Capturing the world with Photography, Painting and Drawing

Archive for October, 2014

Happy Halloween from Ireland and from the Gothic Poet – Thomas Hardy.

The To-be-forgotten By Thomas Hardy Photography : Nigel Borrington

The To-be-forgotten
Photography : Nigel Borrington

Happy Halloween to you all !

Today my post contains some images at the old estate church yard of Temple Michael, Ballynatray Estate, Cherrymount, county cork, and one of my most loved poems by Thomas Hardy, a true poet from the hight of the 1800’s Gothic period and a Victorian realist in the tradition of George Eliot.

So tonight when it goes dark if I were you I would light a fire, lock the doors and windows and stay inside as the time is tonight when The “soon to-be Forgotten” rise.

The To-be-forgotten

By Thomas Hardy
.

I
I heard a small sad sound,
And stood awhile among the tombs around:
“Wherefore, old friends,” said I, “are you distrest,
Now, screened from life’s unrest?”

II
—”O not at being here;
But that our future second death is near;
When, with the living, memory of us numbs,
And blank oblivion comes!

Halloween 2014 2.

III
“These, our sped ancestry,
Lie here embraced by deeper death than we;
Nor shape nor thought of theirs can you descry
With keenest backward eye.

IV
“They count as quite forgot;
They are as men who have existed not;
Theirs is a loss past loss of fitful breath;
It is the second death.

Halloween 2014 4.

V
“We here, as yet, each day
Are blest with dear recall; as yet, can say
We hold in some soul loved continuance
Of shape and voice and glance.

VI
“But what has been will be —
First memory, then oblivion’s swallowing sea;
Like men foregone, shall we merge into those
Whose story no one knows.

Halloween 2014 6.

VII
“For which of us could hope
To show in life that world-awakening scope
Granted the few whose memory none lets die,
But all men magnify?

VIII
“We were but Fortune’s sport;
Things true, things lovely, things of good report
We neither shunned nor sought … We see our bourne,
And seeing it we mourn.”

Halloween 2014 3


The Sally Gap, county Wicklow , and a poem by Wallace Stevens

Sally Gap, county Wicklow Irish Landscape Photography : Nigel Borrington

Sally Gap, county Wicklow
Irish Landscape Photography : Nigel Borrington

The North Wind

By : Wallace Stevens

“It is hard to hear the north wind again,
And to watch the treetops, as they sway.

They sway, deeply and loudly, in an effort,
So much less than feeling, so much less than speech,

Saying and saying, the way things say
On the level of that which is not yet knowledge:

A revelation not yet intended.
It is like a critic of God, the world

And human nature, pensively seated
On the waste throne of his own wilderness.

Deeplier, deeplier, loudlier, loudlier,
The trees are swaying, swaying, swaying.”



As Winter falls upon the farm.

As winter falls upon the Farm. Photography : Nigel Borrington

As winter falls upon the Farm.
Landscape Photography : Nigel Borrington

After living here in county Kilkenny for over ten years now, we have got to know many different people. One of the families we know very well own a small farm and when ever they go on holiday we help look after the place for them. We moved here from North London and its a great pleasure to now be able to see and be on a farm like this one.

These images where taken during such a week, late in the Autumn and as winter took a grip over their farm and its land.

Seeing a farm in the height of June is a wonderful thing, everything growing and the animals full of life but I love these winter months just as much, the place is slower with the cold and damp morning.

The Horses and Chickens are slower and growing season finished apart from some late greens to be used in the kitchen before the frost sets in. The farm and its land feels ready for the three months of rest it well deserves.

Gallery

As winter falls upon the Farm 2

As winter falls upon the Farm 3

As winter falls upon the Farm 5

As winter falls upon the Farm 7

As winter falls upon the Farm 6

As winter falls upon the Farm 4


The Rainy day : Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

A rainy day  Achill Island , County Mayo Landscape Photography :  Nigel Borrington

A rainy day
Achill Island , County Mayo
Landscape Photography : Nigel Borrington

This Morning here in Ireland is a very wet one with some 20mm of rain is expected here in county Kilkenny before midday.

So what better way to free yourself on this Autumn day than with a rainy day poem :

The Rainy Day

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The day is cold, and dark, and dreary;
It rains,and the wind is never weary;
The vine still clings to the mouldering wall,
But at every gust the dead leaves fall,
And the day is dark and dreary.

Bringing in the sheep.

My life is cold, and dark, and dreary;
It rains,and the wind is never weary;
My thoughts still cling to the mouldering past,
But the hopes of youth fall thick in the blast,
And the days are dark and dreary.

Keem strand_Panorama.

Be still, sad heart, and cease repining;
Behind the clouds is the sun still shining;
Thy fate is the common fate of all,
Into each life some rain must fall,
Some days must be dark and dreary.


Monday Poetry : On The Winter Beach

Who know where the time goes 2
Dookinella, Achill island, County Mayo
The Winter Beach
Irish landscape Photography : Nigel Borrington

On The Winter Beach

I walk on the winter beach
from here to there
and beyond where the beach ends
past indifferent sea gulls
over beached kelps
over bleached sea shells

Kate rusby who know where the time goes

To the sound of crushing waves
to the call of ebbing memories
I walk on the winter beach
I shall go
I must go
alone
beyond where the beach ends

Rosslare on the beach 3


The Elements : Fire

Element of Fire

In modern-day Wicca and Paganism, there is a good deal of focus on the four elements – Earth, Air, Fire, and Water. A few traditions of Wicca also include a fifth element, which is Spirit or Self.

The concept is hardly a new one. A Greek philosopher named Empedocles is credited with the cosmogenic theory of these four elements being the root of all existing matter. Unfortunately, much of Empedocles’ writing has been lost, but his ideas remain with us today and are widely accepted by most Pagans and Wiccans.

