It hard to believe how fast a week can go – Its Friday already 🙂 🙂
The Last Friday of January 2015 and I was trying to think what Images could best show the month we have just had here in Ireland. I love black and white Images at this time of year I feel they capture the winter months very well. This month we have had many seasons all in one go, sometime warmer than expected other times we have been very cold with Snow on the hills.
Last night I selected these four images as I feel they show everything from Freezing mists in the mountains to snow on the hill tops and a cold sea mist hanging just off the county Waterford coastline.
As its Friday I will wish everyone a great weekend, I hope you manage to get out into the open air and well! just relax and have a great time ! 🙂
Secrets of the Forest
There’s a dead tree connecting the earth to my heart,
And yet it’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.
One silver root, and four dark leaves.
A branch is at my neck,
And there is a leaf telling me secrets,
Gently in my left ear.
There are vines strung elegantly from trunk to my teeth
And I’ll play them for you.
The rain is the beat,
It’s the same as your pulse.
My blood runs cherry with every note.
By : Celeste Nicole Cook
Surrounded by tall walls,
so tall that it is insanity to dare climb them.
Before there used to be a gate that allowed visitors to come and go
as they please without disrupting the palace grounds
but over time the palace guard became bitter.
At first the gate was only opened for a few days,
but once those visitors left, leaving chaos and destruction behind
the palace guard became angry and was filled with rage.
With rage he destroyed the gate
and in turn built a thicker wall.
Replacing the beautiful craftsmanship that stood tall and proud,
with a thick grey wall that blended into the hills.
Now the remaining occupants have been imprisoned within towering walls were debris and dust has collected,
time has past and slowly the rage has been quenched.
Now the guard is contemplating whether to burn the chaos around him
and rebuild a city that shines and brings glory to all those who enter.
To build walls that can be climbed,
were children can sit once again and look out at the fields of flowering hills in the Spring.
If you take a walk through some of the many Irish woodlands at this time of year, it may appear that there is little to see or take any images of. However I just love the textures and colours to be found during these months. Often the woodland floors are wet and this adds to some wonderful light to be found in photographs.
These Images are from a walk yesterday in one of out local woods.
Winter in the Irish Woodlands
Monday mornings, well some come easy, some others come a little harder with inspiration hard to find !!!
I am finding this Monday morning lands right between the two posts, so maybe a poem and an image or two will help to get the week moving along its way 🙂 🙂
First Light of Day
By : Gelene Beverly
Listen to the quiet peaceful dawn.
Sun touching the rim of spaces’ night.
Stars fading to brushes of paint
In whirlwinds of dusk colored breezes.
Passing away the moon’s guard
To the light of the sun’s shift begins
Now sweeping into a new day.
Have a great weekend everyone , I hope you manage to get out side if you possibly can !!! 🙂 🙂
A simple old story this one but filled with such a simple truth.
Folktales and Fables : The North Wind and the Sun
The North Wind and the Sun were disputing which was the stronger, when a traveler came along wrapped in a warm cloak. They agreed that the one who first succeeded in making the traveler take his cloak off should be considered stronger than the other.Then the North Wind blew as hard as he could, but the more he blew the more closely did the traveler fold his cloak around him; and at last the North Wind gave up the attempt. Then the Sun shined out warmly, and immediately the traveler took off his cloak.
And so the North Wind was obliged to confess that the Sun was the stronger of the two.
The story concerns a competition between the North wind and the Sun to decide which is the stronger of the two. The challenge was to make a passing traveler remove his cloak. However hard the North Wind blew, the traveler only wrapped his cloak tighter to keep warm, but when the Sun shone, the traveler was overcome with heat and soon took his cloak off.
The fable was well known in Ancient Greece; Athenaeus recorded that Hieronymus of Rhodes, in his Historical Notes, quotes an epigram of Sophocles against Euripides which parodies the story of Helios and Boreas. It relates how Sophocles had his cloak stolen by a boy to whom he had made love. Euripides joked that he had had that boy too and it did not cost him anything. Sophocles’ reply satirises the adulteries of Euripides: “It was the Sun, and not a boy, whose heat stripped me naked; as for you, Euripides, when you were kissing someone else’s wife the North Wind screwed you. You are unwise, you who sow in another’s field, to accuse Eros of being a snatch-thief.”
