This September has been one of the warmest and driest in memory and just perfect for late evening walks along our local river banks.
These images are just some I have taken just before sunset each evening, September 2014 is one to remember for a long time !
Golden hour on the River Barrow : Gallery
You will often find people Parascending from the mountain of Slievenamon , county Tipperary. The mountain is located on the border between counties Kilkenny and Tipperary and offers great views of both.
Late one evening recently, I came across three people walking up and I walked along side them for a while as the carried their equipment to the top and then all took off at the same time, it was just amazing to stand and watch them as they circled around above then disappeared off into the distance some miles away.
Parascending from Slievenamon : Gallery
Arriving at this great location of the Brownshill Dolmen, county Carlow on a typical overcast early autumn day in Ireland. I located the site of the largest Dolmen in this part of Europe very easily as there are plenty of road signs to help you.
There is a small walk through a field an up-to a preserved area containing the Dolmen itself, the information board is of great help and places this construction into it context.
It is the cap stone that is the most impressive part of this Dolmen.
Discover Ireland describes this monument as follows :
The Brownshill Dolmen is an unmistakable monument to the east of Carlow town dating back to pre-historic times.
Its date of construction has been estimated at between 4,900 and 5,500 years ago and it is thought that religious rites were performed here. Some authorities also suggest that it may have served as a form of border marker.
Whatever it’s original purpose, it represents a tangible link between the present and the past. The magnificent granite capstone, weighing about 103 tonnes, has excited the interest of many antiquarians and tourists for centuries.
Brownshill Dolmen, county Carlow : Gallery
Recently we stayed at Coolieragh’s, Glengarriff, county cork , its a great location just west of Glengarriff.
The coast line is full of rocky coves that are perfect for taking a swim, we took molly our golden retriever down to the best of these many time during the week. She loves to swim and even though the water was cold we also took the opportunity many time as well.
A swim at Coolieragh’s, coves. Glengarriff, county cork
By : Edwin Arlington Robinson
The miller’s wife had waited long,
The tea was cold, the fire was dead;
And there might yet be nothing wrong
In how he went and what he said:
“There are no millers any more,”
Was all that she heard him say;
And he had lingered at the door
So long it seemed like yesterday.
Sick with a fear that had no form
She knew that she was there at last;
And in the mill there was a warm
And mealy fragrance of the past.
What else there was would only seem
To say again what he had meant;
And what was hanging from a beam
Would not have heeded where she went.
And if she thought it followed her,
She may have reasoned in the dark
That one way of the few there were
Would hide her and would leave no mark:
Black water, smooth above the weir
Like starry velvet in the night,
Though ruffled once, would soon appear
The same as ever to the sight.
What is the autumnal equinox
Our year is divided into four season’s(Winter, Spring, Summer and Autumn), the starting date of these seasons is determined by the movement of the sun as our planet orbits around it with a little help by the tilt of the earth’s axis.
On the autumnal equinox, day and night are equally 12 hours long . As the Sun crosses the celestial equator going southward; it rises exactly due east and sets exactly due west.
From tomorrow we start the slow movement towards the winter season, marked my the shortest day , the 21st of December.
Autumnal equinox in the Pagan world.
The holiday of the autumnal equinox, Harvest Home, Mabon, the Feast of the Ingathering, Meán Fómhair or Alban Elfed (in Neo-Druid traditions), is a Pagan ritual of thanksgiving for the fruits of the earth and a recognition of the need to share them to secure the blessings of the Goddess and the God during the coming winter months.
The name Mabon was coined by Aidan Kelly around 1970 as a reference to Mabon ap Modron, a character from Welsh mythology. Among the sabbats, it is the second of the three Pagan harvest festivals, preceded by Lammas / Lughnasadh and followed by Samhain.
Ref : Wheel of the Year
Kingdom Falconry is based and located at Crag caves, Castle-island, Co. Kerry, 2km from the town. They offer you the unique opportunity to get up close and personal with a variety of very majestic and awe-inspiring birds of prey.
One of these birds is an Eurasian eagle-owl a fantastic bird that was just wonderful to get very close to.
Kingdom Falconry can be contacted from this link.
If you are in county Kerry and near Castle-island and have sometime , I would very much recommend dropping in to meet these birds.