Each of the elements is associated with traits and meanings, as well as with directions on the compass. The following directional associations are for the Northern hemisphere; readers in the Southern hemisphere should use the opposite correspondences.

Fire

Fire is a purifying, masculine energy, associated with the South, and connected to strong will and energy. Fire both creates and destroys, and symbolizes the fertility of the God. Fire can heal or harm, and can bring about new life or destroy the old and worn. In Tarot, Fire is connected to the Wand suit. For color correspondences, use red and orange for Fire

The element of Fire is both creative and destructive, its qualities are Brightness, Thinness and Motion and its mode is Active. It is fire that we and our ancestors used to warm our homes, we use it to cook our food, we sit around it to ward of the darkness of night, and it fuels our passions. Fire, unlike the other elements, does not exist in a natural state. Its physical form can only take place by consuming some other element. Fire is the transformer, converting the energy of other objects into other forms: heat, light, ash, and smoke.

To feel the manifestations of this power, go out on on sunny day and feel the warmth and light of the Sun, hear the crackling of logs and smell of smoke from a burning fire. As you gaze into the transformational flame of a candle, immerse yourself in the energy of Fire. Fire is the natural element of animals and mankind, and they “have, in their natures, a most fiery force, and also spring from celestial sources.”

In order to gain benefit from the energy of this element, we need to control Fire’s destructive aspect. When we light a candle, we are not only calling upon the energy of Fire, we are also limiting its power. This destructive aspect should not be seen as negative, forest fires, actually help, clearing away underbrush and encouraging seeds lying dormant within the Earth to burst forth into new life.

Fire

Fire is a masculine element, its aspects being change, passion, creativity, motivation, will power, drive and sensuality. It is sexuality, both physical and spiritual. Fire is used in spells, rituals and candle magick for healing, purification, sex, breaking bad habits or destroying illness and disease. Fire is the element of authority and leadership.

The properties of Fire, Heat, Making things fruitful, Celestial light, Giving Life to all things. Its opposite the Infernal Fire are a parching heat, consuming all things and darkness, making all things barren.

Each of the four cardinal elements – earth, air, fire and water – can be incorporated into magical practice and ritual. Depending on your needs and intent, you may find yourself drawn to one of these elements more so that the others.

Connected to the South, Fire is a purifying, masculine energy, and connected to strong will and energy. Fire both creates and destroys, and symbolizes the fertility of the God. Fire can heal or harm, and can bring about new life or destroy the old and worn. In Tarot, Fire is connected to the Wand suit (although in some interpretations, it is associated with Swords). For color correspondences, use red and orange for Fire associations.

Let’s look at some of the many magical myths and legends surrounding fire:
Fire Spirits & Elemental Beings:

In many magical traditions, fire is associated with various spirits and elemental beings. For instance, the salamander is an elemental entity connected with the power of fire – and this isn’t your basic garden lizard, but a magical, fantastical creature. Other fire-associated beings include the phoenix – the bird that burns itself to death and then is reborn from its own ashes – and dragons, known in many cultures as fire-breathing destroyers.
The Magic of Fire:

Fire has been important to mankind since the beginning of time. It was not only a method of cooking one’s food, but it could mean the difference between life and death on a frigid winter night. To keep a fire burning in the hearth was to ensure that one’s family might survive another day. Fire is typically seen as a bit of a magical paradox, because in addition to its role as destroyer, it can also create and regenerate. The ability to control fire – to not only harness it, but use it to suit our own needs – is one of the things that separates humans from animals. However, according to ancient myths, this has not always been the case.

Fire appears in legends going back to the classical period. The Greeks told the story of Prometheus, who stole fire from the gods in order to give it to man – thus leading to the advancement and development of civilization itself. This theme, of the theft of fire, appears in a number of myths from different culture. A Cherokee legend tells of Grandmother Spider, who stole fire from the sun, hid it in a clay pot, and gave it to the People so they could see in the darkness. A Hindu text known as the Rig Veda related the story of Mātariśvan, the hero who stole fire that had been hidden away from the eyes of man.

The Power of Fire

Fire is sometimes associated with deities of trickery and chaos – probably because while we may think we have domination over it, ultimately it is the fire itself that is in control. Fire is often connected with Loki, the Norse god of chaos, and the Greek Hephaestus (who appears in Roman legend as Vulcan) the god of metalworking, who demonstrates no small amount of deceit.
Fire and Folktales:

Fire appears in a number of folktales from around the world, many of which have to do with magical superstitions. In parts of England, the shape of cinders which jumped out of the hearth often foretold a major event – a birth, a death, or the arrival of an important visitor.

In parts of the Pacific Islands, hearths were guarded by small statues of old women. The old woman, or hearth mother, protected the fire and prevented it from burning out.

The Devil himself appears in some fire-related folktales. In parts of Europe, it is believed that if a fire won’t draw properly, it’s because the Devil is lurking nearby. In other areas, people are warned not to toss bread crusts into the fireplace, because it will attract the Devil (although there’s no clear explanation of what the Devil might want with burnt bread crusts).

Japanese children are told that if they play with fire, they will become chronic bed-wetters – a perfect way to prevent pyromania!

A German folktale claims that fire should never be given away from the house of a woman within the first six weeks after childbirth. Another tale says that if a maid is starting a fire from tinder, she should use strips from mens’ shirts as tinder – cloth from women’s garments will never catch a flame.


Irish landscape photography – in Black and White, a gallery

Waterford Coastline, Irish Landscape Photography : Nigel Borrington

Waterford Coastline,
Irish Landscape Photography : Nigel Borrington

The Irish Landscape offers some of the most wonderful views in this part of Europe, with rolling mountains and rocky, spectacular coastlines, there are many forests and powerful flowing rivers.

One of the area’s of photography I love the most is black and white and I feel that the Irish landscape is made for black and white images, often the days are wet and stormy and dark. I feel that shooting images in black and white captures these atmospheric days very well. On good weather days in the summer months getting out early or late to capture the sun low in the sky also works very well in a black and white photograph.

