It’s officially springtime now. Not only have the clocks gone forward but people up and down the country are once again remarking on that phenomenon known as the ‘grand stretch in the evening.’
But for me, spring is most evident in the mornings when my alarm clock becomes the chorus of birds around me (not literally, of course). I’ve missed those beautiful sounds the last few years living in the concrete jungle (a.k.a. Sandyford Industrial Estate) but thanks to our new semi-rural locale I no longer have to rely on Samsung’s rustling in the trees to stir me from my slumber. Instead I have the cacophony (love any excuse to use that word) of blackbirds and song thrushes etc. with their own rustling versions.
While International Dawn Chorus Day is still a way off on May 7th, even now if you leave your bedroom window open overnight you’re sure to have your own daily wake up call courtesy of Mother Nature.
Perhaps slightly more colourful than your typical garden bird, the birdcage chandelier from Graham and Green (£425) is the perfect quirky and whimsical accessory. The chandelier itself is made from copper wire, while the birds are made from real feathers and polystyrene. Each birdcage is hand made individually so you’ll never know which birds will be where until you unbox.
There are so many stunning prints out there that can add instant colour and personality to any home. Jam Art Prints has some of the best Irish talent available right now, at very affordable prices. On the left is the Signed, limited edition of ‘Two Birds’ (€15) by Lynn MacPherson. She has a collection of digital illustrations featuring a variety of wildlife whether you are otter-obsessed or think fawns are fabulous. On the right is ‘Magpies – Two for Joy’ signed gesso print (€45) by Claudine O’Sullivan. Claudine is an Irish illustrator based in London and she uses gesso, a luxury paper, to create her digital prints. Learn something new everyday!
There are some very talented Irish artists, designers and crafters out there and I’ve been following the progress of Gilded Hound for quite some time. The brainchild of Sinead Sacker, she produces beautiful bespoke copper and brass clocks and homeware. Her ‘A Penny for Your Thoughts’ copper clock (€189) is part of the heritage coin collection and features the old 1p Celtic Bird design that will leave you yearning for good oul days before the euro, the days when penny sweets were actually a penny and when a 99 was actually 99p.
This is more of a lesson in who’s who in the chorus line up and something to entertain you while you’re doing the washing up in the kitchen. The garden birds print tea towel (£4.95) is available from Dotcomgiftshop.com, a nice little gift for the ornithologist in your life.
With the window open and a bedroom backdrop of this beautiful forest mural, you’ll feel as if you’re out in the trees among the birds. This particular one is called Hua Trees from Sian Zeng (£65-£175) and is painted using Chinese inks. You can find similar murals at MuralsWallpaper.co.uk .
Not exactly a member of the dawn chorus, the heron is part of my daily spring commute. Passing along the estuary I see dozens of these pre-historic looking birds lining the rocks waiting for a feed. They also bring back painful memories of the utter devastation they caused to a local family of ducks where I once lived 😟. Having said that, The Flying Dutchman in black by Jasmin Djerzic (€320 on http://www.crowdyhouse.com) is pretty cool and really pops against the milkshake pink background.
And for my swan song (see what I did there), I have this slightly creepy Bird Leg candle holder (£65) from MiaFleur. My parents have a blackbird who is a daily visitor to their garden. Not only is he a father to little chicks, he’s a single parent (according to my mother) and to make matters worse, he only has one leg. They call him Hoppity and this candle holder just makes me think of his missing leg so I don’t quite know how I feel about it.