A Photographers blog

Welcome

I started this blog in 2011 with the aim of sharing some of my images capturing many of the locations here in Ireland where I live, along with some great places visited on my travels. I very much hope you enjoy the posts you find here, since 2011 this blog has had well over 150,000 visits and 70,000 likes for it's pages and I would like to say a big THANK YOU ! to everyone who has already visited this blog leaving a like or making a comment, both of which are very much appreciated. I look forward to many more posts and also reading all the great blog posts from so many great people in the WordPress community :)

Latest

A Winters day on the farm …..

WinterFeed in the barn County Kilkenny Nigel Borrington

WinterFeed in the barn
County Kilkenny
Nigel Borrington

Winters on a farm are a hard time of year, dealing with the weather and the cold, the dark evenings and early mornings. Life as a farmer must have many great moments but its not hard to imagine that there are less of these in the winter months than in the summer.

I took these images while out on a walk yesterday and as you can see, on this farm some of the cows are still out in the fields while some have been returned to their winter shed, soon all of them with be inside. In the Barn close by is stored some of the feed that will be used for the cattle over the next few months. In an area of the barn next to the feed is the farmers haybob that would have been used only a few weeks back to help get the hay bales ready.

The next few weeks are all about rest for the land and keeping the live stock warm and health in the sheds, life slows down and less work out in the fields is needed. While welcome in some ways you can imagine that this lack of activity can at times feel a little to slow but this is farm life.

Here in county Kilkenny each year you develop a great sense of the farming seasons and the activities that go along with them.

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Abandoned Farmhouse, Poem By Ted Kooser

Abansoned Farmhouse chalk sketch Nigel Borrington

Abansoned Farmhouse
Chalk sketch
Nigel Borrington

Abandoned Farmhouse

By Ted Kooser

He was a big man, says the size of his shoes
on a pile of broken dishes by the house;
a tall man too, says the length of the bed
in an upstairs room; and a good, God-fearing man,
says the Bible with a broken back
on the floor below the window, dusty with sun;
but not a man for farming, say the fields
cluttered with boulders and the leaky barn.

A woman lived with him, says the bedroom wall
papered with lilacs and the kitchen shelves
covered with oilcloth, and they had a child,
says the sandbox made from a tractor tire.
Money was scarce, say the jars of plum preserves
and canned tomatoes sealed in the cellar hole.
And the winters cold, say the rags in the window frames.
It was lonely here, says the narrow country road.

Something went wrong, says the empty house
in the weed-choked yard. Stones in the fields
say he was not a farmer; the still-sealed jars
in the cellar say she left in a nervous haste.
And the child? Its toys are strewn in the yard
like branches after a storm—a rubber cow,
a rusty tractor with a broken plow,
a doll in overalls. Something went wrong, they say.

Fond memories….. 

Fond memory of Molly our very special Golden Retriever

Fond memory of Molly our very special Golden Retriever

Its exactly one year ago that we lost our much loved friend Molly, she was with us for 12 1/2 year and in that time shared such a great life with us.

The gap she left is just a little smaller than this time last year but as you can imagine she is still very much loved and in our minds all the time, she was special and as lots of dog owners know she made our lives special, in that she was in it….

for the great times we had with her🙂🙂

Molly xxxx

An October walk along the Waterford coast Irish Landscape Photography  Nigel Borrington

Molly Four feet Friday 2

Coolieragh Glengarriff 6

Down in the rocky river 4

Glenveagh National park 5

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Glenveagh National park 3

Glenveagh National park 2

Macro photography in December

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You would think that in the first week of December, it would be hard to find anything interesting in the local landscape nature wise to get good and close to with a Macro lens, however there are still some amazing thing to be seen and captured🙂

Here are just a few macro images taken this week …….

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Friday Art and Artists : British Artist Edward Bawden

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Friday Art reviews

Back in the Summer I did a weeks worth of posts that related to some of the artists I like the most. I really enjoyed doing the research behind these posts and so I want to start looking at some more artists and their work , In the long term I am planning to put each Friday aside for these posts, this December however I may post a lot more than one day per week, as I want to dig a lot deeper into the subject of landscape and cityscape art and artists ……


Artist Edward Bawden

British Artist Edward Bawden, one of a group of artists associated with a community of artists that existed around Great Bardfield in Essex, England during the middle years of the 20th century.