Below are some of the black and white images I am most happy with, so far during 2014.

Irish landscape photography – Black and White Gallery

Waterford coast line 5

Waterford coast line 1

Allihies Copper Mines 2

Allihies Copper Mines 1

Down in deep water

River Nore KIlkennty 1

Irish Forestry Gallery 2

Irish Forestry Gallery 4

Irish Forestry Gallery 7

The Rivers flow 02

The Rivers flow 03

The Rivers flow 05

Monday Morning at the Waterfall 1

Monday Morning at the Waterfall 5

The Trees by the river bank 3

The Trees by the river bank 1

High river flow 6

High river flow 3

High river flow 11

High river flow 7


The Bonane stone circle and an Altar for the Moon – The Pagan Moon deity : Elatha.

Bonane Stone circle and Alter for the Moon. Irish Landscape Photography : Nigel Borrington

Bonane Stone circle and Alter for the Moon.
Irish Landscape Photography : Nigel Borrington

Bonane stone circle and altar of the Moon

During the summer I was lucky enough to get to visit the Bonane stone circle and Alter located near Kenmare , county Kerry. This stone circle was cleared of trees and opened to the full view of the public in current times and it is a great example of a pagan stone circle.

For many centuries it has puzzled historians as to what function these circle served , some think they marks a place of worship others that they acted as a way of measuring the passage of the the year, using the shadows that they cast on the ground. The location and length of these shadows changing as the year passes.

Here at Bonane however it was discovered that the moon was being tracked over an 18.6 year period, it could be that the moon was being worshiped during its movement through the heavens.

They did this by placing an altar about a mile away on a hill side ridge and placed in-line with the center of the stone circle. The most amazing thing is than only every 18.6 years does the moon appear to rise behind the altar at its most southerly point on the horizon and only if you are standing in the center of the stone circle.

The last time this event took place was in 2006 and the next time will be during the Month of June in 2024.

The people who live here in Kerry some 5000 years ago must have been very skilled at astronomy as predicting the movement of the moon has been very difficult until in modern times with the invention of small machines called Orrery and then the use of computers have modern man been able to do so.

See : The Moon Cycles

The task they achieved here is truly amazing and takes a little time to digest, just how they moved three very large stones and placed them on a hill side ridge and then alined a stone circle a good mile away on another hill side and did so with this 18.6 years moon cycle in mind, even today some 5000 years later their achievement is still working.

The difference in thinking between a stone circle being used for the movement of the sun or the moon, or both – is very interesting. As opposed to being used to the help in planting of crops etc, this would appear to imply a function of worship but of what or of who, was it simply the moon or a moon God?

Well the main Pagan deity for this part of the world is thought to be : Elatha

Elatha

Overview

Elatha is quoted as being the “The beautiful Miltonic prince of darkness with golden hair”. He was the son of Dalbaech and a king of the Fomor, he was father of Bres by Eri, a woman of the Tuatha Dé Danann. He came to her over the sea in a vessel of silver, himself having the appearance of a young man with yellow hair, wearing clothes of gold and five gold torcs. He was one of the Fomor who took part in the Second Battle of Magh Tuireadh.

During the Second Battle of Magh Tuireadh, Elatha, son of Dalbaech, watched over Dagda’s magic harp, Uaithne, sometimes called Dur-da-Bla, “the Oak of Two Blossoms,” and sometimes Coir-cethar-chuin, “the Four-Angled Music.” He is said to have a sense of humor and a sense of nobility.

Though considered to be the Fomorian father of Eochu Bres, Elatha (Elada) was also the father of the Dagda, Ogma, a son named Delbaeth, and Elloth (the father of Manannan mac Lir) according to the Lebor Gabála Érenn. The mother of these Tuatha De Danann chiefs may have been Ethne, the mother of Lug, based on Ogma’ often cited matronymic “mac Ethliu.” Since Ethne was Fomorian, this means they are all Fomorians. This is rather confusing, but may betray the battle between the two groups as actually being about the new generation of gods displacing the older generation.

More …..

Bonane Stone circle and Altar to the Moon – Gallery

Altar of the moon 1

Altar of the moon 2

Altar of the moon 3

Altar of the moon 4

Altar of the moon 5


Jenkinstown, woodland park , County Kilkenny

Jenkinstown , Forest Park, County Kilkenny. Landscape Photography : Nigel Borrington

Jenkinstown , Forest Park County Kilkenny.
Landscape Photography : Nigel Borrington

Jenkinstown Forest park in County Kilkenny is one of my most loved Local places, the walks around the Forest here are amazing at anytime of the year but just now the leaves are starting to turn golden yellow and fall after a frost or period of high wind.

The Jenkinstown estate has a long history and the below image shows the castle that once stood here until at least the time this image was taken during 1930.

Jenkinstown park Kilkenny 1930.

Part of the castle still stands and acts as a home for a local musician.

The park contains some great old buildings such as the round store house and animal shelter that these days offers a great place to read or shelter from a shower on a wet day.

Jenkinstown woodland park , County Kilkenny : Gallery

Jenkinstown park Kilkenny 3

Jenkinstown park Kilkenny 6

Jenkinstown park Kilkenny 2

Jenkinstown park Kilkenny 1

Jenkinstown park Kilkenny 4

Jenkinstown park Kilkenny 5


A visit two Derrynaflan island, the Derrynaflan hoard and the changes in the law.

Derrynaflan Island, County Tipperary Irish Landscape Photography : Nigel Borrington

Derrynaflan Island, County Tipperary
Irish Landscape Photography : Nigel Borrington

During what was a great summer we took a family visit to Derrynaflan island, County Tipperary.

