Capturing the world with Photography, Painting and Drawing

Down on the farm

Kilkenny Landscape images : Rain clouds return , July 15th 2018

County Kilkenny Landscapes
Rain clouds return
Nikon D700
50mm AIS f1.8 lens

Return of Rain

The cloud drops on my lip
On the tip of my nose
I get hugged by the drip
Ah, rain is so close!
The heat is now a story
The balm seems so near
Regaining its lost glory
Surely the monsoon is here!
Tip-tap on my windowpane
Dark floaters are busy
Pouring on men and women
Life is once more easy!
I’m glad the rain is back
To awaken the soil’s green
Wipe out the summer’s crack
Dance on my parched roof tin!

Tip-tap on my windowpane
Dark floaters are busy
Pouring on men and women
Life is once more easy!
I’m glad the rain is back
To awaken the soil’s green
Wipe out the summer’s crack
Dance on my parched roof tin!


Kilkenny Landscape Photography, Images of July 2018

Irish Landscape Images
County Kilkenny
Barley fields
July 3rd 2018
Nikon D700
Nigel Borrington

Irish Landscape Images
County Kilkenny
Barley fields
July 3rd 2018
Nikon D700
Nigel Borrington


Summer Heat Wave, In pictures ….

Irish landscape photography
County Kilkenny
The heat wave of 2018
Nigel Borrington

Ireland’s is currently in heat wave conditions with no big change on the horizon, so today I headed out for a walk and started to capture our local landscape in these conditions. Here in County Kilkenny we have not been affected quite as badly yet as in county Dublin but as you can see from these images the hedgerows and fields are starting to turn to a light brown and some of the trees are only just hanging on.


Summer Poems : Haymaking, By Edward Thomas

Summer Poems : Haymaking

By Edward Thomas

Aftear night’s thunder far away had rolled
The fiery day had a kernel sweet of cold,
And in the perfect blue the clouds uncurled,
Like the first gods before they made the world
And misery, swimming the stormless sea
In beauty and in divine gaiety.

The smooth white empty road was lightly strewn
With leaves—the holly’s Autumn falls in June—
And fir cones standing stiff up in the heat.
The mill-foot water tumbled white and lit
With tossing crystals, happier than any crowd
Of children pouring out of school aloud.

And in the little thickets where a sleeper
For ever might lie lost, the nettle-creeper
And garden warbler sang unceasingly;
While over them shrill shrieked in his fierce glee
The swift with wings and tail as sharp and narrow
As if the bow had flown off with the arrow.

Only the scent of woodbine and hay new-mown
Travelled the road. In the field sloping down,
Park-like, to where its willows showed the brook,
Haymakers rested. The tosser lay forsook
Out in the sun; and the long waggon stood
Without its team, it seemed it never would
Move from the shadow of that single yew.

The team, as still, until their task was due,
Beside the labourers enjoyed the shade
That three squat oaks mid-field together made
Upon a circle of grass and weed uncut,
And on the hollow, once a chalk-pit, but
Now brimmed with nut and elder-flower so clean.

The men leaned on their rakes, about to begin,
But still. And all were silent. All was old,
This morning time, with a great age untold,
Older than Clare and Cobbett, Morland and Crome,
Than, at the field’s far edge, the farmer’s home,
A white house crouched at the foot of a great tree.

Under the heavens that know not what years be
The men, the beasts, the trees, the implements
Uttered even what they will in times far hence—
All of us gone out of the reach of change—
Immortal in a picture of an old grange.


Craftsmen in pictures : Tom Allison – blacksmith

Tom Allison blacksmith blueberry hill farm and muckross farm
county kerry
Nigel Borrington

TOM ALLISON

Last week while visiting Muckross Traditional Farm, I was lucky enough to meet and chat with Tom Allison, he is an experienced professional and you can tell that he has a passion for blacksmithing. With his easy-going way of showing you how he works and creates some amazing items.

Tom studied blacksmithing at Hereford College in 1997 and continued his training with an apprenticeship in Wales for 2 years. Tom moved to Sneem in 2000 to set up his own forge and since then has completed a number of major commissions.