Great Bardfield :

is a village in north west Essex, England. The principal artists who lived there between 1930 and 1970 were John Aldridge RA, Edward Bawden CBE RA, George Chapman, Stanley Clifford-Smith, Audrey Cruddas, Walter Hoyle (principally a printmaker, who ran the printing workshops at Cambridge Art School when I was there, and taught me to do linocuts in the style of Bawden and himself), Eric Ravilious, Sheila Robinson, Michael Rothenstein, Kenneth Rowntree and Marianne Straub. Other artists associated with the group include Duffy Ayers, John Bolam (who taught me painting at Cambridge Art School, and later became the Principal of the school), Bernard Cheese, Tirzah Garwood, Joan Glass, David Low and Laurence Scarfe. Great Bardfield Artists were diverse in style but shared a love for figurative art, making the group distinct from the better known St Ives art community in Cornwall, who, after the war, were chiefly dominated by abstractionists.

Edward Bawden (1903 – 1989)

can be seen as a key artist in the Bardfield group. His long career spanned most of the twentieth century, and comfortably straddled boundaries and borders between the fine and applied arts, boundaries which are seen as so immovable today. Even before his appointment as an Official War Artist in 1940, Bawden had established a reputation as a designer, illustrator and painter. As well as these areas his output over the years include murals, posters, designs for wallpaper, ceramics, lithographic prints and watercolours.

Edward Bawden was born in Braintree, Essex in 1903, and was perhaps more firmly rooted in Essex than any other artist represented in the North West Essex Collection. Bawden attended the Friends’ School in Saffron Walden. At the age of eleven he strained his heart and was excused participation in sports. This may have allowed him to devote more time to drawing, and his portraits and caricatures attracted the attention of his tutors who arranged for him to spend a day a week at the Cambridge School of Art. The school, now part of Anglia Ruskin University, had been founded to comply with the Ruskinian philosophies of improving design for industry, and encouraging amateur aspirations. Bawden fitted perfectly.

Before long, he had gained entry to the Royal College of Art. Here he was taught by Paul Nash (a lasting influence on Bawden and his contemporaries), and the popular E. W. Tristram. It was at the RCA that Bawden first met his ‘kindred spirit’, Eric Ravilious, the two quickly becoming firm friends, though entirely different in temperament. Shortly after leaving the college, the pair gained a prestigious commission to paint a mural for the refreshment room of Morley College in London. He first rented half of Brick House, the imposing Georgian house in Great Bardfield in the mid-1920s with Ravilious, and after his father purchased the whole house for him on his marriage to Charlotte Epton in 1932, he continued to live there until moving to Saffron Walden in 1970 after Charlotte’s death.

On a Personal note …..

I really like Edwards London market prints, his use of limited colour and strong geometric shapes, to me this is print making at its very best. They are almost poster like yet retain strong connections to art not commercial based prints.

I like very much the sense of movement and activity that he captures from the people he includes in these prints, you can almost hear the noise and imagine the chatter that is taking place, the sound of wheels on the flag stones. The cold in the winter and the heat of the city in the summer.

These prints are full of life and capture London markets in 1967 in an almost timeless way🙂🙂

In 1967 Bawden made a series of six prints of London markets, commissioned by Curwen Prints. The markets were Billingsgate, Borough, Covent Garden (2), Leadenhall and Smithfield:

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December , the Pagan Meaning of Evergreen & Holly

Evergreen Holly  Pagan Nature

Evergreen Holly
Pagan Nature

Evergreens and holly (genus Ilex) are traditionally used to decorate during the holidays. Although many simply enjoy the plants for their fragrance and holiday colors, the meaning of these plants goes deeper for others, including pagans. Historically, pagans had — and still have — specific beliefs about the power and symbolism of both evergreens and holly, and some still use the plants as decor in accordance with those beliefs.

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Evergreen — Always Green

Evergreens are loosely defined as plants that retain their foliage and remain green year-round. Usually, the term refers to coniferous trees — trees that have needles or needle-like foliage, but it can refer to any plant that stays green all winter long, including holly. Today, evergreens are valued for their practical uses — as windbreaks, hedges and for use as Christmas trees. Pagans used them for more spiritual reasons.