The weather was just great and the visit to this magical Island just fascinating. It is on this island that in 1980 a Father and his son found one of Europe’s and Ireland’s most important treasures and in the process changed the Irish laws forever, as below :

Derrynaflan Hoard

Discovering the Hoard

Derrynaflan Chalice 7

One of the most spectacular hoard discoveries in Ireland, which led first to an increase in enthusiasm for metal detecting as a hobby, but ultimately contributed to the prohibition of unlicensed searching for archaeological material.

On 17 February 1980, Michael Webb and his son, also called Michael, discovered a significant hoard of early church treasure in Derrynaflan, in the townland of Lurgoe, County Tipperary, using metal detectors (Kelly 1994: 213; O’Riordain 1983: 1). The hoard included a chalice, a bronze strainer ladle and a paten (a kind of small plate) (and see Ryan 1983 for a detailed description), and the discovery was described as ‘one of the most exciting events in the history of Irish art’ (Stalley 1990: 186). The large monastic enclosure in which the hoard was found was partially protected as a National Monument (Kelly 1993: 378). The finders reported their discovery to an archaeologist from University College Cork, Dr. Elizabeth Shee Twohig (Kelly, pers. comm., 2012), who advised them that they must take the finds to the National Museum of Ireland in Dublin (Houses of the Oireachtas 1986; O’Riordain 1983: 1). Under Irish law at that time, the finders were entitled to a reward for making the discovery, in this case decided at IR£10,000 (Houses of the Oireachtas 1986), although this was initially rejected by the finders as insufficient compared to the value of the find (Kelly 1994: 213).

Derrynaflan Chalice 1

Six years later, the High Court made a ruling that the find or its value (estimated at IR£5.5 million) should be returned to the finders (Kelly 1994: 113). The public mood turned against the Webbs, who were shown on the main evening television news drinking champagne to celebrate the ruling. Ireland was then in deep recession with massive public service cuts which led to resentment that the Webbs might benefit to the tune of IR£5.5 million from the public purse (Kelly, pers comm., 2012). A year later, in 1987, a further final judgement was delivered by the Supreme Court that the Derrynaflan Hoard in fact belonged to the state and not to the finders (Kelly 1995a). The finders finally received a reward of IR£50,000 (Kelly 1994: 214).

The impact of the case on Irish law concerning the protection of heritage was significant. Debates in the Seánad Éireann (upper house of the Irish Parliament) in 1986 indicate the split in opinions regarding the validity of the claim of the finders to the hoard (as had been decided in court the previous year), with one Senator suggesting that the state should have been trying to prove that the Webbs had no legal claim to the hoard, one Senator regarding such discoveries as no more than looting, and another claiming that the finders should instead be praised for the care with which they removed the hoard from the ground and for going to the National Museum to report the discovery (Houses of the Oireachtas 1986). In 1987 the National Monuments (Amendment) Bill, which included clauses on metal detecting and ancient shipwrecks (another area becoming vulnerable to looting), passed through its final stages in the Dáil Éireann (lower house of the Irish Parliament) (Gosling 1987: 23).

Ireland’s National Monuments Act 1930 had prohibited the excavation of archaeological objects other than under license (Kelly 1995a). However, the maximum fine for a successful prosecution at that time, at IR£10[1], proved not to be a strong deterrent (Kelly 1995b: 235). The discovery of the Derrynaflan Hoard had reputedly contributed to the growth of the metal detecting hobby in Ireland, which by the time of the discovery saw hobbyists searching not only ploughed land and other locations away from archaeological sites, but also on known archaeological sites (Kelly 1993: 378). A 2012 Irish news item, which described an athlete as having ‘more gold than they found in Derrynaflan’ (Keane 2012) indicates that the finding of the hoard is still recalled in Irish popular memory. However, with the National Monuments (Amendment) Act 1987, ‘it became illegal to search for archaeological objects with metal detectors or other electronic detecting devices without license’. A further National Monuments (Amendment) Act 1994 specified the state ownership of archaeological objects, and made it ‘an offence to trade in unreported antiquities, or withhold information about archaeological discoveries’ (Kelly 1995a). Under the 1994 legislation, the maximum penalty was also increased to a fine of IR£50,000 and five years imprisonment (National Monuments (Amendment) Act 1994, Section 13). The National Monuments (Amendment) Act 1987 had been in preparation for many years and so was not a direct reaction solely to the controversy surrounding the hoard (Kelly, pers. comm., 2012), although there were observations made that the upsurge in metal detecting as a result of the discovery led to changes in the law (Kelly 1994: 214).

Ref : http://traffickingculture.org/encyclopedia/case-studies/derrynaflan-hoard/

A visit two Derrynaflan island Gallery

Derrynaflan Chalice 6

Derrynaflan Chalice 5

Derrynaflan Chalice 4

Derrynaflan Chalice 3

Derrynaflan Island, County Tipperary Irish Landscape Photography : Nigel Borrington


Monday morning from the mountain lane ( Images and a Poem by : Douglas Fraser – 1968 )

The mountain Lane, GlenPatrick , County Waterford, Irish Landscape Photography : Nigel Borrington

The mountain Lane,
GlenPatrick , County Waterford,
Irish Landscape Photography : Nigel Borrington

Monday morning and what better way to start a new week than a walk through the hills above the town of Clonmel , county Tipperary.

This old walk goes over the foot hills just below the Comeragh mountains and into county Waterford and offers some of the best views in the South of Ireland, I share some of it here with one of my most loved Mountain Poems by Douglas Fraser, written in 1968.

Freedom of the Hills

By: Douglas Fraser – 1968

Mine is the freedom of the tranquil hills
When vagrant breezes bend the sinewy grass,
While sunshine on the widespread landscape spills
And light as down the fleet cloud-shadowed pass.

Mine, still, that freedom when the storm-clouds race,
Cracking their whips against defiant crags
And mists swirl boiling up from inky space
To vanish on the instant, torn to rags.

Snow and mist in the Mountains.

When winter grips the mountains in a vice,
Silently stifling with its pall of snow,
Checking the streams, draping the rocks in ice,
Still to their mantled summits I would go.

