Capturing the world with Photography, Painting and Drawing

Archive for August, 2017

On Contemplating a Sheep’s Skull ~ Poem by: John Kinsella

Sheeps skull
Nigel Borrington

On Contemplating a Sheep’s Skull

Poem by John Kinsella

A sheep’s Skull aged so much in rain and heat,
broken jawbone and chipped teeth half-
gnaw soil; zippered fuse-mark tracks
back to front, runs through to base
of neck, widening faultline under
stress: final crack close at hand.

Skull I can’t bring myself to move.

White-out red soil unearthed
from hillside fox den and cat haven,
now hideaway for short-beaked echidna
toppling rocks and stones, disrupting
artfulness a spirit might impose,
frisson at seeing counterpoint.

Skull I can’t bring myself to move.

Sometimes avoid the spot to avoid
looking half-hearted into its sole
remaining eye socket; mentally to join
bones strewn downhill, come apart
or torn from mountings years before
arriving with good intentions.

Skull I can’t bring myself to move.

Not something you can ‘clean up’,
shape of skull is not a measure of all
it contained: weight of light and dark,
scales of sound, vast and varied taste
of all grass eaten from these hills;
slow and steady gnawing at soil.

Skull I can’t bring myself to move.

the sheeps skull 3

Neither herbivore nor carnivore,
earth and sky-eater, fire in its shout
or whisper, racing through to leave a bed
of ash on which the mind might rest,
drinking sun and light and smoke,
choked up with experience.

Skull I can’t bring myself to move.

Drawn to examine
despite aversion, consider
our head on its shoulders,
drawn expression
greeting loved ones
with arms outstretched.

John Kinsella is Founding editor of the journal Salt in Australia; he serves as international editor at the Kenyon Review. His most recent volume of poetry is Divine Comedy: Journeys through a Regional Geography (W. W. Norton) with a new volume, Disturbed Ground: Jam Tree Gully/Walden, due out with W.W. Norton in November 2011.


Sense of place : Cullahill Chapel and castle in County Laois, Ireland

Cullahill castle and chapel
County Laois
Ireland
Nigel Borrington

The village of Cullahill, county Laois is located just over the boarder from county Kilkenny. It is home to some great old castle tower home and village chapel remains. Cullahill Castle was the principal stronghold of the MacGillapatricks of Upper Ossory built around 1425 and destroyed around 1650.

There are many places like this in the Irish republic, that have retained the remains of long lost times, this small village located on the R369 just north of Johnstown county kilkenny, is a perfect example of the way most small Irish villages would have been in the 1400’s. this small place is well worth a visit just to get a sense of old Ireland.


Gallery


Friday Poetry : The Genesis of the Butterfly, by Victor Hugo

The Genesis of the Butterfly
Nature Photography
Nigel Borrington

The dawn is smiling on the dew that covers
The tearful roses; lo, the little lovers
That kiss the buds, and all the flutterings
In jasmine bloom, and privet, of white wings,
That go and come, and fly, and peep and hide,
With muffled music, murmured far and wide.

Ah, the Spring time, when we think of all the lays
That dreamy lovers send to dreamy mays,
Of the fond hearts within a billet bound,
Of all the soft silk paper that pens wound,
The messages of love that mortals write
Filled with intoxication of delight,
Written in April and before the May time
Shredded and flown, playthings for the wind’s playtime,
We dream that all white butterflies above,
Who seek through clouds or waters souls to love,
And leave their lady mistress in despair,
To flit to flowers, as kinder and more fair,
Are but torn love-letters, that through the skies
Flutter, and float, and change to butterflies


A sense of place : Allihies and its copper mines

Allihies Copper Mines
Munster
County Cork
Nigel Borrington

One of my favorite locations to visit in Ireland is Allihies in west cork, The village is located towards the end of the Béara Peninsula. Its a very beautiful places to spend sometime walking and visiting the small coves and beaches.

The Village has a long history with Copper mining, started in Allihies in 1812 when John Puxley, a local landlord, identified the large quartz promontory at Dooneen as copper bearing from its bright Malachite staining.

