More Flowers and Landscape
The landscape of the Burren is spectacular and very unique.
The most striking feature is the limestone rocky hills with their spectacular shaped hills which plunge down into the Atlantic ocean.
For such a striking unspoilt landscape, it is amazing how few people come here compared to most places in Europe.
The Burren is on the furthermost Western edge of Ireland and one does not pass through the Burren in order to get to any of the main cities in Ireland.
For that reason, this pristine environment gets relatively few visitors and very often we do not meet any people when we go hill walking in this beautiful countryside.
Often when one goes into the countryside in other parts of Ireland, one can hear tractors and other machinery and often distant sounds of traffic.
However here in the Burren, the only farming is looking after small numbers of cattle so all one hears is the wind, the sound of the birds and the sound of the sea.
If one spent a week in the Burren without practicing yoga or meditation, one would still feel relaxed, refreshed and energised.
This is Fanore beach where we go swimming and also for the surf lessons during the week long retreats.
Another very special place in the Burren is Mulloughmore mountain.
The range of wild flowers which grow here has to be seen to be believed.
These orchids grow wild and it is a joy to see their beauty during our guided outings.
It is a good idea to bring your camera with you when you come on any of our yoga retreats, as the scenery is breathtaking and the wild flowers plentiful and inspiring.
The Early-purple orchid is abundant in May and is a spectacular flower with striking colour and lovely detail.
One of the wild flowers which is synonymous with the Burren is the Spring Gentian.
One often comes across patches of these flowers growing in little clusters.
The colour is very vivid and they are truly beautiful.
Another striking feature of the landscape are the endless stone walls which run up, down and across the hills.
Some of these stone walls were build during the Irish Famine 1845 – 1852. Most of them are boundaries of land as they mark off one farmers area of land from his neighbours.
In some places it is difficult to tell which are ancient standing stones which were erected thousands of years ago, and which are rocks which have been more recently moved.
The air in the Burren is possible the most freshest air in the world as it blows in completely unpolluted from the Atlantic ocean and charged with negative ions so that one’s feels energised and refreshed.
The lichens thrive in this very clean and fresh air.
We often climb to the top of Mulloughmore which takes about 50 minutes to get the top. The 360 degree views at the top are spectacular and one can see the ridge of hills where the Burren Yoga and Meditation Centre is located from the top of Mulloughmore.
Burren Wild flowers
The photos of the Burren wild flowers below are just some of the wide range you can see while you are here on our guided outings.
To set the scene….. this is the meadow where we started our walk.
The range of wild flowers is dazzling.
And one has to stop, bend down and look amongst the more common wild flowers and grasses to see the more exotic orchids.
One of the first we saw is the Bee Orchid.
Further along this meadow we saw the fly orchid.
These flowers are so easy to walk past and miss, that it is great having a guide who can point them out.
Some of the orchids are not as spectacular such as the Twayblade orchid.
And most guides will not be able to identify every single flower that one comes across. This one is Bitter-vetch. Thanks to Zoe Devlin of Wildflowers Ireland for helping identify some of these!
Sometimes the wild flowers look as if they are growing straight from the limestone rocks. These are called Rue-leaved Saxifrage.
And each year it is lovely to see the return of the flowers which can be like seeing old friends again. This one is Yellow-rattle.
As well as the flowers there is a range of butterflies, moths, beatles and also the odd lizard and grass snake. This is a Rose Chaffer beetle.
And although this looks like a common spotted orchid, I did not think this was the right type of terrain to find them.
This lovely white orchid is O’Kelly’s Spotted-orchid.
And even if one does not know the name of these wild flowers, one can still appreciate their beauty.
A lovely side effect of taking the time to look at these wild flowers and appreciating their beauty, is that it brings us closer to the ‘present moment’ rather than rushing around in our lives and being caught up in thoughts.
Would someone like to identify the next one?
Thanks again to Zoe Devlin of Wildflowers Ireland… this is Self-heal
When one stands up and looks around, the surrounding landscape is inspiring. Not a sound but the birds in the trees, and the sound of the wind.
And the meadows are like a blanket of flowers in some places.
And then we come across some more Bee Orchids.
These orchids are quite small and easy to miss if one is not looking out for them.
But when one gets close enough to see the detail, they are truly beautiful.
These orchids are a photographer’s delight.
As well as a delight for anybody to see.
Other walks in the Burren for wild flowers
We have guided outings on all of our yoga retreats which run all year round.
Another beautiful flower is the bloody cranesbill.
And most of them have a very vivid colour.
The early purple orchid is a favourite and can be seen all over the Burren during May.
We always have time on our guided walks to take our time to enjoy our surroundings.
The beauty of these plants becomes even more apparent seeing them up close.
And the backdrop of the Burren limestone rocks and hills makes a spectacular and inspiring combination.
There are different types of orchids growing in the same area.
Another wild flower seen early in the season in abundance are the Mountain Avins
A little off the beaten track on the more acidic soil can be found the Marsh orchid.
And along by the Flaggy shore there is a range of wild flowers. These are are Sea Campion and Thrift
The Flaggy Shore is about 10 minutes drive from the Burren Yoga and Meditation Centre and one of our favourite sea walks.
These flowers are Thrift with Bird’s-foot Trefoil
The hills in the distance is Black Head, which is one of our favourite hill climbs which has a 1,000 year old ruined fort where we usually take a rest after our hill climb.
The ever changing weather of the Burren helps us appreciate these sunny days, but also lets us ‘feel the elements’ as the weather can change from hour to hour.
The peacefulness and silence of the Burren helps us firstly to notice the chatter inside ourselves, and then when we have time to immerse ourselves in the yoga and meditation practices, the silence all around us helps us to cultivate and nourish that inner silence which develops through inner practice.
And arising from this inner silence we experience the peace and bliss that is within every moment.
And also allow us to see the natural beauty that is all around us, and to be able to appreciate the Burren wild flowers even more.
And popping up between the rocks we have a range of other wild flowers. The white flowers below are Irish Saxifrage,
While again on the more boggy ground we find other species such as Bogbean.
This is Water Avens.
This one is a Cuckooflower visited by a couple of insects.
Spending time in Nature is like food for the soul.
You will be amazed at the range of different things that we do each day on our yoga retreat holidays which run all year round.
Over 20% of our visitors have never practised yoga before.
Our team of hand-picked yoga and meditation teachers are very gifted, and give special attention to complete beginners so that they have more gentle variations to practise, and explain what is going on.
You can see more about what type of people come on our retreats at Who our retreats are suitable for