Sodden summer days, another banking crisis, gloomy economic prospects - sometimes it just feels so depressing.
But then, seemingly out of nowhere, a thing of beauty passes before our eyes and the world suddenly feels just that little bit brighter. No one can fail to be impressed by the wildflower meadows on Carnmoney Hill on the northern outskirts of Belfast.
Not only do they provide a splash of colour in a dismal landscape, but they also provide a natural habitat for a wide variety of insects, birds and small animals. The Woodland Trust and its supporters deserve enormous credit for creating a little bit of nature that is not only easy on the eye, but also ecologically important.