A Day of Gathering


It was perfectly calm on both Inis Mor and across the bay in Connemara today. With storms dropping nearly 3 1/4″ of rainfall this month, the cloudless sky and calm seas were most welcome.  I thought about recording the morning bird song but decided to just relax and enjoy.

Johnny and I went clamming around midday but had no luck.  The gentle breeze was pushing the water towards the shore just enough that the tide line was never quite low enough.  Instead, I gathered shells to make a mosaic and he harvested mussels for dinner, a nice substitute for the razor clams.

A few years ago Johnny and the children made mosaics and one of their pieces of art has since dwelled in our garden.  Yesterday I noticed it’s even more beautiful because of moss growing in the furrows and that’s what inspired me to make another.  I also have a bucket of tile and sea glass to create mosaic with that we’ve all collected over many years.

Afterwards, I cut willow to make something artistic for the outside front wall of the house. Remember our autumn bird feeder wreath and the Christmas wreath?  They were both made from the same willow base which is now stored in the shed until next autumn.  I’m hoping to make a St. Brigid’s cross for the spring.  I say hoping because the willow may not be pliable enough to completely fold onto itself without snapping.  We’ll see.  If that doesn’t work, I have a plan B.  I’ll know more this week when I give it a try and will tell how it goes.  Here are some pictures of the St. Brigid’s cross I made for inside our house a week and half ago aside the fresh cut willow, and a chicken.
Of all the things we gathered today, we are feeling fortunate that rain was not one of them.  It was a much needed day of complete sunshine, the first we’ve had in months.  It really lifted our spirits to spend the entire day outside.
I hope wherever you are and whatever you’re doing, your day is going (or went) just wonderfully.
Good night and sweet dreams my friends!
Melissa Xx


  1. So wonderful to share your day. Stunning photos. Beach combing – one of my favourite pastimes, and then making a mosaic – bliss! What wonderful colours you captured with your shells. In my fantasy life, I am popping round for a few hours mosaic making under that clear blue sky with you and your family …………… Mmmmmmmmm!

    Liked by 3 people

    • I wasn’t too selective as they were quite abundant but knew I had a few extra-special ones though. I thought of you as I was gathering the shells, but unfortunately the rain water was washing down from the top of the island to the shore so no mandala making. Would have loved to try your idea out. Another day for sure. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Olga says:

    Wonderful that the sun was finally able to find you. I have had some rare experiences in the past with collecting shells and beautiful stones on a beach, but have never created a work of art from them. Love your story and photos.

    Liked by 2 people

    • We got two sunny days in a row but now clouds and cold. Not down pouring rain so am grateful for that. I don’t know what brash fencing is. You two are busy getting ready for the tourist season. Won’t be long now!


      • Roz Hill says:

        So much to do , I had several false starts with my Zero Haiku, then ended up with a cockeral pic and then lots of chicken stories buzzing around my head in the night. Result ‘nothing’ so far, which I thought was ironic cos it’s not going to happen. I joined Amcestry again after visiting my mum. And yesterday we had a booking for a non existant bell tent on a very wet site. When I looked at my bnb listing I realised it needs my attention too! So zero will probably stay nothing for a while if you get my drift!!💚💛❤️💜💙

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Murtagh's Meadow says:

    Beautiful shells, and willow. Looking forward to seeing what you create. Here too we’ve had sunshine though mornings are starting foggy – but respite from rain is lovely and very welcome.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hiya Karina. Hope you’re having a nice weekend. I managed to make the St. Brigid’s cross for the front of the house. It’s about four feet wide and high and used 32 stems of willow. Was delighted that the willow managed to bend without breaking though it was tough on the ole hands. I photographed it but feel it is a bit dull without the window boxes in so am going to be patient…

      Liked by 1 person

    • You’re having the same weather as us…sorry to hear that. But, yes, Wednesday was just glorious. It was a bit much on tender eyes, no kidding–it takes a bit of getting used to after so long doesn’t it?!


  4. stephpep56 says:

    Was talking to one of my sisters who lives in Westport Melissa and she was over the moon with the few lovely sunny days. She lives on the side of a hill overlooking clew bay and her biggest wish is for ‘ A flat field’ for her horses, pigs cows and hens. It’s a bit better here in Wicklow but cold still. I’ve been to the beach a few times but the wind is raw still. Love your bunch of willow and hen Photo and then there is that beautiful pink tinged shell among the coloured periwinkle ones . Gorgeous. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Steph. I made my St. Brigid’s cross to hang on the front of the house from that willow but am waiting to photograph it until my window boxes are in, just for a bit of colour.

      Have a great weekend. 🙂


      • stephpep56 says:

        I love willow, wonderful stuff with so many uses. would it be that the more you cut it the stronger it grows? love the different varieties and colors of barks, Have you made any baskets recently? Hope you are keeping well. Will head west in april for a bit of cycling. Miss that special air (Though my sisters in the west tell me it’s still wintery there).P.s Look forward to your photo xxxx



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