Sun-drenched, I sense the message they impart;
Storm-lashed, I hear it sing through every vein;
Among the snows it whispers to my heart
“Here is your freedom. Taste – and come again.”

Gallery

Monday down an Irish lane 10

Monday down an Irish lane 11

Monday down an Irish lane 14

Monday down an Irish lane 30

Monday down an Irish lane 20

Monday down an Irish lane 33


October’s Party By : George Cooper

October, In Gold she looks their best; Landscape Photography : Nigel Borrington

October, In Gold she looks their best;
Landscape Photography : Nigel Borrington

October’s Party

By: George Cooper

October gave a party;
The leaves by hundreds came—
The Chestnuts, Oaks, and Maples,
And leaves of every name.
The Sunshine spread a carpet,
And everything was grand,
Miss Weather led the dancing,
Professor Wind the band.

The Chestnuts came in yellow,
The Oaks in crimson dressed;
The lovely Misses Maple
In scarlet looked their best;
All balanced to their partners,
And gaily fluttered by;
The sight was like a rainbow
New fallen from the sky.

Then, in the rustic hollow,
At hide-and-seek they played,
The party closed at sundown,
And everybody stayed.
Professor Wind played louder;
They flew along the ground;
And then the party ended
In jolly “hands around.”


Images of Skellig Michael and ( Life The Way It Should Be, A Poem by : Taylor Jordao )

Skellig Michael and the Skellig islands Irish Landscape photography : Nigel Borrington

Skellig Michael and the Skellig islands
Irish Landscape photography : Nigel Borrington

Life The Way It Should Be

by : Taylor Jordao

Tell me what do you see
Purple, green, and gold,
Mountain peaks that touch the sky
Little black birds flying by

Sun setting in the west
Flowers in the east,
Calm, relaxing breeze
And forests filled with trees

Skellig Michael 19

Tell me what do you see
The sky starts to fade as night approaches
Animals will soon come out
The spring is ending without a doubt

Fall is coming near
Cold weather’s on its way,
Flowers start to die
Birds go south, bye bye.

Tell me what do you see
Happiness, love, and beauty,
Everyone is free
Life the way it should be.


The Elements : Earth

Suir valley from Tullahought - Kilkenny landscape photography : Nigel Borrington

Suir valley from Tullahought – Kilkenny landscape photography : Nigel Borrington

Connected to the North,

Earth is considered the ultimate feminine element, Earth is fertile and stable, associated with the Goddess. The planet itself is a ball of life, and as the Wheel of the Year turns, we can watch all the aspects of life take place in the Earth: birth, life, death, and finally rebirth. The Earth is nurturing and stable, solid and firm, full of endurance and strength. In color correspondences, both green and brown connect to the Earth, for fairly obvious reasons! In Tarot readings, the Earth is related to the suit of Pentacles or Coins.

Mother goddess is a term used to refer to a goddess who represents motherhood, fertility, creation, or who embodies the bounty of the Earth. When equated with the Earth or the natural world such goddesses are sometimes referred to as Mother Earth or as the Earth Mother.

Kerry Ring forts 3

Celtic Goddess

The Irish goddess Anu, sometimes known as Danu, has an impact as a mother goddess, judging from the Dá Chích Anann near Killarney, County Kerry. Irish literature names the last and most favored generation of deities as “the people of Danu” (Tuatha De Danann). The Welsh have a similar figure called Dôn who is often equated with Danu and identified as a mother goddess. Sources for this character date from the Christian period, however, so she is referred to simply as a “mother of heroes” in the Mabinogion. The character’s (assumed) origins as a goddess are obscured.

The Celts of Gaul worshipped a goddess known as Dea Matrona (“divine mother goddess”) who was associated with the Marne River. Similar figures known as the Matres (Latin for “mothers”) are found on altars in Celtic as well as Germanic areas of Europe.

KIlkenny and tipperary ring forts 16

In many cultures, earth spirits are beings that are tied to the land and plant kingdom. Typically, these beings are associated with another realm, the forces of nature that inhabit a particular physical space, and landmarks like rocks and trees.

In Celtic mythology, the realm of the Fae is known to exist in a parallel space with the land of man. The Fae are part of the Tuatha de Danaan, and live underground. It’s important to watch out for them, because they’re known for their ability to trick mortals into joining them.

Grange Crag Walk 5

Gnomes feature prominently in European legend and lore. Although it’s believed that their name was coined by a Swiss alchemist named Paracelsus, these elemental beings have long been associated in one form or another with the ability to move underground.

Likewise, elves often appear in stories about the land. Jacob Grimm collected a number of stories about elves while compiling his book Teutonic Mythology, and says that elves appear in the Eddas as supernatural, magic-using beings. They appear in a number of old English and Norse legends.


Autumn in Ireland is a wonderful time of the year.

Upper lake Killarney 5
lakes of Killarney in the Autumn time
Irish Landscape Photography : Nigel Borrington

Out on the lakes of Killarney, Autumn time and colours

Autumn time in Ireland is a wonderful time to be a photographer or an artist, the landscape comes alive with colour.

There are many locations to be captured but one place I always think of at this time of year is the lakes at Killarney. It is possible to do boat trips around the lakes here almost all year around and hiring a small boat is great fun.

These images are taken from auch a boat you can see in the first image with some taken on parts of the banks of the lake that would just not reachable with out use of this boats.

It’s great fun to do something like this packing an lunch, loading a camera and tripod in to the boat and just heading off for the day.

The lakes of Killarney, an Autumn gallery

Upper lake Killarney 7

Upper lake Killarney 8

Upper lake Killarney 2

Upper lake Killarney 1

Upper lake Killarney 4

Upper lake Killarney 3

Upper lake Killarney 6


Compact Cameras and their image sensor size.

