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.
Monday the 19th January 2015y
This Monday Morning was just amazing along the lane, a light covering of frost and snow still covered the mountain of Slievenamon, country Tipperary and I just wanted to share this image with you.
I often think this period of January is a little hard on people, the fun of Christmas has gone , the new year has well and truly started and yet the long dark nights are still here. Maybe one of the best ways to raise your spirits is to get outside and find somewhere with a view – like a park , mountains or rivers and take in the great weather this month can bring 🙂
A Monday morning in January !!!!
Yashica DX 35mm f2.8, M42 Lens
Over the years I have collected a few classic camera lenses, the Yashica f35mm f2.8 m42 lens has to be one of my most valued and liked.
Back in the 1960’s this lens would have cost a good amount of cash as it was at the top of Yashica’s Slr lens range, the main reason for this being that it had the then New DX coating and a 35mm focus length was becoming very valued for 35mm film camera.
I use this lens a lot, not all the time but its always at hand if I need it, I think you can see from the images below why.
If I use it on a dx sensor camera it provides for a 50mm focus length, a length that I like a lot for framing landscapes. As for the famed DX coating, well I think that you can see form the images below that it still works very well. The colors and the contrast in these images ( taken last week ), are just great. The images taken facing right at the sun show just how little flair this lens produces.
We had our first snow of the winter overnight and I could not resist getting out to get some images of the forest paths with a covering .
Sadly on the way home it started raining and most of the snow has disappeared but it was great to get out into this weather and see the first snow of 2015 !!!!!
I took this image back in November on a beach walk, I found the shadows from this drift wood very attractive but then wondered what came first the foot prints or the wood ?
People pass me by without a second glance,
No one likes the ugly tree with no leaves.
My branches extend out in every which way,
Getting tangled within each other.
I look still on the outside,
Yet inside, water and nutrients course through my tissues.
I stand in wait, until the season comes,
When my arms are no longer bare and the fresh, green leaves can hide away my hideous outsides.
Polk City, IA
Frozen in Time – a Kilkenny standing stone
I came across this standing stone while out walking through some fields at the top of one of county kilkenny’s many hills, the Moon was sitting right above it and I felt it was a very appropriate moment.
Ireland has so many of these stones and few are protected, many thousands must have been removed over time and the ones left only survive because the land owners care enough to keep them. It is thought that most date back some four to six thousand years so can you imagine just how many times the moon has passed over this standing stone marking the passage of each day.
Standing looking at this view however time felt frozen !!!!
Well I have been a little quite on my blog during the holidays and into the new year, I hope you all had a great holiday period 🙂
To start 2015 here, I just wanted to say a huge thank-you to anyone who has been visiting this blog since I started it about two years ago. Thank you for your many likes and great comments I have enjoyed sharing my images and the places I visited and also enjoyed reading and visiting so many other blogs from around the world 🙂 🙂
Starting a new year is always a challenge, we are all meant to reinvent the wheel and take on life in a new way – aren’t we !!
Maybe however the best plan is to just look at what you have been doing with your life and just build on these areas, I sat down on Monday morning and put a little picture board together of the things I want to build on during the year ahead, these areas are included in the images there.
I am going to start to look at how I can include some new areas in posts here, it could be that I start some new blogs in word-press and then just place links here if the posts are not relating to photography etc ….. ?
Almost all my posts to date have been mainly about the places here in Ireland that I have visited along with some poetry and art that I wanted to share, this year I am going to share the things I am learning or doing a little bit more !
Violin and Music Plans
For the last few years I have been learning and planing the Violin and I want to share a little more about these experiences and the type of music I love playing the most.
I am not an advanced or a professional player but love to play and learn, I feel that music like many things is not about being the finished item but about journeying your way through a learning process and having some great fun along the way !!!
Computer development skills and plans
For a large part of my life I worked in the I.T. industry, starting back in the 1980’s on IBM main frame systems, mainly programming in Cobol/rpg and C++ during my time. I want to start to share a little about some plans I have to get back and then keep in touch with these skills.
This will most likely be a new Blog !!!
I also would like to start to share how I see the current computer industry, when I started training in ( I.T. ) it was not easy to get the skills you needed however it was much easier however to see how you could apply yourself to these skills. Today with the internet and you-tube etc … its must easier to put skills together but less easy to see how these skills can be used, mainly due to the all controlling Microsoft !!!
Over the last three years or so however, there is a growing change in the area of small scale computing and its nothing to do with tablets or phones , it’s in small computers such as the credit card computers or Development boards, systems like the Raspberry Pi here above – have sold well over a million units in a very short time and have been followed by many other single board PC’s like the cubie-truck.
These systems have reset the computer industry back to a time when learning about computer technology was not about Microsoft windows and it many ( problems, virus, its costs, and its latest versions ) but about being able to learn fully and openly what a computer can do and at the cost of the hardware only, these computers use Linux OS – as their operating systems and as such follow almost the entire growing world of none Microsoft based devices such as (Apples OS-x, Android phones, Bare-metal devices(using machine coded applications), Linux based desktop and laptop systems along with internet servers and cloud servers).
I want to share something about this area of modern computing, from a very basic level to a level that shows just how the two systems in the images here the (Raspberry pi and Cubie-truck – boards) can be used both independently and along side a windows based computer, many of the current engineering and science fairs show projects using just these kind of devices !
I will still be posting lots of images and articles on locations here in Ireland!
One thing I want to do very much is to capture my local landscape as we move from the winter months into spring !