Take a moment to look around you — no, seriously — try to imagine what the spot you’re sitting in looked like 100 years ago, 500 years ago, 10,000 years ago. Who or what called this place home? What did the land look like? How was life back then?

On this Saturday Around the World on EWC, we’re heading to a unique place that’s bathed in its history. Where the ancient limestone that covers it acts as a heating unit, species of plants that traveled from around the world bloom beautifully in abundance, and the marks of our own human presence and influence on the land easily date back at least 6,000 years!

We’re taking a trip to the Burren; Located in Ireland’s County Clare, its karst landscape is a perfect example of the symbiotic relationship between people and the land they inhabit.

Image: a sheep sitting on a rock in the Burren

Source: Pixabay

What has played a huge role in shaping the landscape of the Burren for thousands of years has been the agriculture practices humans have put in place. But why have they been so important? And why have farmers stuck around this seemingly unfarmable rocky landscape? What are the benefits?

Daniel Klein and Mirra Fine, the hands and minds behind The Perennial Plate — an online weekly documentary series dedicated to socially responsible and adventurous eating with two James Beard awards under its belt — traveled to the Burren and created the following video to uncover this beautiful relationship between humans and this unique land. It has quite a few interesting characteristics, so pay close attention!

It’s quite the place, isn’t it?

What a history! To learn more about the people in those graves one gentleman was speaking of in the film, spend a few moments with the Burren BEO Trust. And to hear more about how this land was even formed in the first place, check out this awesome article from The Burren Geo Park!

6 minutes

Laying Out Earth’s History on a Football Field

How much do you really know about this planet's history? How long have we been here? How does that compare Earth's entire history? With the help of a football field, let's gain a little perspective on these questions.

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I find that sometimes, well actually, most of the time, it’s hard to imagine what the land we live on has gone through since its creation.

Though we study geology and have a generally good idea of what the earth and our ancestors went through, as our scientific understanding improves and we continue to keep uncovering bits and pieces of all the civilizations and creatures that have come before us, it’s still difficult to conjure up an image of what their realities on this planet were. And the truth is, we may never be able to have that perfectly clear image.

But it’s in places like the Burren, where the tombs of those who came before rest up on the hillsides, the marks of the giant traveling slabs of ice that scraped over them highlight the stone, and the human relationship with the land has minimally changed, that a sharp connection to the past forms. The picture comes into focus; it’s easier to imagine the life of those who walked this land before you when your experiences are arguably similar (give or take a few advances in technology).

“One of the most beautiful things in the world is people and place. Of all beauties, I think is the most beautiful[sic]” 2

Glaciers may have brought plants from around the world to the Burren, but it seems they also had a hand in transporting some of our venomous friends…

We wrote about it in this article:

9 minutes

Venomous Animals Prove It’s Still an Amazing World

Ever wondered why some animals developed this deadly cocktail? Or why there seems to be a pattern to where these creatures are located? There are pieces to this puzzle that may just surprise you...

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Stay open to new possibilities!

  • Sam

“No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it” — Albert Einstein 

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Saturdays Around the World on EWC

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  1. “The Burren.” Vimeo. The Perennial Plate, 22 Feb. 2017. Web. 25 Apr. 2018. <https://vimeo.com/205227687>.
  2. “The Burren.” Vimeo. The Perennial Plate, 22 Feb. 2017. Web. 25 Apr. 2018. <https://vimeo.com/205227687>.

Sam has written and edited hundreds of articles since joining the EWC team in 2016. She writes about topics from the wonders of nature to the organizations changing the world and the simple joys in life! Outside of the EWC office, she’s a part-time printmaker, collector of knick-knacks, and taster of cheeses.