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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

SPRING IN DONEGAL

... AND THE WELSH CONNECTION

On Saturday we got out and about with our cameras for the start of spring in Ireland.  I just love spring.  Everything is so new and fresh and new life is budding and popping up everywhere.

Daffodils glowing in the spring sunshine

The day was glorious with blue skies and sunshine and all around were signs of spring: fields filled with new born lambs bouncing around, watched over by their plump mothers not yet divested of their heavy winter coats; the sunshine yellow of daffodils dotting roadsides and hillsides glowing against the budding greenery; the sun lighting up the beautiful scenery like some celestial spotlight; and the fresh, warm breeze blowing gently.

Sheep protecting their lambs
Most of the sheep we saw seemed to have twin lambs but in one field we saw three sheep surrounded by three lambs a piece.  Twin lambs are cute but triplet lambs are even cuter.  Two of the sheep were a different breed to what we normally see around Donegal and when we got home later I looked them up and it seems they are Balwen Welsh Mountain sheep. 

Balwen sheep and lambs
In the picture above you can see the Balwen sheep and her triplet lambs.  It looks like the mother sheep has six legs but I can assure you she had the standard four ~ the extra legs are her third triplet hiding behind mummy.

After a lovely morning and early afternoon taking photographs we returned home where I finished making the Irish Stew I had started earlier.  One of the ingredients I added toward the end of cooking was leeks.

And as I added the leeks to the Irish Stew, it occured to me that the day had had a sort of Welsh slant to it: daffodils, Balwen Welsh Mountain sheep and leeks.  Sometimes you'd just never guess where the events and sights of the day will take you!