I spend a good amount of time watching Tom work in the old forge at Muckross Traditional Farm while he demonstrated the old skills of blacksmithing. His work ranges from contemporary art and designs to traditional historical reproduction and restoration.


Monday Poetry : The Mountain Horse

Mountain Horse
Slievenamon
County Tipperary
Nigel Borrington

The Mountain Horse

Its cold at dawn in the Great Divide
And the Dew lies thick on the mountainside,
The bite of the cold air nearly makes you choke
And breath from your nostrils like dragon smoke.

The saddles are on and the cinch is tight,
Bridles are buckled and a bit to bight,
The horsemen are ready to break the camp,
The mist still rising and the bush is all damp.

The mobs been found in a clearing up ahead,
They’re all wild horses and they’re mountain bred.
Bushes flying by lashing legs and sides,
There’s danger here now for anyone who rides.

An overhanging limb so bend down low
Around rocks and wombat holes we go
There’s a mighty log we’ll have to jump
Look out, look out avoid the stump.

The big bay stallion leads his harem through the creek
There’s no place here for faint hearted or the meek,
Their hooves are like thunder and stock whips are cracking
Horses are snorting and their courage is not lacking.

Down along the valley where he knows every stride
Down along the valley where the wings are stretching wide,
But it’s too late, he knows it now, there’s nowhere left to run,
He turns and rears up high, his fight has just begun.

Something about these mountains makes you want to stay
And a mountain horse’s spirit you cannot take away.
My mind wanders back to a day not long ago,
When the horsemen came and found my mob and I put on the show.


Land Divided Into Farms

Land Divided into farms
County Kerry
Ireland
Nigel Borrington


Land Divided Into Farms

The land it was divided, into farms for cattle and sheep,
Some land they grew the corn, for the workers to keep,
Some they had wheat to sell, was taken to the mill,
Their stone ground for bread, the baker’s shop and his van to fill.

Some land it stayed in woodland, itself to regenerate,
As old ones fall and lets in light, young saplings they do await,
A long cycle of new to old, from the old forestation to new
Fenced all round now, and preserved for this nation.


December on the Farm, A photo-story …..


A Country Boy in Winter , A poem by : Sarah Orne Jewett

snowly mountain 2

A Country Boy in Winter

By Sarah Orne Jewett

The wind may blow the snow about,
For all I care, says Jack,
And I don’t mind how cold it grows,
For then the ice won’t crack.
Old folks may shiver all day long,
But I shall never freeze;
What cares a jolly boy like me
For winter days like these?

Far down the long snow-covered hills
It is such fun to coast,
So clear the road! the fastest sled
There is in school I boast.
The paint is pretty well worn off,
But then I take the lead;
A dandy sled’s a loiterer,
And I go in for speed.

When I go home at supper-time,
Ki! but my cheeks are red!
They burn and sting like anything;
I’m cross until I’m fed.
You ought to see the biscuit go,
I am so hungry then;
And old Aunt Polly says that boys
Eat twice as much as men.

There’s always something I can do
To pass the time away;
The dark comes quick in winter-time—
A short and stormy day
And when I give my mind to it,
It’s just as father says,
I almost do a man’s work now,
And help him many ways.

I shall be glad when I grow up
And get all through with school,
I’ll show them by-and-by that I
Was not meant for a fool.
I’ll take the crops off this old farm,
I’ll do the best I can.
A jolly boy like me won’t be
A dolt when he’s a man.

I like to hear the old horse neigh
Just as I come in sight,
The oxen poke me with their horns
To get their hay at night.
Somehow the creatures seem like friends,
And like to see me come.
Some fellows talk about New York,
But I shall stay at home.


Winter Sky , Poem by : Lisa La Grange

Winter Skys
County Kilkenny
Ireland
Nigel Borrington

Come walk beneath the winter sky
as crystal starlight shimmers down,
to where the whispered snowflakes lie
to cloak the valley like a gown.

Walk ever forward and forget
the promises that never came;
and all the volumes of regret
to which our passions lay their claim.

The cold magnificence that glows
with luminescent mystery,
placates the agony of woes
that overshadow history.

Leave twisted trails of grief behind
and venture on a virgin plain,
as destiny becomes aligned
with hope’s provocative refrain.


