NATURE NOTES - Carmelite Monastery - Knock, Tranquilla
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April arrived with a mixed ‘weather bag’!

Rain, sun, frost, and below zero temperatures

vied with one another and our poor garden

is as confused as we are! 

We are nearer the end than the beginning of the month,

but it is only now that the sun is warm and coaxing enough for the baby rabbits to appear and the first swallow to be spotted over the Basilica!

We woke up one morning to see that our beautiful white Magnolia blooms were burnt with frost.

But nature is never spent and already new blooms are replacing the hearting-breaking  ‘brown’ ones.



March – came in like a lion and seems to be going out like a lion also!

However, we had a few lovely days around St. Patrick’s Day

and the feast of our beloved St. Joseph.

This gave our white Magnolia Tree courage to bloom –

and the daffodils got into a festive mood.

The winds have laid some of the more exposed ones low

but we have planted plenty!























Winter with hints of Spring!



We are busy making St.Brigid’s Crosses for Feb.1st. the feast of  St. Brigid and the first day of Spring in Ireland!

There is no shortage of rushes in our fields and it is great fun to see the beginners’ and proficients’ end result.

We all had to start once! May the promise of Spring give solace to our hearts weary of Covid. May the sick and dying receive the love and care they need and may fear be banished by trust in God’s Merciful Love.








Nature continues to lift our hearts and minds.

The winter walks have a beauty of their own

and the trees stretch out their limbs to

God as if in Prayer.

And the little moorhens

come a-begging

with the rest of

our feathered friends!





















The leaves turn to glorious shades of copper, rust, and gold

and the animals ask for a little help!

The field-mouse thought it would be safer in the hands of a sister than

in the mouth of the cat-

so was duly helped to escape!




Our bees have been put up safely with lots of syrup to help them through the Winter.

We are enjoying sunny autumn weather at the moment and our grounds give us plenty of opportunities to praise God for the wonders of Creation. This makes the Covid 19 2nd. Lockdown less of a burden for us. We are united with all for whom it is a great hardship and hope they can turn to nature for peace of mind and heart. Even the tiniest bit of grass is full of wonder and the birdsongs bring a little taste of heaven to us all.


















September 1st.  launched the ‘Season of Creation’,

an ecumenical initiative

that aims to increase awareness among Christians

of the need to protect our common home.

It runs from Sept. 1st. to Oct. 4th.

Feast of St. Francis of Assisi,

patron saint of animals and ecology.

We hope to share some of our ‘home-made’ eco-friendly cleaning products with you soon.

We have been busy this year and now make our own soap, general household cleaner, toilet cleaners, air-freshners etc.

Let us all Pray and Work to take care of the creation on our doorsteps!


August this year has been so different. Covid 19 has changed so many things and we hope and pray that the Lord will deliver us from it soon.

We have been busy as the never-ending rain and wind have brought down some old trees. Our organic gardeners are delighted with the plans for a polytunnel – much needed in this wild-west region in order to grow anything apart from cabbage!  However, we did manage to get some lovely sunny days and two picnics!

We had to apologize to a little hedgehog for putting a deep layer of wood chips, from the fallen trees, on his favorite patch! The brave among us got him some slugs. The rest settled for buttered bread (they need the fat!) and milk. He/she was most appreciative and friendly!




June & July – Bees, Fruit & Roses!


Nature is not overwhelmed by Covid 19

it goes about Summer as usual.

May the beauty of Nature

help heal our broken lives,

bodies and hearts.




Our wildlife friends

are not shy

about coming close

to ask for food!


The garden is awake

with various beautiful flowers & fauna





May the wonder and beauty of Nature

lead us all to Praise and thank

the Lord of all Creation.








The magnificent December skies are hearalding Advent and Christmas

here in the ‘wild’ but lovely West of Ireland.


The light coming into our Chapel in the afternoon is breath-taking.


And God’s little creatures are

up and about at odd times!

We join with nature and ‘wait in hope’

for the Day Star – Jesus, born of Mary,

coming as gently as the Dawn

The dark evenings have creeped up on us

and Winter-Time is here once more.

It brings its own beauty

and the play of light and shadow is astounding.



The birds (small and big!)

need all the help we can give them

in this lean season.

We do our best and are rewarded

by the lovely antics of our feathered friends.














‘And just like that – Summer fell into Fall!’










 Spring arrived early this year

and so has Autumn.

August boasted two full moons –

the second one called

‘The Blue Moon’ as it is so rare.

This brought us some thunderous downpours

which got the leaves moving from the trees before time.

Now September looks, (almost), like October!

September 1st. launched the ‘Season of Creation’,

an ecumenical initiative

that aims to increase awareness among Christians

of the need to protect our common home.

It runs from Sept. 1st. to Oct. 4th.

Feast of St. Francis of Assisi,

patron saint of animals and ecology.

St. Francis Of Assisi Digital Art

We are even more determined to



and re-cycle!

Let us all Pray and Work to take care of the creation on our doorsteps!

August 2019




Knock is no stranger to rain in August!

However, nature still delights us no matter the weather!














July 2019

We have renamed these beautiful flowers

‘Living Flames’

after St. John of the Cross’ poem.

They arrive on time for all the great Carmelite feasts in July!

They blend beautifully with the Orange Blossom and Poppies to provide fitting flower arrangments for the Chapel and house.

Our soft fruit provided rich pickings again this year

and the home-made elderflower cordial

has helped quench the thirst

of yet another hot summer!    













June 2019

Spirit of God – drawing forth the beauty of Creation to delight us – may this beauty refresh our hearts and souls!

We are doing our best to keep the bees in our midst!

Although we are unable to look after hives ourselves at present;

in our wild-life friendly grounds, we are providing accommodation for some

bees of the Beekeeper Club of Ballyhaunis, about seven miles down the road.

It is wonderful for us to be able to have bees around again

without the worry of swarms getting ready to flee the hive

just as the bell goes for Evening Prayer of Corpus Christi or the Sacred Heart!


May 2019



The variety of flowers, wild and ‘tame’ delight us.



and our rabbits are out and about with their young!
































































































































































































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