A Visit to Zwartbles Ireland ~

Yesterday truly felt like the beginning of Spring here in Ireland.  We were finally blessed with a day full of warm sunshine and blue skies, it seemed the whole country was out enjoying the light.  I was delighted to spend the day on the Zwartbles Ireland sheep farm in Co. Kilkenny, joined by Catherine of Foxglove Lane, Susan of Vibrant Ireland, and guided by Suzanna, the owner, farmer, and creative force behind this special place.

Suzanna’s home in the Kilkenny countryside is a place of bliss.  We were greeted by the soft cooing of doves, a lush new growth of spring flowers, and the tantalizing scent of chicken roasting in the Aga.  These women always inspire me, each time we gather to chat.  The stories, laughter and thoughts they share leave me feeling energised and full of new ideas.  Over lunch we shared the different paths life has lead us all down over the months since we last met, mixing beautiful food with tales both joyful and sad.

Afterwards we were lucky enough to witness the birth of the final lamb of the season.  You’ll see the new little one in the photo above, being tenderly cleaned by mama ewe Sugar; what a wonderful thing to have witnessed.  We spent the next few hours watching lambs gambol through the daffodils while Suzanna explained the struggles and joys of the lambing season.

Under the old beech trees and birdsong, I fell into a sea of pretty blue wood anemone flowers, enjoying finally taking the camera out after so long.  I left at the end of the day feeling inspired and renewed, full of dreams about my own life in the country some day and looking forward to many more days of spring sunshine ahead.  Hope you enjoy the photos here, if you’d like to know more then you can check out Suzanna and her gang of animal helpers on the Zwartbles Ireland Twitter and Facebook pages.

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Powerscourt in Summer ~

A trip to Powerscourt House during the summer saw me spend quite some time among the roses and hydrangeas with my camera.  They were so pretty, I just couldn’t help myself!  It’s one of my favourite places to visit at any time of year, with beautiful gardens that were recently voted the third best in the world by National Geographic.  There’s always something lovely to capture with the camera, no matter the time of year.  Soon their tree lined avenue will be full of lush autumn colour, and no doubt I’ll have to go on another visit to take more shots!

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