Canon G1x and Nikon P7000

Canon G1x and Nikon P7000

Digital Compacts and Sensor size

Sensor size comp

Ever since Digital cameras became available to the professional and the Consumer market alike there has been an ongoing debate about the sensor size that the manufacture selects for each Model.

You can see all the possible types and sizes of sensors here : Image Sensor types and sizes

As well as SLR cameras , I own two cameras that have sensor sizes below what most people, stereotypically would consider are professional, by which people mean that you would be able to sell the images to be printed in magazines or used for commercial reasons.

Most of the time I use these cameras when I know that their images will be used for the Internet or for personal reasons like Holidays or Family pictures.

However the Boss of Nikon-USA last year made a statement that the size of the sensor is now being made less important than ever before, simply because the image quality being produced by most sensors over that of a pocket camera or an i-phone was increasing year on year.

His statement was sure to and did raise some debate, specially from the owners of very expensive Nikon Cameras !

So , over the last few months I have taken a closer look at what he was talking about and the results are very interesting, below I have posted six images taken by a Nikon P7000 and then a Canon G1x , which as you can see from the diagram above on the left, has a much larger sensor that the other camera used here a Nikon P7000.

Many top end compact Cameras have a sensor size of 7.60mm x 5.70mm in size, the Canon G1x has a much larger sensor that measures 18.70mm x 14mm.

Many Photographers who make money selling images fell that the Canon G1x has a very acceptable image quality for a good 80% of image types and keep this compact-camera as a backup or as a carry anywhere camera. Sometimes a large and heavy SLR is just a pain to carry and makes you very conspicuous !!

So the question I was asking myself is , is there a big difference in image quality between these two Cameras here ?

Well the images below don’t appear to show many if any at all, the Nikon has a 10mp output and the Canon 14mp so if your are printing the images you could get a 36x27cm print from the little Canon and a 30cm x 23cm print from the Nikon, both at 300dpi.

This is a large surprise to me and I am sure could and would be questioned in a camera review lab but I am taking real world images from both sensor sizes and comparing them.

In all other respects I can see little defects in the RAW images coming from the Nikon as opposed to the Canon, the Colors are very good they both contain about the same level of detail in the shadow areas and the highlights such as bright areas of sky and clouds and have an image noise level that is acceptable.

So is the Boss of Nikon America correct, well yes, in many respects from looking at the results of most cameras with a sensor size of and over the 1/1.7″, with these sensors you will get some great images provided the camera itself is designed to let you do so!

Will I be throwing my full sized sensor SLR in the bin , well NO! not just yet but it is very reassuring to know that at last you can take these kind of cameras anywhere (Holidays, long walks, tops of mountains and family events) and get very good results , something that has not always been the case!

Just as some final comments,

At some point I will compare these cameras to my SLR and study these difference’s, However the very fact that a close study of the image quality difference’s is even needed shows just how good top end compact cameras have become.

I started the post by saying that this area , sensor size has always been a hot topic and it always will be but you will hear many people tell you that a type of camera is not good, when you ask “OH!!! why ?” they will bring up areas such as depth of field being Shallower with full frame sensor slr’s, very  true , what they will not say however is how often they need this ability and how often they use it !!

What they also leave out is that in Macro photography you want a much deeper depth of field, otherwise that Bee your trying to get a picture of will only have its head and not its body in focus!

Three images of the same image scene

Canon G1x followed by Nikon P7000

Canon G1x 1

Nikon P7000 1

Canon G1x 2

Nikon P7000 2

Canon G1x 3

Nikon P7000 3


Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird, By : Wallace Stevens

blackbird
Blackbird in the light of the Moon
Nature Photography : Nigel Borrington

Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird

By Wallace Stevens

I
Among twenty snowy mountains,
The only moving thing
Was the eye of the blackbird.

II
I was of three minds,
Like a tree
In which there are three blackbirds.

III
The blackbird whirled in the autumn winds.
It was a small part of the pantomime.

IV
A man and a woman
Are one.
A man and a woman and a blackbird
Are one.

V
I do not know which to prefer,
The beauty of inflections
Or the beauty of innuendoes,
The blackbird whistling
Or just after.

VI
Icicles filled the long window
With barbaric glass.
The shadow of the blackbird
Crossed it, to and fro.
The mood
Traced in the shadow
An indecipherable cause.

VII
O thin men of Haddam,
Why do you imagine golden birds?
Do you not see how the blackbird
Walks around the feet
Of the women about you?

VIII
I know noble accents
And lucid, inescapable rhythms;
But I know, too,
That the blackbird is involved
In what I know.

IX
When the blackbird flew out of sight,
It marked the edge
Of one of many circles.

X
At the sight of blackbirds
Flying in a green light,
Even the bawds of euphony
Would cry out sharply.

XI
He rode over Connecticut
In a glass coach.
Once, a fear pierced him,
In that he mistook
The shadow of his equipage
For blackbirds.

XII
The river is moving.
The blackbird must be flying.

XIII
It was evening all afternoon.
It was snowing
And it was going to snow.
The blackbird sat
In the cedar-limbs.


The Glassblower , Images from Waterford crystal and a Poem By : Jeff Crandall

Waterford Crystal Glass blower  Photography : Nigel Borrington

Waterford Crystal Glass blower
Photography : Nigel Borrington

The Glassblower

By : Jeff Crandall

This vessel has curves
pleasing to the eye, a soft lip,
a flat foot to rest on. I want to cup my palms
over the glowing color of its cooling,
but later. . . .

Now my eye is caught in the heat
of its final fire polish.
What dripped from the pipe
—radiant, thick as semen—
achieves fulfillment in the motions
of my own turning.

The amorphous, the malleable
awakens. There is a taste to the air here.
Steel. Iron in your mouth.

Waterford Crystal Glass blower 2

What formed at the glory hole
delicate as an adolescent
reflection in a mirror
cools in the first few minutes from that heat,
cools to the rigid shatter state.

