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Sccrrrrratttchchch!!! Ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-scratttchhhh… ssccccrrraaaaaape!! This is a weak and mild imitation of the sound we woke up to this morning. Declan was sure it was outside the window – I swear it was near or under my side of the bed! This went on between stretches of silence for about 40 minutes. Having seen no evidence of the presence of any rodent type creatures in the house all summer, my hope is that Declan is right and we just had a bit of bird activity in the stones outside. Perhaps the pheasant, which paid our house guests a visit each evening in May but has only darted past our car a few times across our bumpy road, has returned to prepare a winter home nearby. Yes, that’s the ticket. It had to be that beautiful pheasant!

The Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh courtesy oes.org

Just as every cloud has its silver lining, several hours earlier Eoin and I stood in the darkness of the wee hours outside our country cottage gazing up at a clear, night sky that sparkled with billions of stars of every size… glowing, twinkling and even shooting! Eoin had never seen such a sight in his entire life and I only have vague memories of viewing it as a child. I wouldn’t trade the starry night for a quieter morning, no matter what was making that horrifying sound!

Is this Heaven? No, it's Ireland.

We have been so busy making the most of our last couple of weeks in Ireland that I’ve had little time for blogging. Declan arrived in Dublin on Sunday and found his way to Kilkee by Monday evening. Meanwhile, Eoin and I made a road trip up to North Mayo and took the scenic route toward home, down through the mountains (hills?) during one of the many foggy, mist-ridden days we’ve experienced this summer. We were rewarded with some of the most magnificent sights I’ve seen to date – and this is saying a lot in a country that dazzles my eyes almost continually! Nearly on my way out the door again today, I only had a moment to download a slew of photos, many that barely do justice to the reality of what we saw, and drop one in here that I particularly liked. I snapped this photograph on the road between Louisburgh in Co. Mayo and Leenane, Co. Galway – a road that extended our trip by an extra day because we couldn’t get enough of it in just two!

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