Nature on the Aran Islands, Galway, Ireland -August 2014

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Anyone who follows the Natural Fuel Instagram account will know that I love wild flowers and noting the change of the seasons by observing them.  I especially love spotting wild flowers in urban areas such as Dublin City.  This originally stemmed from my delight in seeing bright clumps of pink Valerian blooming half way up the crumbling wall of a derelict four story building.  I love the juxtaposition of the decaying and blossoming imagery, and am fascinated by the ability of plants to root and thrive in the most unusual urban places.  I suppose although I love nature, I am a city girl at heart, and the sight of wild flowers prospering in urban landscapes is sometimes more lovely to me than a rural field of wild flowers.

That said, on my trip to the remote Aran Islands in Galway, Ireland earlier this month, I was eagerly awaiting the opportunity to count how many different wild flower varieties I could find on such unspoilt landscape.  It was great to see so many different types of flowers thriving, and it was reassuring to see that there were plenty of bees, moths and butterflies flitting from plant to plant.

The absolute highlight of my trip was swimming in the sea with a wild bottlenose dolphin!  I am totally against captive wild animals being held in zoos, circuses or marine parks and so never aspired to swim with dolphins although they are fascinating creatures.  I was completely unprepared for the fact that life would present me with the experience of sharing the waters with a wild one off the coast of Ireland!

Anyone who knows me will know that I am always whinging about the fact that I rarely catch a glimpse of wild animals.   Although I go on regular cliff walks along the Dublin and Wicklow coast I have only managed to spot a dolphin (briefly) once.. or it may have been a porpoise!  Needless to say this amazing up close encounter has put an end to my complaining for life!  Just about dolphins though.. I have yet to see a badger! ;-)

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