This Morning when I opened our blinds I noticed our first Flowers of Spring but In January ?
The weather this winter has been very wet and warm and many people have been saying they have spring flowers already, these are the first in our own garden.
Molly was our much loved friend and companion for over twelve years, she featured many times here and visited most if not all of the locations that I have posted about.
She sadly passed away at the start of December but she had a great life with a walk everyday and she must have visited Ireland from the top to the bottom of the island during her time.
The places she loved the most always had water for her to swim in, as she loved fetching stones and sticks from the bottom of rivers, bringing them back as a present> she could stay doing this all day if we at some point did not want to move on.
Here I just wanted to share two of the many images I have of her , looking very please with the moments she was enjoying 🙂
January can seem so quite in the Irish Hedgerows, very little is moving or growing, yet there is still signs of life to be found in the remains of last years summer season.
I took these images at lunch-time while out on a walk, I feel that there is still much to see and capture, even so long after these flowers would have been at their colourful best …..
A reminder of the cycle of life …….
A target pinned and solid-seeming
but mine is all in motion
I draw the bowstring back
and farther back
Were I to let it fly would it sink deep?
But now my muscles shake
fingers torn against the string
velocity all poorly aimed
I cannot decipher which target is my own
Can I split this arrow with the force of my own wishes,
shower the sky with a quivering flight,
live out each peculiar path?
Or must I choose now
release my hold
wide-eyed or blindfolded
poised or confused
At the end of last week I visited the Connemara Mountains in County Galway, one of Ireland most beautiful landscape areas.
The weather was just amazing, changing every ten minutes with heavy showers moving very quickly across the mountains and lakes.
I just love this part of Ireland, the mountains here contain the following ranges ….
Mountains in County Galway
The Twelve Bens or Twelve Pins (Irish Na Beanna Beola) is a mountain range in Connemara. Dedicated hill climbers can hike all twelve in a single day. The twelve Bens are a group of small mountains that are the dominant feature of the Connemara countryside. They are easily accessible from the N59 or from the villages of Letterfrack or Recess.
Mweelrea rising from the northern shores of Killary Harbour, is one of the finest mountain massifs in Ireland. It may be climbed from Delphi following the ridges to the fjord.
Mammturk Mountains are a picturesque mountain range in North Connemara. They are less well known than their more famous neighbours, the Twelve Bens on the other side of the Inagh Valley. They are not very big (max 667m) but a pleasant climb in fine weather, with superb views and no congestion.
Mount Gable (1370 feet) is one of the most beautiful and scenic mountain walks in Ireland. It dominates the isthmus between Lough Corrib and Lough Mask and guards one of the major routes into Connemara from the east. The starting point for a walk is approximately 2km from the village of Clonbur.
Slieve Aughty Mountains
The Slieve Aughty Mountains are a mountain range spread over both County Galway and County Clare. The highest peak in the Slieve Aughty Mountains is Maghera in Clare which rises to 400m (1,314ft). The mountain range consists of two ridges divided by the Owendallaigh river which flows west into Lough Cutra.
Ten million stones recall
Ten thousand Souls whose anguished cries
Of victory arose from this arena.
For such contempt that man had shown
He trod the path of pain
surmounting human weakness yet again.
He led the way through just such vales
And with two thousand years now gone
We dwell upon such Grace.
Believe… – Poem by Steven Piz.
I believe in a lot
I believe in music
I believe in writing
I believe in listing
I believe in mankind
I believe in work
I believe in love
I believe in laughing
I believe in paradise
I believe in safety
I believe in light
I believe in entertainment
I believe in history
I believe in time
I believe in survival
I believe in change
I believe in luck
What do you believe in?
To tell the truth…
Are any of us promised tomorrow
Live your life as if the last.
During the Christmas and New year holidays we visited Rome, taking time to revisit some of this great cities history.
The Circus Maximus is just one of these many locations, today it has become one of Romes many city parks as much as a sports Stadium. However talking a walk around it’s still existing race track you can clearly imagine what it was like here some two thousand years ago with all the spectators, horse and chariot racers.
Circus Maximus, Rome
The Circus Maximus (Latin for greatest or largest circus, in Italian Circo Massimo) is an ancient Roman chariot racing stadium and mass entertainment venue located in Rome, Italy. Situated in the valley between the Aventine and Palatine hills, it was the first and largest stadium in ancient Rome and its later Empire. It measured 621 m (2,037 ft) in length and 118 m (387 ft) in width and could accommodate over 150,000 spectators. In its fully developed form, it became the model for circuses throughout the Roman Empire. The site is now a public park.