Friday 1st September a Poem by : T. S. Eliot, Four Quartets, East Coker No. 2, 1, 1940

Black and white Landscapes, County Tipperary, fields, 2017 Nigel Borrington

FOUR QUARTETS by :T.S. Eliot

In that open field
If you do not come too close, if you do not come too close,
On a summer midnight, you can hear the music
Of the weak pipe and the little drum
And see them dancing around the bonfire
The association of man and woman
In daunsinge, signifying matrimonie—
A dignified and commodiois sacrament.
Two and two, necessarye coniunction,
Holding eche other by the hand or the arm
Whiche betokeneth concorde. Round and round the fire
Leaping through the flames, or joined in circles,
Rustically solemn or in rustic laughter
Lifting heavy feet in clumsy shoes,

Kilree Round Tower Kilkenny 1

Earth feet, loam feet, lifted in country mirth
Mirth of those long since under earth
Nourishing the corn. Keeping time,
Keeping the rhythm in their dancing
As in their living in the living seasons
The time of the seasons and the constellations
The time of milking and the time of harvest
The time of the coupling of man and woman
And that of beasts. Feet rising and falling.
Eating and drinking. Dung and death.

Dawn points, and another day
Prepares for heat and silence. Out at sea the dawn wind
Wrinkles and slides. I am here
Or there, or elsewhere. In my beginning.”
– T. S. Eliot, Four Quartets, East Coker No. 2, 1, 1940


5 Images for May, Friday

Sunday by the lake 1

Ok , Today is more of a collection of images than one single image, to close the week 🙂

May and the local farms are getting busy, Irish farms are usually a little smaller than in Mainland Europe, so for some of the work a small tractor is still needed in order to work the smaller fields.

These images are a study of a little tractor most likely still used for many tasks around the farm over the next weeks of this busy month …..


The Farrier, by : Robert L. Hinshaw

The Farrier Kilkenny  Nigel Borrington

The Farrier
Kilkenny
Nigel Borrington

The Farrier

Robert L. Hinshaw

He billed himself as an expert in the field of “equine podiatry”,
Better known as a farrier for farmers and the cream of society!
Keeping horses shod and their hooves polished was his vocation.
With horseflesh he’d had many an interesting confrontation!

He always had a roll-yer-own dangling from his lips,
And a blackened leather apron wrapped about his hips.
His jaw was set and with biceps wrought of tempered steel,
He’d strike the anvil with his hammer – what a rhythmic peal!

The Farrier Kilkenny Nigel Borrington 01

In his jumbled shop he’d shod animals of many breeds.
Donkeys, mules, ponies and prized Arabian steeds.
He shoed critters pulling covered wagons to unknown frontiers,
And many a cowpokes cayuse for the round-up of his steers!

One detail they didn’t cover when he was in farrier school,
Was how to deal with the occasional cantankerous mule.
Many times he’d found himself sprawled upon the dirt,
With the outline of a hoof imprinted upon his shirt!

Tho’ his profession never guaranteed a life of glamour,
And knowing he’d not get rich wielding a tongs and hammer,
Yet, it was challenging working with ornery mule and horse,
Always hoisting their hindquarters very gingerly of course!


A Faithful Old Barn, a Poem By : Laura Lynch

The Barn  Landscape Photography : Nigel Borrington

The Barn, Bordeaux, France
Landscape Photography : Nigel Borrington

A Faithful Old Barn

By : Laura Lynch
Apr 28, 2012

Erect and secure, yet weathered and worn
Faithfully it stood surviving the storms.

Cracking and peeling … its colors are muted
Stubbornly standing yet obviously wounded.

Absorbing abuse for those in her shelter
Unobtrusively stands against all ghostly specter.


As Winter falls upon the farm.

As winter falls upon the Farm. Photography : Nigel Borrington

As winter falls upon the Farm.
Landscape Photography : Nigel Borrington

After living here in county Kilkenny for over ten years now, we have got to know many different people. One of the families we know very well own a small farm and when ever they go on holiday we help look after the place for them. We moved here from North London and its a great pleasure to now be able to see and be on a farm like this one.