Pagan Meaning of Evergreen

In some countries, it was believed that evergreens would keep evil out of the home — evil spirits and ghosts, and evil in the form of illnesses. For this reason, evergreen boughs were often cut down and hung over doorways and inside the home. Pagans also believed that the green branches represented everlasting life. Druids used evergreen branches to decorate their temples for this very reason, according to History.com. The green of the branches helped people to get through the long winter by having hope in the warmth and food that would come in the spring.

Holly — Pretty and Prickly

Holly plants
vary widely in leaf shape and appearance. Although there are over 400 species (Ilex opaca is the scientific name of American holly), the most popular for use during the holidays are those that produce bright red berries, which historically were seen by pagans as masculine plants even though it is the female plants that produce the fruit. Holly plants are generally hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 through 9, although this can vary by species. Most popular hollies are hardy in USDA zones 7 through 9.

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Pagan Meaning of Holly

Holly has a more specific meaning for pagans. Historically, pagans believed that like evergreens, holly wards off evil spirits. They also believed that holly increased fertility. In addition to bringing in holly boughs to decorate the home and increase fertility, holly was also often planted outdoors around the house to keep out evil spirits.

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Kilkenny landscape images : Novembers last sunset

Kilkenny Landscapes Ballykeeffe  Ireland Nigel Borrington

Kilkenny Landscapes
Ballykeeffe
Ireland
Nigel Borrington

Its hard to Believe that it is the end of November already !!

These images are of the last sunset, November 2016🙂

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Birds in Irish Folklore, The Robin

Birds of Irish folk law The Robin Nigel Borrington

Birds of Irish Folklore
The Robin
Nigel Borrington

The end of November and you would think that all the wildlife has vanished from the landscape , however you only need to take an early morning walk to realize that there are lots of wild creatures still around.

This morning on a walk through the hills near Kilmoganny, county Kilkenny, I was accompanied by this little Robin who hopped from tree to tree in front of me 🙂

Here is a little folklore about the Robin from an Irish point of view …….

The Robin

If the soul and symbol of the old sun and the Oak King was the Wren, the Robin represented the new sun. The wren was said to hide in the Ivy, the Robin in the Holly. The Pagan Neolithic Festival of the birth of the new sun, symbolized by the Robin, was at the Winter Solstice (21st December). The Robin (the new sun) killed his father the Wren (the old sun) and that is how he got his red breast, ie, from the blood of his father. A Robin coming into a house was supposed to be a sign that someone was going to die there in the near future. Despite this association with death, the Robin was praised for being the only bird capable of singing all the notes of the musical scale. And furthermore, the Robin can sing for half an hour without repeating the melody, unlike the other birds.

The Boat men of the river Suir

Fishing boat  river Suir  County Tipperary

Fishing boat
river Suir
County Tipperary

Fishing on the River suir

The walk along the river Suir, County Tipperary is one of the best river walks in the south east of Ireland. It is currently undergoing an upgrade to a hard surface that will for the first time allow for both walkers and cyclists.

The river is used by many local people during the year but the fisher man are most probably it’s most common visitors, the River is renowned for its game angling, holding both salmon (Salmo salar) and brown trout (Salmo trutta).

I have taken many photographs of the fishermen here over the years alone with the boats they use for their fishing, these boats ( all made locally ) are used more like punts as the have a completely flat bottom and are moved along the river with a pole.

Fishing in Ireland : CLOCULLY TO CARRICK-ON-SUIR

The River Suir from Clocully to Carrick-on-Suir is a combination of deep pools, fast glides and varying widths and depths.

From Clocully to Ballydonagh, a consortium of private landowners control the angling, these are all private fisheries. This stretch also includes parts of the River Tar and River Nire, which contain good stocks of trout of up to 30 cm.

Fishing on the river Suir : Gallery

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The Boat men of the suir 1

The boat on the suir

The Boat men of the suir 3

The Boat men of the suir 4

Friday Poetry : November Sunset – Poem by Steven Federle

Black Friday Sunset Callan Kilkenny Ireland

Black Friday Sunset
Callan
Kilkenny
Ireland

About five o clock,
the warm November day
just stops.

Bright afternoon
slams into evening
not even pausing
for twilight.

Blue sky
dims quickly
to violet,

but over ragged black woods
the orange sun
lingers

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Then suddenly bursts
into astonishing gold.

Blithely ascending
the bright crescent
claims the cool
velvet night.

Steven Federle