The Eurasian eagle-owl is described as follows :
The Eurasian eagle-owl (Bubo bubo) is a species of eagle-owl resident in much of Eurasia. It is sometimes called the European eagle-owl and is, in Europe, where it is the only member of its genus besides the snowy owl, occasionally abbreviated to just eagle-owl. In India, it is often called the Indian great horned owl, though this may cause confusion with the similarly named American bird.It is one of the largest species of owl, and females can grow to a total length of 75 centimetres (30 in), with a wingspan of 188 centimetres (74 in), males being slightly smaller. This bird has distinctive ear tufts, the upper parts are mottled black and tawny and the wings and tail are barred. The underparts are buff, streaked with darker colour. The facial disc is poorly developed and the orange eyes are distinctive.
The Eurasian eagle-owl is found in a number of habitats but is mostly a bird of mountain regions, coniferous forests, steppes and remote places. It is a mostly nocturnal predator, hunting for a range of different prey species, predominately small mammals but also birds of varying sizes, reptiles, amphibians, fish, large insects and earthworms. It typically breeds on cliff ledges, in gullies, among rocks or in some other concealed location. The nest is a scrape in which up to six eggs are laid at intervals and which hatch at different times. The female incubates the eggs and broods the young, and the male provides food for her and when they hatch, for the nestling’s as well.
Continuing parental care for the young is provided by both adults for about five months.
There are about a dozen subspecies of Eurasian eagle-owl. With a total range in Europe and Asia of about 32 million square kilometres (12 million square miles) and a total population estimated to be between 250 thousand and 2.5 million individuals, the IUCN lists the bird’s conservation status as being of “least concern”.
September is in full flow here in County Kilkenny and Autumn is just around the corner, we have had very dry weather for most of the month yet this could be about to change.
I love the month of September very much and one of my favourite poems about the month is by , Jessica Millsaps .
By : Jessica Millsaps
September is like no other
It’s days change color and weather
No other month can say quite the same
For every day, I can feel the change
It’s cool breezes start out warm,
Changing to cold throughout every storm
The leaves change and fall
As the Summer leaves and Autumn kisses us all
September maidens feel the change
Like the blue of the sky
Yet the color so deep
Maidens fall throughout and watch
Each raindropp changing through colors so fast
Yet one streak remains the same
Of that wonderful sapphire rain.
September, unlike any other
Holds you tight, in any weather.
Changes come, no matter where you go
North and you’ll get stormy snow
South and feel the heat of summer coming
September does this, no matter what.
Change lives within, Nothing to stop
September is beautiful
And awesome all the same
It’s hope for the future and the change
Comes swiftly as we sweep away
The Summer ends and the Autumn begins
Change is all around
With one maiden leaving
And yet, another comes
Born into the world
Of wonderful September
The sapphire skies live on
Through out this wonderful September
I took my breath from a sea breeze
on its way to somewhere else.
I could sense where it had been
where summer is almost over
Beyond the cliff above the sea
A secret cove where spirits swim
a place no one ever sees
Timeless souls, their presence is felt
their breath upon the breeze.
Sail Boat with red sail
Poole Harbour, Poole, Dorset
Landscape Photography : Nigel Borrington
The Sail boat on the Water
By : Lee Shetzline
Crisp triangle of red sail,
Standing to attention like tin soldiers,
Solitary and glowing
Amidst the thick blue smudges of water
One drop of color
Accidentally spilled onto an endless Sea
Too wonderful to remove
The Old Castle and church at Galesquarter, Co. Laois was home to the Lords of Upper Ossary the Gaelic Fitzpatrick family (Irish: Mac Gìolla Phádraig) .
The two buildings has stood empty since the 1700’s and today are very much in ruins yet go to make a wonderful site in the Local Landscape.
The Gallery below was taken last weekend on a walk through Galesquarter ending in the Bunlacken hills above.
Galesquarter Church and Castle, Co. Laois : Gallery
Sunset on the River
Jan Weeratunga, South Africa
Reds, pinks, oranges and gold’s catch the edge of the clouds and slowly turn the evening sky into a canvas waiting to be painted.
The sun’s last ray’s bounce off the cloud’s lining as it sinks gradually beyond the horizon.
