To long once more for that golden age
Is to be a pilgrim of spirit
Travelling through time
Paying homage to ancient ways
Long forgotten and fallen from use
To breathe new life
To reclaim identity
An awakening and rebirth
A Spiritual journey of self renewal
An honoring of the ancestors
And generations past
Like a wilting tree regrowing withered roots
To stand proud once more
In the eternal forest
It’s almost Christmas , so a big Happy Christmas Holidays to you all 🙂
While I was on an evening walk yesterday in one of county Kilkenny’s woodland parks – the Millennium forest, I came across a tree I see every year and every Christmas this one tree has been decorated with all kinds of great Christmas decorations !!!
Each year I have wondered who comes here to do so, as its a great thing to do and see as you walk past !
I think it has something to do with the origins of this forest , in the year 2000 the Irish forestry company coillte planted one forest in each of the Irish counties and made sure that each forest contained at least one tree for everyone living there. They then sent a letter to everyone telling them where in the forest their own tree was. each tree is not numbered as such but you can locate the area/plot number for your tree.
Clearly someone has taken full ownership of their tree, decorating it each year as they would a tree for their own front room.
So I think the great mystery of the Decorated Millennium Christmas tree is partly solved , I hope to be lucky next year and come across who ever it is who comes back to their tree each year.
Who every you are, Thank you and Merry Christmas to you !!! 🙂
By : Robert Southey
O reader! hast thou ever stood to see
The eye that contemplates it well perceives
Its glossy leaves
Ordered by an Intelligence so wise
As might confound the Atheist’s sophistries.
Below, a circling fence, its leaves are seen,
Wrinkled and keen;
No grazing cattle, through their prickly round,
Can reach to wound;
But, as they grow where nothing is to fear,
Smooth and unarmed the pointless leaves appear.
I love to view these things with curious eyes,
And in this wisdom of the Holly-tree
Can emblem see
Wherewith, perchance, to make a pleasant rhyme, –
One which may profit in the after-time.
Thus, though abroad, perchance, I might appear
Harsh and austere;
To those who on my leisure would intrude,
Reserved and rude;
Gentle at home amid my friends I’d be,
Like the high leaves upon the Holly-tree.
And should my youth – as youth is apt, I know, –
Some harshness show,
All vain asperities I, day by day,
Would wear away,
Till the smooth temper of my age should be
Like the high leaves upon the Holly-tree.
And as, when all the summer trees are seen
So bright and green,
The Holly-leaves their fadeless hues display
Less bright than they;
But when the bare and wintry woods we see,
What then so cheerful as the Holly-tree? –
So, serious should my youth appear among
The thoughtless throng;
So would I seem, amid the young and gay,
More grave than they;
That in my age as cheerful I might be
As the green winter of the Holly-tree.
Calm, Clear, Cool –
The lake lies in its hole
whilst wondering in the woods
a fisherman has a goal
Sat on a chair
by the waters, still
he casts out a line
and goes for the kill
His float bobbles in the water,
awaiting a big fish
He’s hoping for a salmon,
for a suppertime dish
Finest lures he bought – on sale
and bait he uses – he hopes – prevail
the lake, keeps hidden, the whereabouts
of the big Salmon, or Lakeland trout.
The lake it seems is calm and still,
fisherman falls asleep until –
the noise under water makes him wake…
the fish are in another part of the lake.
Curraghchase Forest Park
One of my favorite places to visit in the winter months is Curraghchase Forest Park.
Curraghchase Forest Park is the woodland estate and lakes around the shell of the 18th century Curraghchase House, in County Limerick, home of poet Aubrey de Vere. It is now open as a state forest and park.
Originally, the name of the estate was Curragh (meaning bog) before it was changed to Curragh Chase by Sir Aubrey de Vere. Aubrey Thomas de Vere a poet and author, was born at Curragh Chase in 1814. Curragh Chase was acquired in 1957 by the Forestry Division and in the 1970s was established as a forest park.
There are several special areas of conservation in the park and Coillte is currently involved in restoring native woodlands to important sites in the park. There are 313 hectares of mixed woodland, 8km of multi-purpose way-marked trails. There are a number of looped way marked trails in the park to suit all visitors. They vary from the multi-access trails suitable for wheelchair users and family walkers to the longer Curragh and Glenisca trails suitable for those looking for more demanding walking and cycling.
Visitors to the park can also enjoy some other well-known Limerick attractions, such as the turrets and towers of the 19th century castle built by the Earl of Limerick. The little Kiltulla church nearby is said to date from the 9th or 10th centuries. Northwest of Curraghchase House is the ancient Killeen church.
There are also two children’s playgrounds, picnic and barbeque facilities.
Curraghchase Forest Park: Gallery
Way back in the year, February 2014 our forests here in county KIlkenny lost a lot of their trees due to very bad storms with high winds, it has taken almost ten months to clear most of this damage but the task is almost complete.
While out walking yesterday I noticed that the last of the many forest areas had been cleared of it fallen trees, I guess this is a great point to reach as the job of planting many new trees can now begin.
Kilkenny Landscape Photography, on the forest road : Gallery
Winter weather predictions 2014/2015
Each year here in Ireland we always get a run pre-Christmas winter weather predictions, some come from a very famous Donegal Postman others from guru Ken Ring, Mostly these predictions are just great entertainment and raise hope of some snow during the dark winter days.
This Morning I read two reports that we are about to be hit with two months of arctic conditions the Article below is predicting a winter as bad as 1963 !!
Well I guess we will have to all wait and see, some snow would be fun but lets hope the weather is not as bad as this report is predicting !!!
From the Irish Mirror :
Ireland could soon be shivering through a repeat of the 1963 Big Freeze – the worst winter for more than 200 years.
