminal traits. Hopefully he will be easy calving and the calves will go on to be quality beef. He will be used on our younger cows.

We let him out this afternoon, his first day out this year. Like all teenagers on his first day out he spent a few minutes blowing off some steam but here he is, looking proud and noble.

Tree does its best to bud

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The animal fodder crisis has become a feed crisis because there is virtually no grass growing.
We would always plan for a four month winter but this year’s has already gone on for 6 1/2 months, more than 50 pc longer … though this is what some people have every year.

There is now a real concern for next winter’s fodder, as there is no grass growing back on paddocks that have been grazed out and the silage is very backward …. though it is hard to be thinking about next winter when animals are hungry today.
We are luck in that our suckler herd is autumn calving and the cows have been safely scanned in calf but it must be a major concern to get the breeding season going in spring calving herds.
Despite all the bad weather I couldn’t help smiling (a little) this morning to see a pair of mallards swimming around in a recently formed pond in one of our grazing fields.
Nature doing it best to keep doing was nature does best.