Playfully the rays dance off the shimmering surface of the river,
Another fish jumps from the water,
Sending a concertina of ripples to the riverbank’s shoreline.
Golden waves approach as the setting sun sinks slowly below the horizon,
And small waves lap the side of our boat in an unending regular rhythm.
The repetitive knocking of the fender against the hull takes on the beat of the river,
Tapping the boat and shoreline alike,
It’s constant rhythm disturbed only by the wake of a passing boat or water bird landing on its surface.
Crickets join in with their own percussion as the melody is taken up by the surrounding birdlife,
Each chorus, their evening song as they head along the river bank in search of their nights roost.
Insects buzz over the surface, darting this way and that,
As swallows swoop swiftly, snapping them up in their gaping beaks.
Against the Western horizon a kingfisher dives into calmer waters bathed in a glorious warm orange light.
To the East the night’s first star is born,
It shimmers and shivers into life,
Just as the river serenely falls to sleep.
Peace is coming to the river as the ‘time between times’ –
That suspended few minutes of sunset –
Links all things in this world in a glorious golden moment before darkness descends.
Gradually the river slips into sleep
And the moon begins to rise and perform her dance across the waters glassy surface;
Replacing her brothers golden rays with her own silver ones.
Silver shimmering light bathes all beneath it,
Only disturbed by an occasional fish breaking free of its watery surrounds,
To be touched and blessed by the moonlight,
Before diving back down to the river bed.
The moon arches across the night sky,
Playing with the stars,
Until her brothers warming rays tell her it is once again time to allow the miracle of night and day to exchange places.
Waterfall at Glengarriff Nature Reserve
Irish Landscape Photography : Nigel Borrington
About Landscape and meditation
The concept of Meditation is of a big interest to many people, some maybe religious some not.
To myself the process of clearing my mind while being out side in a wonderful Landscape location goes hand in hand.
This is a great article on Meditation : Is meditation about making your mind go blank
Last week on a visit to the Glengarriff Nature Reserve , county cork and on the waterfall walk , I came across a man just sat on a rock looking at the waterfall and rock pool.
This location is a very beautiful and peaceful place to be in and he was making the most of the atmosphere here. I feel it is very important to get outside into places like this and find a space for your mind to relax, these days more than ever we are having to think about so much almost all the time so it is very important to escape and find a space.
I feel that clearing your mind lets you find out what the true priorities in your life are, separating these out from all the other things that you can well do without.
This house is very old
By: by Sherri Ramirez
This house is very old.
Yet, it stands so gracefully.
If the walls could only talk.
I bet they’d have a lot to say.
It holds a lot of memories,
buried deep inside.
It seems to stand with attitude,
as if it carries pride.
It stands upon the foundation,
seeming to claim the land.
Refusing to wither from age
with a little help from my man.
Not one room, is a favorite,
each displays a special touch.
It might be old but, we don’t mind.
We love it very much.
Walking up Slievenamon county Tipperary in the summer months is a very popular event for Walkers from both Ireland and International visitors alike.
The walk while steep and hard in places is of only medium difficulty compared to other Irish Mountains and offers some stunning views from the very start of the walk. These views offer a great visual relief as you make your way to the top, as a you have many chance’s to stop as little or often as you need in order to take in the wonderful landscape below. In total the walk takes about three hours up and down the mountain.
The Gallery below was taken during a walk up to the summit last Sunday (7th September 2014) during lunch time.
Walking up Slievenamon county Tipperary
The Caha Mountains on the ring of Beara, West cork, are some of the most beautiful mountains in Ireland, while being no means the highest they offer some of the most scenic views you can find. They sit in the middle of the Beara Peninsula and consist of many walking routes and mountain peaks.
Below the peaks sit many ancient lakes that have only a short distance to flow into the sea.
The Old Mountains
by Edwin Curran
The old mountains are tall, silent men
Standing with folded arms, looking over the world,
Lonesome and lofty in their manner.
They have seen empires come and go,
Civilizations rise and fall,
Stars break on their breasts.
They are full of history like great books,
And are merely the stone monuments that the kindly Gods
Built for the human race, to mark its passing tomorrow.