The Allihies Mines

Initial mining began with a tunnel or adit driven into the quartz lode from the pebble beach below. In 1821 two shafts were sunk . Flooding was a continuous problem and in 1823 the engine house was erected to house a steam engine brought over from Cornwall to pump water from the depths. The remains of this building with the base of the chimney can be seen across the road. There is also evidence of a steam powered stamp engine to the left of the chimney and dressing floors in front of the engine house. The high dam further inland is the remaining evidence of a water reservoir which stored the water that was pumped out from the bottom of the mine. It was used for the steam engines and needed to separate the copper from rock. All the rubble on the cliff at the sea side of the road is the crushed useless quartz rock left over after the copper ore was extracted.

This is one of six productive mines in the Allihies area and its operation continued until 1838 when it closed due to failing ore.

John Puxley died in 1860 and in 1868 his son Henry Puxley sold the mines to the new Berehaven Mining Company who reopened the mine and installed a new 22 inch steam engine in 1872. Little ore was produced though in this period and the mine was finally abandoned in 1878.

Time line of Copper Mining at Allihies

Gallery

The following images are taken during my last visit, I hope to return one day soon to this great little historic Irish town.


The River – Poem by Kathleen Jessie Raine

The rivers flow
Kings river
Kells
County Kilkenny

The RiverPoem by Kathleen Jessie Raine

In my first sleep
I came to the river
And looked down
Through the clear water –
Only in dream
Water so pure,
Laced and undulant
Lines of flow
On its rocky bed
Water of life
Streaming for ever.

A house was there
Beside the river
And I, arrived,
An expected guest
About to explore
Old gardens and libraries –
But the car was waiting
To drive me away.

One last look
Into that bright stream –
Trout there were
And clear on the bottom
Monster form
Of the great crayfish
That crawls to the moon.
On its rocky bed
Living water
In whorls and ripples
Flowing unbended.

There was the car
To drive me away.
We crossed the river
Of living water –
I might not stay,
But must return
By the road too short
To the waiting day.

In my second dream
Pure I was and free
By the rapid stream,
My crystal house the sky,
The pure crystalline sky.

Into the stream I flung
A bottle of clear glass
That twirled and tossed and spun
In the water’s race
Flashing the morning sun.

Down that swift river
I saw it borne away,
My empty crystal form,
Exultant saw it caught
Into the current’s spin,
The flashing water’s run.
The River
Kathleen Jessie Raine


Classic lens review : Tamron Adaptall-2 135mm f2.5

Tamron Adaptall-2 135mm F/2.5 Model 03B:
Lens Review, Nigel Borrington

Classic lens review : Tamron Adaptall-2 135mm f2.5

I have a few classic Nikon and Tamron lenses in my kit of photography equipment as I find that there is something truly enjoyable about using an older manual focus lens.

One of the lenses I love using the most is my Tamron Adaptall-2 135mm f2.5 lens, it dates from the late 1980’s through to the mid 1990’s, as it was in production during this period. On both an FX and DX camera this lens offers a great field of view in your images. It is also a very fast lens at f2.5 however as with many fast lenses when wind open they are not at their sharpest, yet by using a still very fast F2.8 this lens produces very acceptable images.

Sharpness

These images are an attempt to show the sharpness that can be obtained, these images are taken outside and handheld …..

F2.5 to F8

F2.5

F5.6

These images are just a very quick sample of this lens at different apertures, outside in the real world and without the use of a tripod. I feel that this is a very good way of showing just how usable this lens is in a real world environment and on a day to day basis.

Depth of field

One of the great features of a lens with this focus length (135mm) with a fast aperture is that you can isolate subjects that are at some distance from the camera, this is a powerful tool when used in your images and can help to create some interesting effects.

Here I post some very basic examples of using a different depth of field for the same subject.

F2.5

F8

F2.5

F5.6

F8

F2.5

Build Quality and Verdict

I feel that another great feature of this lens is its build quality, the copy I have is many years old yet still feels like new, its a great lens to use and a pleasure to work with. The focus and aperture rings are both wonderful to operate. Manual focus lenses from this era are built to last, constructed using all metal and built to operate with precision and smoothness. The colour and contrast produced are also among the best I have seen, even when put against my modern Nikon lenses.

