So what’s so special here? Murlough is approximately 6,000 years old dune heath land system. The dunes were formed by storms that kept pushing the sand to the shore. Now... Can you imagine the force of the Irish sea and the wind that was able to create something like this? Nature forces can be quite brutal. We keep forgetting. In my lifetime I’ve witnessed only one storm, yet it has made a lasting impression on me and deep respect when it comes to the power of nature. I see it here as well.
The dunes are mostly covered with heath, grass, lichen, and hints of bright yellow gorse here and there. The more rare plants were hiding from me this time. Maybe my eyes needed more training before I came here or it was simply too early in the springtime. Each season has something different to offer. Timing is essential if you are expecting to see certain things.
While I was wandering around the dunes I kept wondering where is all the wildlife? Obviously, before coming to Murlough, or anywhere for that matter, I love doing my research before. What is there to see? As I entered the reserve I was surprised to see a flock of ordinary cows and a goat. For natural grass control, I am sure. Not just plants were hiding from me, but creatures as well until I noticed strange little holes in the dune. Rabbit holes? That is where they are hiding. From all the floating human crowds, dogs and smoke of barbecue coming from the beach. Humans cause a lot of stress to animals which were here first. I was one of them and felt a bit ashamed.
Well, I did see one other creature other than a few ants. A butterfly! I exclaimed in excitement and grabbed for my camera to capture this rare sighting. Of course... it sat down on a piece of cow’s shit! My hands were shaking so hard, I apologize for the quality of this image. I was not able to stop giggling for a good while ^^’ Nature? What are you trying to tell me here?
End of May I am planning to hike Slieve Donard, highest mountain in Northern Ireland. Before coming to Murlough I wanted to practice my skills of landscape (I still suck aaa!) and painted this tiny watercolor of Donard using a reference that I realized later was taken from the reserve. So I took it with me for a bit of watercolor inception.
Sources: Murlough Nature Reserve; The Murlough Nature Trail
Song of the day: AURORA - Soft Universe