If I hold this glass
suspended in the lit gas heat
I can watch it slump. I can let the thin walls
collapse and tear
back to a puddle of clear:

Waterford Crystal Glass blower 4

I wipe saliva from my chin.
I anneal myself with hugs.
I contain the polarized stresses.
I return to the cold of the holding shelf.

Waterford Crystal Glass blower 3


Monday Poetry , “Ulysses” By : Alfred Tennyson

A distant view of Slievenamon, County Tipperary, Ireland. Irish Landscape Photography : Nigel Borrington

A distant view of Slievenamon, County Tipperary, Ireland.
Irish Landscape Photography : Nigel Borrington

Sometimes walking around the counties of Kilkenny and Tipperary you get an overwhelming sense of history , old church yards with old graves, Monuments left by ancient peoples and their tribes.

Places left as a reminder of Leaders and Kings and people long past.

Places and people that could be contained in “Ulysses” a poem by Alfred Tennyson.

Ulysses

By : Alfred Tennyson

It little profits that an idle king,
By this still hearth, among these barren crags,
Matched with an agèd wife, I mete and dole
Unequal laws unto a savage race,
That hoard, and sleep, and feed, and know not me.

I cannot rest from travel: I will drink
Life to the lees: all times I have enjoyed
Greatly, have suffered greatly, both with those
That loved me, and alone; on shore, and when
Through scudding drifts the rainy Hyades
Vexed the dim sea: I am become a name;
For always roaming with a hungry heart
Much have I seen and known; cities of men
And manners, climates, councils, governments,
Myself not least, but honoured of them all;
And drunk delight of battle with my peers,
Far on the ringing plains of windy Troy.

Ulysses 3.

I am a part of all that I have met;
Yet all experience is an arch wherethrough
Gleams that untravelled world, whose margin fades
For ever and for ever when I move.
How dull it is to pause, to make an end,
To rust unburnished, not to shine in use!
As though to breathe were life. Life piled on life
Were all too little, and of one to me
Little remains: but every hour is saved
From that eternal silence, something more,
A bringer of new things; and vile it were
For some three suns to store and hoard myself,
And this grey spirit yearning in desire
To follow knowledge like a sinking star,
Beyond the utmost bound of human thought.

This my son, mine own Telemachus,
To whom I leave the sceptre and the isle—
Well-loved of me, discerning to fulfil
This labour, by slow prudence to make mild
A rugged people, and through soft degrees
Subdue them to the useful and the good.
Most blameless is he, centred in the sphere
Of common duties, decent not to fail
In offices of tenderness, and pay
Meet adoration to my household gods,
When I am gone. He works his work, I mine.

There lies the port; the vessel puffs her sail:
There gloom the dark broad seas. My mariners,
Souls that have toiled, and wrought, and thought
with me—

Ulysses 2.

That ever with a frolic welcome took
The thunder and the sunshine, and opposed
Free hearts, free foreheads—you and I are old;
Old age hath yet his honour and his toil;
Death closes all: but something ere the end,
Some work of noble note, may yet be done,
Not unbecoming men that strove with Gods.
The lights begin to twinkle from the rocks:
The long day wanes: the slow moon climbs: the deep
Moans round with many voices. Come, my friends,
‘Tis not too late to seek a newer world.
Push off, and sitting well in order smite
The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds
To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
Of all the western stars, until I die.

Ulysses 4.

It may be that the gulfs will wash us down:
It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles,
And see the great Achilles, whom we knew
Though much is taken, much abides; and though
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

Ulysses 5


Capturing Autumn in County Kilkenny (Images and a Poem by : Andrea Rieck)

Autumn Landscape, County Kilkenny, Landscape Photography : Nigel Borrington

Autumn Landscape,
County Kilkenny,
Landscape Photography : Nigel Borrington

It the end of the Second week of October 2014 and Autumn is taking a hold of the county Kilkenny Landscape, We had bad weather and high winds at the start of last week so some of the trees lost a good amount of their leaves. Many however still remain and the golden browns are coming through very well.

I came across this poem by Andrea Rieck last night and wanted to share it along with some of my Autumn images.

It’s autumn again

By : Andrea Rieck

Leaves whisper the sound of our past
In loss they pay a descent
To the ground we fall

It’s autumn again
Our song is sung by the wind
Echoes of loss and grief
Through chilled air we wade

Golden Trees of Autumn 10

It’s autumn again
The waters grow as cold as our hearts
We are alike – crusted in ice
In ourselves we freeze

It’s autumn again
Flowers vanish from our sadness
Our beauty grows weak
Covered in frost we wither

Golden Trees of Autumn 1

It’s autumn again
The rain falls like our tears
Can’t dry our eyes
From the sky we descend

It’s autumn again
The sun shines then fails like us
Our sight becomes a wintry gray
Lost in darkness we will fade

It’s autumn again


Images of the sheep shearing shed and a Poem by Lorna Madson

The Sheep Shearing Shed, Country Kerry, Irish Photography : Nigel Borrington

The Sheep Shearing Shed,
Country Kerry,
Irish Photography : Nigel Borrington

Shearing

– by Lorna Madson

I still recall shearing at Dad’s place,
All those early starts,
Learning to skirt the fleeces,
Pulling off the daggy parts.

I remember Dad sewing up sheep that were cut,
With a needle and big piece of cotton,
Sometimes we helped him yard up the sheep,
Or bring in some the dog had forgotten.

There’s a definite art to throwing a fleece,
One that i’m still yet to master,
The only time I ever tried,
Was a complete and utter disaster!

Sheep Shearers 3

It was always a guess as to when we would shear,
Dad never knew quite when they’d come,
But you always knew by their thirsty look,
When they were about to do the last run.

Mum prepared meals and worked in the shed,
While us kids got up to mischief,
One time we shore so late in October,
Mum asked if they’d be there for Christmas!