Barley Lake, Glengarrif, county Cork
Spending last week staying in Glengarrif, west county Cork I have just started to look at some of the Landscape photo’s taken during the week.
Glengarrif is located on the south east of the Beara Peninsula, west cork and is one of the most feature filled locations in Ireland, with (Mountains, nature reserves, rivers, Lakes and a wonderful coastline).
Barley Lake is located high above the town about as high as you can get a lake, sheep being its only visitors for most of the Year. The walk up is long but great fun as the views along the route are just wonderful.
I will post a full Gallery soon along with lots of the other great local locations I visited during the week.
Just For now the above image is a full view of Barley lake with its surrounding hills and wonderful Landscape setting. The image was created by stitching eleven separate images into one panoramic view.
Well September is in full flow and one of the most noticeable features of the month is all the Apple trees locally are ready for picking.
Although September marks the end of another summer it offers some of the best gifts of the year.
On An Apple-Ripe September Morning
On an apple-ripe September morning
Through the mist-chill fields I went
With a pitch-fork on my shoulder
Less for use than for devilment.
The threshing mill was set-up, I knew,
In Cassidy’s haggard last night,
And we owed them a day at the threshing
Since last year. O it was delight
To be paying bills of laughter
And chaffy gossip in kind
With work thrown in to ballast
The fantasy-soaring mind.
As I crossed the wooden bridge I wondered
As I looked into the drain
If ever a summer morning should find me
Shovelling up eels again.
And I thought of the wasps’ nest in the bank
And how I got chased one day
Leaving the drag and the scraw-knife behind,
How I covered my face with hay.
The wet leaves of the cocksfoot
Polished my boots as I
Went round by the glistening bog-holes
Lost in unthinking joy.
I’ll be carrying bags to-day, I mused,
The best job at the mill
With plenty of time to talk of our loves
As we wait for the bags to fill.
Maybe Mary might call round…
And then I came to the haggard gate,
And I knew as I entered that I had come
Through fields that were part of no earthly estate.
“Killary Harbour/An Caoláire Rua is a fjord located in the West of Ireland in the heart of Connemara which forms a natural border between counties Galway and Mayo. It is 16 kilometres long and in the centre over 45 metres deep. It is one of three glacial fjords that exist in Ireland, the others being Lough Swilly and Carlingford Lough.
On its northern shore lies the mountain of Mweelrea, Connacht’s highest mountain, rising to 814 metres. To the south rise the Maumturk Mountains and the Twelve Bens. The area contains some of Ireland’s most awe-inspiring and dramatic scenery.
There are two minor settlements nearby. On the southern side near the mouth of the fjord lies the hamlet of Rossroe while Leenaun lies inland to the east. Close to Rosroe there is an old building which now houses a hostel. This building was formerly a modest house which was used by Ludwig Wittgenstein, the famous philosopher, as a quiet place to write shortly after World War II. A plaque acknowledging this was unveiled by President Mary Robinson in 1993.
Nearby lies the so-called Green Road, a rough road running along the side of the fjord back east towards Leenane at the head of the fjord. It stretches for approximately nine kilometres and was part of the famine relief program during the 19th century. Aquaculture is important locally with a salmon farm based at Rossroe while mussel rafts are a common sight more to the east.”
One of the most beautiful landscape in Ireland, visit if you can!
Sir Thomas’s Bridge, Clonmel
The river Suir is one of Ireland most loved and visited rivers. It flows through counties Tipperary and Waterford before reaching the Atlantic at Hook-head lighthouse. I have taken a lot of photographs of this river over the years. one of my favourite subjects are the old bridges that cross the river, most of them are some hundreds of years old and even though they were designed for horse and cart they still stand strong today and cope very well with modern demands
Sir Thomas’s Bridge is just on the edge of Clonmel in county Tipperary and has been used in many films and advertisements.
Working the Land
By far the biggest industry in county Kilkenny is farming, The main land use is grassland, dairy farming and tillage farming especially around Kilkenny City and in the fertile central plain of the Nore Valley. Conifer forests are found on the upland areas.
I took this Image of a Damselfly while on a Walk along the Kings river , County Kilkenny.
This Wonderful looking Damselfly was just resting on a leaf as I walked past and stayed long enough for me to get some great images.