A leading weather expert today warned that Ireland and the UK will be hit by an Arctic blast which is set to arrive over New Year and ice blast the region for at least a month. Some parts could be blanketed with up to five feet of snow with daytime temperatures hovering around zero and overnight lows down to a bone-numbing -15C. Forecaster James Madden believes the white-out will rival the infamous winter of 1963 when Ireland virtually came to standstill in a massive freeze-up which lasted nearly three months.
Back then blizzards lashed the country over the Christmas holidays and on New Year’s Eve 1962, 45 centimetres of snow blanketed of the country and several deaths were reported.
Snow fall in Leitrim
The weather expert fears a “colossal” area of much colder than average surface water in the Mid Atlantic will affect the Gulf Stream. This would leave this country and the UK exposed to a prolonged Siberian blast from northerly winds. James said: “This is of quite some significance as the Gulf Stream effectively acts as a heat machine for our shores, in particular, during our winter months.
“Without the influence of this vital heat source, we can expect a horrific winter to develop with frequent blizzards/strong winds and extremely cold conditions.
“During the winter period of 1962/63 the famous big freeze took a hold of the country from around Christmas until the spring of the following year because of a similar situation.
“We could be looking at a very similar time-frame and scale of events this time around.
“I don’t like saying this but the factors are there for an extremely cold spell in January which will possibly extend into February.
Snow on snow
By : James Hart
Snow on snow
Flakes gently falling
Like leaves from a tree
Before they land
On the snowflakes underneath
Each one different
Like leaves on a tree
A white carpet
Pure white till soiled
By children’s shoes
They love its touch
Ooo snowball fights
Snow doesn’t hurt
Snow is soft and forgiving
They are selfish and cruel
So let it snow
Snow on snow on
Snow on snow
These last few winter days in county Kilkenny have been very changeable, some mornings frosty and others wet and misty, I just love capturing these days.
December here is just wonderful for Landscape Photography with moody skies and misty forest walks.
Four images from a winters day in December: Gallery
Last Night I sat down and wrote my first Poem for a while, I was sorting through some Landscape Images and found a collection that I took earlier in the year.
These images are all taken Directly into the Sun, I love to play with the effects that the sun can create in a lens.
The subject of the sun in images I also find very inspiring, its our very life force and has fascinated mankind through out our long history, in both art and all the many religions we have followed.
Sometimes I feel that to use your eyes and clear your mind and just look at the landscape in front of you, on a clear day to just look up and the sun is freedom itself ! . In these moments there is no confusion of religion or even Science, Just yourself standing and looking at the world around you !!
Gods our Sun and it’s Autonomy
As a single cloud floats by and winds coerce,
I desire alone the Sun to have such might and force.
When Gods Command the ageless trees,
a boundless cosmos is all I ask for to see.
Not simply the power of a signal God alone,
But infinite forgiving universal love,
contained forever within time and space.
A completely cosmic power,
open to all and with in the grasp of my simple mind,
open and without fear of a hidden world.
As the Stars stride through horizons and winds twist forests trees,
I only plead to be just as free.
There are many times of the year I love to be down near some of county Kilkenny’s rivers and small lakes, for some reason I find that December is just one of the best times of year to be near water. I love the feeling on a cold days near rivers, walking along in winter clothes, in a hat and gloves. Here you get a sense of how the rivers and their banks change from one season to the next.
These images are of a Waterfall located just outside the small town of Mullinavat, county kilkenny. The great named river Pollanassa which rises at the towns-land of Ballinteskin has in just a few miles gone from being a small stream to a powerful river that can easily flood the fields here after a storm.
The River Pollanassa , Waterfall in Decemeber : Gallery
So far the early mornings this week, the first week of December 2014 have been perfect , bright clear blue sky’s, an overnight frost that has melted away by 9am leaving the fields and woodland paths very wet and damp.
One walk with molly I love doing on mornings like this is in Ballykeefe woods county Kilkenny, this is a circular walk around the nature reserve that slowly claiming to a viewing point at the top of the hill, the view here is just wonderful. There is a bench to sit on after the walk and the landscape views below are of all the farms between the these woods and the mountain of Slievenamon just across the county border from county Kilkenny and into county Tipperary.
The images below are from this walk and the last image shows the landscape views from the wooden bench at the top of the hill
I have been Tagged by Sharon Walters Knight in , Macomb, Illinois on Facebook to take part in a Black and White photo challenge.
I took a good look at some some black and white Landscapes and wanted to post these two images of the Allihies copper mines on the Beara Peninsula in West Cork, Ireland.
Allihies is just about as remote a place as they come in Ireland !!
These two black and white images show just one of the pump houses, I think there are about 6 of them still standing around the small village. It was In 1812 when life in Allihies changed utterly as a rich copper deposit was discovered in the area and the biggest copper mining enterprise in Ireland was established by the Puxley family .
The steam engine and pump house took water out from the mine shafts and both lowered the miners into and out of the mines some 250 feet below the hill sides. Its hard to imagine now the life these miners had , many did not live that long doing this work.
The Landscape around the mines is just wonderful with mountains facing the coastline of west cork, again its hard to image how the noise and smell of these pump houses change this location and the site of hundreds of miners returning home after a days work must have been something to see, they shared small homes and mostly 20 of them shared the same small house.
Allihies copper mines in black and white .
December by the lake
Well Its December and the Winter has truly started, the Weather in Ireland over the weekend was very overcast with sun-light being very hard to find.
I have been wondering how to show an Irish winter in my pictures, wondering what parts of the landscape best show the effects of the cold, grey and damp days ahead of us and the idea of getting down close to water came to me.
Ireland is a country blessed with many rivers, lakes and a wonderful Coastline so over the next weeks I will post many of these locations here and do my best to try to show the atmosphere of these great landscape location during the month of December.