All in all this is a lovely lens to use. Its very important to me that I like the equipment I use and this great little lens is right up there with my most loved in this respect.

If you can find one I would highly recommend this lens to anyone!, however as for my copy its not for sale! as I look forward to using it for many more years to come 🙂

Lens Gallery


Friday Poetry : The fisherman and his boat, Raghu Menon

The fisherman and his boat

Patiently he untangles the net
Standing calmly
Brazing the breeze
On the dancing boat
With an oar on its side
Which is cooled by the
Waters of the river..

The sun will set in an hour or so
And he has to finish his catch
Before the dusk
And back to his hut
Where his wife will
Waiting eagerly
To make the dinner
With the fresh catch

Another day
Another catch
The river but
Remains the same
Greeting the fishermen
Who roam the river
With their boats

Raghu Menon

Sunset over Cardigan bay
Wales
August 2017 Nigel Borrington


Welsh Myths and Legends, The bleeding Yew tree, Nevern, Pembrokeshire

St Brynachs church Nevern Pembrokeshire, Wales
Nigel Borrington

Often one sees sap coming out of an old tree, usually where it is healing up, but usually these “bleeding” areas heal up quite quickly. Recently I came across a most remarkable yew tree when I visited the ancient village of Nevern in Pembrokeshire. It has a 6th century church (St Brynach’s Church) and in the churchyard there are a number of ancient yew trees (Taxus baccata). One of these yews near to the gate is called the “Bleeding Yew” which is about 700 years old and here are some photos I took of it. It has a blood-red sap running out of it which has the consistency of blood – though it dries pink rather than brown. I dipped my finger in it and there wasn’t any distinctive smell or stain, but as people say that most parts of the yew tree are poisonous, I didn’t taste it.

There are many myths about why the Nevern yew tree bleeds: some say that as Jesus was crucified on a cross it is bleeding in sympathy and thoers say that it is reflective of the tree of Life in the Garden of Eden. But that wouldn’t explain why this yew tree in particular is bleeding. One myth says that a monk was hanged on this tree for a crime of which he was innocent and the tree is protesting his innocence. Some say, more politically, that it won’t stop bleeding until there is a Welsh Prince installed at Nevern or even that it will bleed until world peace is achieved.

The church at Nevern is well worth a visit for the bleeding yew, but also because the church has some stone carvings which are over a thousand years old, such as the “Braided Cross Stone” (pictured here) which, like the bleeding yew, has been ascribed many meanings with two cords apparently being woven together to make the cross. There is an even older carving, the Maglocunus stone, which throws light on the version of ancient Celtic once used in these parts of Wales, called Ogham. This stone wasn’t preserved for itself standing vertically but was incorporated horizontally into the church as a windowsill.


New site header August 2017, Landscape view from County Kilkenny towards Slievenamon mountain, county Tipperary

A View of Slievenamon mountain from county Kilkenny
August 2017
Nigel Borrington

This view of the county Kilkenny and Tipperary boarder lands is one of my most loved locations in county Kilkenny, it offers some great walks and places to take in the wonderful view towards the mountain of Slievenamon, Tipperary, as you can see from this image. I was very pleased to with this image as I felt that it captured the local country-side at its best in the month of August …..


A Dream sunset, Cardigan bay, Wales. A Poem : Ode  By Arthur O’Shaughnessy

A Dream sunset Cardigan bay
Wales
August 2017 Nigel Borrington

We are like the Dreamer …….

Ode 
By Arthur O’Shaughnessy

We are the music-makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams,
Wandering by lone sea-breakers
And sitting by desolate streams;
World losers and world forsakers,
On whom the pale moon gleams:
Yet we are the movers and shakers
Of the world for ever, it seems.

With wonderful deathless ditties
We build up the world’s great cities.
And out of a fabulous story
We fashion an empire’s glory:
One man with a dream, at pleasure,
Shall go forth and conquer a crown;
And three with a new song’s measure
Can trample an empire down.


We, in the ages lying
In the buried past of the earth,
Built Nineveh with our sighing,
And Babel itself with our mirth;
And o’erthrew them with prophesying
To the old of the new world’s worth;
For each age is a dream that is dying,
Or one that is coming to birth.