The Latin version of the fable first appears centuries later in Avianus as De Vento et Sole (Of the wind and the sun, Fable 4), early versions in English and Johann Gottfried Herder’s poetic version in German (Wind und Sonne) also give it as such. It is only in mid-Victorian times that the title “The North Wind and the Sun” begins to be used. In fact the Avianus poem refers to the characters as Boreas and Phoebus, the gods of the north wind and the sun, and it is under the title Phébus et Borée that it appears in La Fontaine’s Fables (VI.3).
Victorian versions give the moral as “Persuasion is better than force”, but it has been put in different ways at other times. In the Barlow edition of 1667, Aphra Behn teaches the Stoic lesson that there should be moderation in everything: “In every passion moderation choose,/For all extremes do bad effects produce”, while La Fontaine’s conclusion is that “Gentleness does more than violence” (Fables VI.3). In the 18th century, Herder comes to the theological conclusion that, while superior force leaves us cold, the warmth of Christ’s love dispels it, and Walter Crane’s limerick version of 1887 gives a psychological interpretation, “True strength is not bluster”. Most of these examples draw a moral lesson, but La Fontaine hints at the political application that is present also in Avianus’ conclusion: “They cannot win who start with threats”. There is evidence that this reading has had an explicit influence on the diplomacy of modern times: in South Korea’s Sunshine Policy, for instance, or Japanese relations with the military regime in Burma.
Most of the time when I am out taking Landscape pictures, its the simple things that catch my attention, like this simple line of trees at one end of a large woodland, set in the hills above Windgap, county Kilkenny.
When trees are young like these ones they are planted very close together. later this area will be thinned out and half these trees will be cut down so that there is space for the best trees to develop and grow, the cut trees will be sold as firewood so it is not wasted.
There are so many things we just don’t notice, I think this is one thing I love most about doing about Landscape photography, it makes you look at and see things so often lost in the bigger picture of daily life.
In darkness of salten waters be stilled
The clouds o’er Loch Fyne hung low upon hills
Night falls gentle, Heaven by the ocean
Fishermen’s boat beneath moon drops anchor
The village at sleep, silent the sheep graze
A shallow wind drifts by our window sill
Morning’s fog creeps upon island’s meadow
In field surrounds lay thistle and snowdrop
House on the glen Castle Inverary
Majestic in caricature and lore
Wherest Gaelic Scots in fine lordly fashion
Spake proudly the moors and bonnie mountain
The Scotsman praise long of the fair Loch Fyne
As steeped in history, gentleman’s word
The beauty of eerie black water remains
Great mystic legend of centuries told
Midst nearby wood ruins of battle cries
Castles MacEwan and Lachlan attest
Drawn swords and gunnery of fishermen
Whose drift and trawl nets combed divided seas
In the air cast chilly a salten mist
The earth and garden Heather and Primrose
Green moor and mountain wondrous backrop scene
To waters of glass in silent refrain
Gorse flowers – in mythology
Gorse, also known as furze, is a sweet scented, yellow flowered, spiny evergreen shrub that flowers all year round.
In fact, there are several species of gorse that flower at different times of the year making it a much-loved plant for the bees and giving it the appearance of being in bloom all year long. There is an old saying that goes, “When the gorse is out of bloom, kissing is out of season.”
Gorse Tree copyright Ireland Calling
Gorse is often associated with love and fertility. It was for this reason that a sprig of gorse was traditionally added to a bride’s bouquet and gorse torches were ritually burned around livestock to protect against sterility. However, one should never give gorse flowers to another as a gift for it is unlucky for both the giver and receiver.
Gorse wood was used as very effective tinder. It has a high oil content which means it burns at a similar high temperature to charcoal. The ashes of the burnt gorse were high in alkali and used to make soap when mixed with animal fat.
Onn, meaning gorse, is the 17th letter of the ogham alphabet. It equates to the English letter O.
In Celtic tradition, gorse was one of the sacred woods burned on the Beltane bonfires, probably the one that got them started. It was a shrub associated with the spring equinox and the Celtic god of light, Lugh, doubtlessly because of its ever blooming vibrant yellow flowers.
In Brittany, the Celtic summer festival of Lughnastdagh, named after the god, was known as the Festival of Golden Gorse.
Flowers used in wine and whiskey
The flowers have a distinct vanilla-coconut aroma and are edible with an almond-like taste. They can be eaten raw on salads or pickled like capers. They have also been used to make wine and to add colour and flavour to Irish whiskey. However, consuming the flowers in great numbers can cause an upset stomach due to the alkalis they contain.
The prickly nature of gorse gave it a protective reputation, specifically around livestock. As well as providing an effective hedgerow, gorse made an acceptable flea repellent and the plant was often milled to make animal fodder.