Posted by: mdmusingsie | February 16, 2014

Nature Connection

It’s easy to forget about nature when you live in a big city, but fortunately Dublin makes it easy to re-connect through the wonderful parks. I frequently get inspired when walking around St. Stephen’s Green and that’s where I headed Saturday, hoping the rain would hold off long enough for me to re-make that connection.

Most of the swans were in the lower pond today (the one near Grafton Street).  They normally hang out in the upper pond, but may have discovered a larger volume of visitors means more food.  Plenty of children and adults were on hand to throw bits of bread (not all white, thankfully) to feed the pigeons, seagulls, ducks, and swans. What I found most fascinating was the parent swans chasing away the cygnets so they could keep more of the morsels on offer.  Is the mother swan possibly eating for more than one?  Hard to know, but the existing children were forced to fend for themselves.


Cygnet being chased away by a parent


Learning to strike my pose….


…just like Mum (or Dad)


Are you lookin’ at me?
Why yes – and I think you look maavelous!

I always have to count the cygnets to see how many are still around.  For a while I was concerned as I kept coming up seven.  It wasn’t until I ventured to the other side of the bridge that I found the loner, or independent one.  The entire family is still intact.

Swans may be my first destination when in the park, but I was enjoying the intermittent sun and the comfort that this oasis in the city provides that I decided to go in search of flowers.  It is early in the year to be expecting much in the way of flora (that hadn’t been transplanted from a greenhouse), but I did find one tree brave enough to put its blossoms on display.


It took some hunting to find the small clumps of yellow crocus growing on top of the hill.  Even more challenging was trying to take photos of the flowers as the wind kept batting them about.


The daffodils and tulips aren’t quite ready to brave the wind and rain and are biding their time in their shells.


Maybe it was me, maybe the trees were still in hibernation but they didn’t seem inclined to communicate today, though one did show me its heart.  Some days are like that, but I did wholly enjoy my stroll and left the park feeling revitalized.


  1. Hang in there, Dawn. Spring is on its way!

  2. I, too, was inspired to spend time with nature today. I took a friend snowshoeing at the Retzer Nature Center in Waukesha. It was a pretty warm day, based on Wisconsin’s standards; a whopping 22 degrees. The wind was light though and once we headed out on the trails, we warmed up quickly. It was his first time snowshoeing and he was impressed with the beautiful scenery offered on the Center’s grounds. He paused often to take a picture of the various vistas. During those pauses, we both marveled at the sheer quiet that is one of the beauties of nature during winter. We were also amazed at how many of the oak trees still hung on to their leaves, given the harsh winter we have had. They are predicting above freezing temperatures later this week (which is the first time in over a month). Unfortunately for Wisconsinites, for tomorrow they are promising 3-6 more inches of snow by days end.

    Ah, the joys of a Wisconsin winter!

    • Snow is lovely….from a distance. I’m thinking a few thousand miles works for me!
      Glad you’re making the best of it. Of course there’s always a chance for a hot chocolate afterwards…

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