These images where taken during such a week, late in the Autumn and as winter took a grip over their farm and its land.

Seeing a farm in the height of June is a wonderful thing, everything growing and the animals full of life but I love these winter months just as much, the place is slower with the cold and damp morning.

The Horses and Chickens are slower and growing season finished apart from some late greens to be used in the kitchen before the frost sets in. The farm and its land feels ready for the three months of rest it well deserves.

Gallery

As winter falls upon the Farm 2

As winter falls upon the Farm 3

As winter falls upon the Farm 5

As winter falls upon the Farm 7

As winter falls upon the Farm 6

As winter falls upon the Farm 4


Images of the sheep shearing shed and a Poem by Lorna Madson

The Sheep Shearing Shed, Country Kerry, Irish Photography : Nigel Borrington

The Sheep Shearing Shed,
Country Kerry,
Irish Photography : Nigel Borrington

Shearing

– by Lorna Madson

I still recall shearing at Dad’s place,
All those early starts,
Learning to skirt the fleeces,
Pulling off the daggy parts.

I remember Dad sewing up sheep that were cut,
With a needle and big piece of cotton,
Sometimes we helped him yard up the sheep,
Or bring in some the dog had forgotten.

There’s a definite art to throwing a fleece,
One that i’m still yet to master,
The only time I ever tried,
Was a complete and utter disaster!

Sheep Shearers 3

It was always a guess as to when we would shear,
Dad never knew quite when they’d come,
But you always knew by their thirsty look,
When they were about to do the last run.

Mum prepared meals and worked in the shed,
While us kids got up to mischief,
One time we shore so late in October,
Mum asked if they’d be there for Christmas!

Every year without a doubt,
The straw broom went down to the shed,
Either Dad forgot to buy one,
Or it was easier to take Mum’s instead.

On school days we’d race from the bus to the shed,
There was no time for homework or chores,
Getting tossed in a wool press, riding sheep in the pen,
Our hands full of prickles and sore.

Sheep Shearing 2

When we cut-out half the district would come,
The wool table would be covered in grub,
Plenty to drink and the odd song or two,
It was better than any session at the pub!

This is a glimpse of what shearing was like,
Or at least it’s the bits I remember,
The shearing shed’s where all the action was at,
Usually somewhere around August-September.

But I doubt if Dad’s memories of shearing,
Are as fond to him as mine are to me,
For I didn’t have to worry ’bout microns,
Wool packs and presses you see!


Monday Morning Images and Poetry – You And your free range chickens, by : James Jarrett

Good morning chickens 1
You And your free range chickens
Farming Photography : Nigel Borrington

your free range chickens

by : James Jarrett

I often thought about you
And your free range chickens
Being happy on the land
Living life free
Both pecking and scraping
Getting life from the dust

Good morning chickens 2

But I didn’t know
That it could never be enough
Tho’ scratch might make some happy
I found out too late
That it wouldn’t do for you

But if I could
Believe me true
I’d bring you chickens
Instead of flowers
To brighten up your room

Good morning chickens 3


A 1920’s life in pictures, from Ireland to America

Life from Ireland to America 10
A 1920’s life in pictures, from Ireland to America
Copyright : Nigel Borrington

A couple of months ago an older family member asked If I would scan some old portrait images for a family tree that she was putting together. Over the next weeks I scanned many images and then took them back to her in order to get all the names and details that she could help with.

This was great fun and a truly interesting process. One set of images could not be identified however, yet they are among the most interesting.

I am Posting them here as I feel they show the life of a women (her family and her friends) from a small town in County Tipperary, Ireland, as she grow up going to school in a Farming community, eventually becoming independent enough to travel by boat from Cobh, in county cork and start a new life for herself in America.

If by any chance anyone knows who she or anyone in these pictures is, feel free to let me know as it would be great to put a name to these faces.

A life in pictures, Gallary

Life from Ireland to America 1

Life from Ireland to America 2

Life from Ireland to America 3

Life from Ireland to America 5

Life from Ireland to America 4

Life from Ireland to America 6

Life from Ireland to America 7

Life from Ireland to America 8

Life from Ireland to America 9


Feeding from the Dandelion, Image Gallery

Feeding on the Dandelion 1
Feeding from the Dandelion, County Kilkenny
Wildlife and Nature photography : Nigel Borrington

A few days ago while out walking , I took a rest and sat-down for a while in the corner of a field.

