Emo house

My mum came to stay with us last week, and I’d hired a car for the week so I was actually able to go out and about! My mum is a bit like me in that she loves to just amble about noticing the wildlife around us, so I took her to Emo Court for a walk around their gardens & lake.

Emo is located in Emo village in Co. Laois and is only about a 10 minute drive from where we live. To get to it you follow the road through woodland (which is also a great place to walk), until you get to the narrow road leading to the house & car park. The grounds are free to walk around but if you want to take a look around the house then you will have to pay for that.

If you’re interested in knowing about the history of Emo Court, all the details can be found on their website: http://emocourt.ie/

There are 2 main walks around the parklands – the Lake walk and the Ice House walk. Given that we had all day and the weather was okay we thought we’d do both walks, stopping at the tea rooms for lunch on the way πŸ™‚

We visited on a Tuesday so it wasn’t that busy – we practically had the place to ourselves.

The walks are fairly short and probably only take about 40 minutes each, however we made them last for about 3-4 hours as we stopped to take photos along the way.

I didn’t realise my mum loves to examine tree trunks & fungi too, so there were plenty of oohs & ahhs along the way, not to mention lots of photos! I have no idea about fungus, so if you know the names of any of the following, please feel free to enlighten me πŸ™‚

fungi in tree
fungi on tree
I love how the spores of the fungi made everything look a bit rusty!
fungi on tree
fungus with flies
I’m not going to mention what this one looks like πŸ˜‰
It must’ve smelt though as it was covered in flies!
I think these are Puffballs?
fungi on tree
This looked gorgeous on the tree

Right, that’s it for the fungi… on to some birdy shots πŸ™‚

Part way round the lake are benches where the ducks & swans congregate in the hope of being thrown some food – we didn’t have any food with us so we just sat & watched them for a while…

emo lake
duck swimming
duck on lake

After going around the lake, the path then takes you up towards the main house. A lot of the paths were closed to the public for some reason (possibly maintenance work), so we were unable to walk over the riding, and through the gardens in front of the house.

emo court

However we could still follow the path through the trees, past this patch of flowers that the butterflies loved… at which point I got quite excited as the only butterflies I usually see are the ones in our garden (Red Admiral, Painted Lady & Small Tortoiseshell), so I acted a bit like a kid when I spotted a few that I’ve never seen before!

flower patch
speckled wood butterfly
I think this is a Speckled Wood?
silver-washed fritillary
Silver-washed Fritillary?

After lunch we decided to do the lake walk again but in reverse hoping to spot things we may have missed first time around. Birdsong was loud but unfortunately we couldn’t see the Blue Tits, Long Tailed Tits or Wrens that were making all the noise! We did catch a glimpse of a Jay though as it flew across the path in front of us.

It was a lovely day out, and I think the main highlight was seeing a red squirrel (twice!) in the trees, although I wasn’t quick enough with the camera.

Once home, I took a quick look around the back yard to see if any of the usual birds were around, and came across this Small Tortoiseshell butterfly that must have hatched earlier that day…

small tortoiseshell butterfly

A lovely way to finish the day off πŸ™‚