During the past week (22nd – 29th May 2016), The annual An-Post cycle race took place.
The race covers 1,235 kilometres over eight stages with 25 categorised climbs, including three category one climbs, Conor Pass, Ballaghisheen Pass and Mount Leinster.
Stage 1, Sunday May 22: Dublin Castle to Multyfarnham, 144.6 km
Stage 2, Monday May 23: Mullingar to Charleville, 183.7 km
Stage 3, Tuesday May 24: Charleville to Dingle, 133.2 km
Stage 4, Wednesday May 25: Dingle to Sneem, 162.8 km
Stage 5, Thursday May 26: Sneem to Clonakilty, 148.3 km
Stage 6, Friday May 27: Clonakilty to Dungarvan, 159.1 km
Stage 7, Saturday May 28: Dungarvan to Baltinglass, 155 km
Stage 8, Sunday May 29: Kildare to Skerries, 148.4 km
The race was great fun to follow and great fun to go and take some pictures of, you get a great close up feeing when watching a race like this one.
Clemens Fankhauser in the end became the first rider since Chris Newton in 2003 and 2005 to be crowned a two-time winner of An Post Rás. The Austria Tirol Cycling rider put on a classy display on the final stage into a crowd thronged Skerries to finish in the main bunch, maintaining his lead on the General Classification (GC) and lifting the trophy for the second time in three years.
During a recent walk up to the top of our Local Mountain (Slievenamon, county Tipperary), I came across many great examples of the art of Rock Balancing, Sadly whoever it was that had spent so much time putting these sculptures together had already left so I could not get any pictures of them working so creatively.
I still got lots of images and just wanted to share them here as a record of such great acts of creativity. The thing that impressed me the most was not so much each sculpture ( Although each was great to see ! ) but the number of them and what better location for them than the roof of the world , the very top of Slievenamon the spiritual home for anyone from county Tipperary.
The Following images are from a local vintage motor show, held in our local town of Callan each year as part of the towns summer festival.
Its amazing just how much pride is take in restoring these old tractors and Vintage cars, to take them out and show them off each year is clearly a pleasure to these local Farmers and car lovers.
I should name this post “BOYS and their TOYS !!!!!”
Kilkenny Vintage Motor show : Gallery
You will often find people Parascending from the mountain of Slievenamon , county Tipperary. The mountain is located on the border between counties Kilkenny and Tipperary and offers great views of both.
Late one evening recently, I came across three people walking up and I walked along side them for a while as the carried their equipment to the top and then all took off at the same time, it was just amazing to stand and watch them as they circled around above then disappeared off into the distance some miles away.
Parascending from Slievenamon : Gallery
Kingdom Falconry is based and located at Crag caves, Castle-island, Co. Kerry, 2km from the town. They offer you the unique opportunity to get up close and personal with a variety of very majestic and awe-inspiring birds of prey.
One of these birds is an Eurasian eagle-owl a fantastic bird that was just wonderful to get very close to.
Kingdom Falconry can be contacted from this link.
If you are in county Kerry and near Castle-island and have sometime , I would very much recommend dropping in to meet these birds.
The Eurasian eagle-owl is described as follows :
The Eurasian eagle-owl (Bubo bubo) is a species of eagle-owl resident in much of Eurasia. It is sometimes called the European eagle-owl and is, in Europe, where it is the only member of its genus besides the snowy owl, occasionally abbreviated to just eagle-owl. In India, it is often called the Indian great horned owl, though this may cause confusion with the similarly named American bird.It is one of the largest species of owl, and females can grow to a total length of 75 centimetres (30 in), with a wingspan of 188 centimetres (74 in), males being slightly smaller. This bird has distinctive ear tufts, the upper parts are mottled black and tawny and the wings and tail are barred. The underparts are buff, streaked with darker colour. The facial disc is poorly developed and the orange eyes are distinctive.
The Eurasian eagle-owl is found in a number of habitats but is mostly a bird of mountain regions, coniferous forests, steppes and remote places. It is a mostly nocturnal predator, hunting for a range of different prey species, predominately small mammals but also birds of varying sizes, reptiles, amphibians, fish, large insects and earthworms. It typically breeds on cliff ledges, in gullies, among rocks or in some other concealed location. The nest is a scrape in which up to six eggs are laid at intervals and which hatch at different times. The female incubates the eggs and broods the young, and the male provides food for her and when they hatch, for the nestling’s as well.
Continuing parental care for the young is provided by both adults for about five months.
There are about a dozen subspecies of Eurasian eagle-owl. With a total range in Europe and Asia of about 32 million square kilometres (12 million square miles) and a total population estimated to be between 250 thousand and 2.5 million individuals, the IUCN lists the bird’s conservation status as being of “least concern”.
I took the images here while spending a little time watching and photographing the Grounds men of Croke Park Dublin at work.
They are getting ready for the GAA Hurling, All Ireland, Senior Championship 2014 Final on the 7th. Kilkenny will face Tipperary once again in a battle between neighbouring counties.
Here is a detailed history of the Finals between these two side : Kilkenny V Tipperary
Number 33 – Entering the mother and foal competition, Iverk show, County Kilkenny
I took these two portraits during the great, Mother and foal competition at the Iverk show, county Kilkenny.
Iverk show , County Kilkenny
The Iverk Show is held each year at Piltown, county Kilkenny.
It is one of Ireland’s biggest country shows with many product displays and farming competitions including Horses, dogs and livestock.
The Images below were taken during the show jumping, it was great fun to watch and get some action pictures as the weather was just perfect being warm and sunny.
Kilkenny’s river Barrow in flood
This weekend we lost our Broadband connect while our provider fixes some 18000 connection problems, mostly due to power supply problems.
I Wanted to record the after effects of storm Darwin, so spend a long time out and about getting images of the floods and the damage created in the counties forests.
The images below are taken along the river Barrow , which is usually a very calm river that flows through the county. As you can see from these images however the entire valley and floodplain is many feet underwater and this water is flowing at full speed down through the county toward the county of Waterford.