As evening falls,
Beauty of nature she calls
A warm orange glow does surround us
Casting a magical light all around
The sky like a fire does glow
Rippling water like flames do flow
Then as the sun dips behind the trees
And daylight reluctantly flees
Night does now appear
Yet its darkness do not fear
For in the inky dark sky
A new beauty is up high
The moon glows its mysterious light
While stars glisten and twinkle in the night.
I have often wondered what life would be like living on a house boat ?
This House boat is located on the river Tiber in Rome and just by taking a quick look at the image, you can see exactly the life style that its owner much have.
For example you can see the way they get to work by bicycle using the cycle path that runs the full length of the river as it winds its way through the city.
Robert Frost, 1874 – 1963
I dwell in a lonely house I know
That vanished many a summer ago,
And left no trace but the cellar walls,
And a cellar in which the daylight falls
And the purple-stemmed wild raspberries grow.
O’er ruined fences the grape-vines shield
The woods come back to the mowing field;
The orchard tree has grown one copse
Of new wood and old where the woodpecker chops;
The footpath down to the well is healed.
I dwell with a strangely aching heart
In that vanished abode there far apart
On that disused and forgotten road
That has no dust-bath now for the toad.
Night comes; the black bats tumble and dart;
The whippoorwill is coming to shout
And hush and cluck and flutter about:
I hear him begin far enough away
Full many a time to say his say
Before he arrives to say it out.
It is under the small, dim, summer star.
I know not who these mute folk are
Who share the unlit place with me—
Those stones out under the low-limbed tree
Doubtless bear names that the mosses mar.
They are tireless folk, but slow and sad—
Though two, close-keeping, are lass and lad,—
With none among them that ever sings,
And yet, in view of how many things,
As sweet companions as might be had
Tower Houses of Medieval Kilkenny, Ireland
The Landscape of County Kilkenny is full of history that covers many different era’s, including the Medieval period from around the 5th to the 15th century.
Just some of the reminders of this era are the great Tower Houses as detailed below.
A tower house is a fortified medieval residence of stone, usually four or more stories in height. Like most of the surviving monuments of our medieval past, the majority of Irish tower houses are in poor condition, with collapsed walls and ivy shrouded exteriors reflecting centuries of neglect. Yet these ruins, the remnants of a major medieval building industry, provide a valuable source of information on life in Ireland during the later Middle Ages. An increasing number are being restored through both private and state initiatives, while there has also been a marked upsurge in academic interest in recent years.
The buildings were regarded as castles by their occupants. This classification continues today and tower houses are regarded as a species within the castle genus. Their evident defensive strength should not, however, overshadow their residential nature, for tower houses were primarily the defended homes of a wealthy landowning class and were erected by both Anglo-Irish and Gaelic families during the period from circa 1400 to circa 1650.
Ref : Tower Houses
“The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.
Don’t go back to sleep.”
“When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive – to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.”
– Marcus Aurelius
The last two days here in Ireland have brought the first Snow of this winter. The local Mountains including Slievenamon have been covered at the highest levels and its a great sight to wake-up to.
St Peters Rome
The Light of the Sun
Over the Christmas Holiday 2015/16 we visited Rome a city I love very much for among many things its amazing buildings.
On visiting St Peters Basilica, a must do ! , the weather was just amazing for the time of year. Along with the stunning architecture and art, the one thing I could not help but notice was the light from the low December Sun flooding through the many windows located high on the walls around the many domes and chapels.
I spent a lot of time doing my best to capture the effects that this Sun light was creating and here just wanted to share a few of my attempts.
Rome is a city of outstanding churches, none however can hold a candle to St Peter’s (Basilica di San Pietro), Italy’s largest, richest and most spectacular basilica. It is Built atop an earlier 4th-century church, it was completed in 1626 after 120 years’ construction.
Its lavish interior contains many spectacular works of art, including three of Italy’s most celebrated masterpieces: Michelangelo’s Pietà, his soaring dome, and Bernini’s 29m-high baldachin over the papal altar.
Light of the Universe – A Gallery
Happy New year everyone 🙂
I spend sometime and a great time over Christmas and New year in Rome, the weather was amazing and I just love Rome !!
I will share many more images in the coming days but for now I just wanted to share a few images from this wonderful city …..