Thursday, October 17, 2013

Treasure from the woods..


 Hello everyone! Just a quick post to share my latest news with you :)  First off is that my website is finally up and running at long last! There are still some kinks to be ironed out, but I'm hoping to have it pretty much perfect by Christmas, pop over here for a look!
This little botanical specimen locket is the latest addition to the Boutique! It is made with  real Irish lichens which I gathered in Gougane Barra National Park a month or two back. Gougane Barra is one of our new favourite places to go for a hike, I can't believe we only discovered it this year after living in Cork County for nearly ten years! 

Lichens like the ones in this locket grow profusely throughout the ancient, mountainous woodlands that have survived in the South of Ireland since the last ice age almost 10,000 years ago, and some have lived for many hundreds of years. Lichens are an extremely important environmental indicator and indicator of air cleanliness, so it's reassuring to know that Cork and Kerry (my two homes) are absolutely covered in the stuff!

I don't know how old these particular specimens are, but the thought of carrying around your own little bit of Irish natural history is pretty cool! I did a bit of research online,and found some great websites just for identifying Irish lichens, and managed to identify these specimens as; Parmotrema Perlatum (Black Edged Leaf Lichen), Evernia Prunastri (Common Oak Moss) and Usnea Subfloridana (Old Mans Beard). 

And you can find the Lichen specimen locket is here!

 The first day we found Gougane Barra, we were both having a sad day and desperately needed to get out of the city to clear our heads, we were blown away by the battered old mountains that greeted us as well pulled up. Soon after entering the park, we wandered off the path, through the trees and followed a meandering little stream deep into the forest.

As we walked we found all sorts of strange little mushrooms and were surrounded by hundreds of butterflies and dragonflies, neither of us had ever seen anything like it! We took turns getting photos, and if we had stayed still long enough I think they would have come and sat on us. It was one of the most beautiful encounters with  nature I have ever been lucky enough to have experienced.


After having a picnic and getting quite lost for a few hours, we headed back home recharged and happy. Nothing grounds you more than spending some time reconnecting with the natural world. I can't wait to go back again.


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