Every year without a doubt,
The straw broom went down to the shed,
Either Dad forgot to buy one,
Or it was easier to take Mum’s instead.

On school days we’d race from the bus to the shed,
There was no time for homework or chores,
Getting tossed in a wool press, riding sheep in the pen,
Our hands full of prickles and sore.

Sheep Shearing 2

When we cut-out half the district would come,
The wool table would be covered in grub,
Plenty to drink and the odd song or two,
It was better than any session at the pub!

This is a glimpse of what shearing was like,
Or at least it’s the bits I remember,
The shearing shed’s where all the action was at,
Usually somewhere around August-September.

But I doubt if Dad’s memories of shearing,
Are as fond to him as mine are to me,
For I didn’t have to worry ’bout microns,
Wool packs and presses you see!


The Standing Stones, Poem by : John Bliven Morin

Standing stone at Glengarriff Nature Reserve. Landscape Photography : Nigel Borrington

Standing stone at Glengarriff Nature Reserve.
Landscape Photography : Nigel Borrington

The Standing Stones

By : John Bliven Morin

Who will go where the standing stones stand,
when the fog rolls in and covers the land,
when the moon is hidden in a cloudy sky,
and the night is as dark as a raven’s eye,
and the wind is as cold as a winter’s chill,
What’s that? You say you’ll dare, you will?

Standing stones 2

We’re here. If you’ve courage in your mortal bones,
then go and walk through the standing stones;
yes, that way, go, though it’s hard to see
the ancient path in this obscurity;
your torch is useless for a light,
with the fog and the darkness of the night;
you go alone, for you claim the nerve;
I’ll stay right here, for I only serve.
Follow this footpath through the mist,
and keep to the path I must insist.

You step down the path and I’m lost to view,
as the fog and the mist are surrounding you;
several sounds – grinding – from all about,
startle you so that you almost shout,
but all that comes out is a muted croak,
as you wrap yourself in your winter cloak.
You feel things moving through the very ground,
huge things, horrid things sliding around,
which make your skin crawl with growing fear,
and you sense that something is drawing near;
something immense, for the earth so shakes
that a chill runs up your spine and makes
the hair on your head stand up in fright,
as the fog rolls past and hides from sight
that which you fear but cannot see;
perhaps in your nightmares previously.
Wasn’t that standing stone over there?
But now it’s so close, and that other pair
are much nearer too than they were before!
You remember tales of ancient lore,
as you fall back on some lower stones,
and the Old Ones come to crush your bones;
you scream in fear, you scream in pain,
but all your screaming is quite in vain,
for no one can hear you or see the blood
flow down the altar-stone in a flood;

Standing stones 3

Then all is quiet; you’ve paid the price,
for you were the Druid’s sacrifice.
and I, their servant. go from here
homeward, until another year.


The Elements : Water.

The elements , Water Landscape Photography : Nigel Borrington

The elements , Water
Landscape Photography : Nigel Borrington

The Pagan element of Water and the pagan Irish Goddess : Boann and the Irish God : Nechtan

Water, is of a great necessity, without it nothing can live. Only earth and water can bring forth a living soul. Such is the greatness of water that spiritual regeneration cannot be done without it.

Thales of Miletus concluded that water was the beginning of all things and the first of all elements and most potent because of its mastery over the rest. Pliny said “Water swallow up the earth, extinguishes the flame, ascends on high, and by stretching forth as clouds challenges the heavens for their own, and the same falling down, becomes the cause of all things that grow in the earth.

Water is a cleansing, healing, psychic, and loving element. It is the feeling of friendship and love that pours over us when we are with our family, friends and loved ones. When we swim it is water that supports us, when we are thirsty, it is water the quenches our thirst, another manifestation of this element is the rainstorms that drench us, or the dew formed on plants after the sun has set.

The power of the energy of Water, can be felt by tasting pure spring water, moving you hand through a stream, lake, pool, or bowl full of water. You can feel its cool liquidity; it’s soft and loving touch, this motion and fluidity is the quality of Air within Water. This Water energy is also contained within ourselves, our bodies being mostly composed of Water.

As well as being vital for life, within the energy of this element is contained the essence of love. Love is the underlying reason for all magic. Water is love.

Water is a feminine element, it also the element of emotion and subconscious, of purification, intuition, mysteries of the self, compassion and family. It is psychic ability; water can be used as a means of scrying or as an object for meditation. Water is important in spells and rituals of friendship, marriage, happiness, fertility, healing, pleasure, psychic abilities and spells involving mirrors.

Ref : Pagan elements of Water

The Elements Water 2.

Irish Goddess : Boann, Irish God : Nechtan

Celtic (Irish) Goddess of the River Boyne and mother of Angus Mac Og by the Dagda. She was the wife of Nechtan, a god of the water. Likewise, Boann was herself a water-goddess, and one of her myths concerns the water. According to legend, there was a sacred well (Sidhe Nechtan) that contained the source of knowledge. All were forbidden to approach this well, with the exception of the god Nechtan (as was noted, Boann’s husband) and his servants. Boann ignored the warnings, and strode up to the sacred well, thus violating the sanctity of the area. For this act, she was punished, and the waters of the defiled well swelled and were transformed into a raging river, a river that pursued her. In some versions, she was drowned; while in others, she managed to outrun the currents. In either case, this water became the river that was known henceforth as the Boyne, and Boann thereafter became the presiding deity.

Another aspect of the myth of Boann is that she bore Angus. She and the All father of the Tuatha De Danaan, the Dagda, engaged in an illicit affair that resulted in the birth of this god of love. However, since both Boann and the Dagdha wished to keep their rendezvous a secret, they used their divine powers to cause the nine month gestation period to last but a single day – or so it seemed, for the sun was frozen in the sky for those nine months, never setting and never rising. On this magical day, Angus emerged into the world. She held the powers of healing. Variants: Boannan, Boyne.

The Elements Water 3