I noticed these Dandelions and that they were providing a feast for all kinds of insects, so I took lots of images a few of which I post here.

I love this time of year as life is everywhere, so why not just take a moment or two and take a look at all that surround you.

Gallery

Feeding on the Dandelion 6

Feeding on the Dandelion 5

Feeding on the Dandelion 2

Feeding on the Dandelion 3

Feeding on the Dandelion 4


Saturday Morning walk on coolagh hill, county Kilkenny : Gallery

Saturday morning on coolagh hill
Coolagh old church on the hill, County Kilkenny
Landscape Photography : Nigel Borrington

It’s the weekend so why not get out and about and do some walking in your local area.

Often when you walk you will find places and views that you never knew existed just driving past in a car.

What ever you do I hope you have a great last weekend of June 2014.

Coolagh Kilkenny a Gallery

Saturday morning on coolagh hill 1

Saturday morning on coolagh hill 2

Saturday morning on coolagh hill 3

Saturday morning on coolagh hill 4

Saturday morning on coolagh hill 5

Saturday morning on coolagh hill 6

Saturday morning on coolagh hill 7


Between The Sunflowers , Poem by : Andrew Lea

Between the Sunflowers 2
Sunflowers from the Garden
Photography : Nigel Borrington

Between The Sunflowers

He sat between the sunflowers, counting the ants as they crawled across his toes. “27”…”28″—He paused, swearing that he’d seen this one before. “What the hell, 29.”

He sat beneath the oak tree in his back yard, sticky from sunflower sap. The sun, hot and high, rested in the sky strait above him. He would often stare at it, until his eyes stung and he could see the purple spots even after he looked away.

Between the Sunflowers 1.

He was running, through the halls in the decaying house. Running from the invisible phantoms with their malevolent smiles and sinister goals. Running from the silhouette at the end which was shaped much like his father, only far too tall. Running, with starving lungs and heavy feet as the floor screamed and walls shook, as the windows began to fracture and the entire foundation was torn from the earth under the weight of his fear.

Running, towards the sunflowers, which stood and beautiful under the afternoon sun.


A Farmer by Trade, Poem By : Kevin Pace

A Farmer by Trade 1 A Farmer by Trade
Ballytobin, County Kilkenny
Landscape Photography : Nigel Borrington

A Farmer by Trade

Poem By : Kevin Pace

He worked on the land, a farmer by trade.
He never will know the impact he made.

When plowing the fields, his mind would be filled
with lessons in life he taught and instilled.
“Life’s pretty simple” my grandpa would claim,
“The rules we should live by are always the same.”
He delivered his thoughts in a wry kind of style.
You’d think he was mad, but then he would smile.

A Farmer by Trade 3.

He was always profound, a man of his word.
He would always look forward despite what occurred.
“I’ve never reaped anything I didn’t first sow.
The seeds that you plant is the crop that will grow.
Fix your eyes on a spot, if you want to plow straight.
If you need to start over, it’s never too late.”

One thing I remember, he often would share,
“Don’t tear down a fence, ‘til you know why it’s there.
Some fences are built to keep danger away,
some fences are built so we’ll know where to stay.”
His philosophy in life was to, “Let people be.
I’m not here to judge, lest they should judge me.”

A Farmer by Trade 2

“Some things are better off left on the ground,
manure doesn’t stink ‘til you stir it around.”
The best thing he taught me was how I could find
the answer to anything crossing my mind.
Whatever I’d ask him, he’d get out the Book,
saying, “God wrote it down, if you take time to look.”

He understood things that few understand.
A farmer by trade, he worked on the land.


Images from a field of blue bells – Poem : ‘The Bright Field’ by R. S. Thomas

In the Blue bells field 7
Our dog Molly, In the Blue bells field, Slievenamon, County Tipperary
Landscape Photography : Nigel Borrington

Located on the west slopes of Slievenamon , County Tipperary, is a small yet wonderful little field .

To reach it you have to walk some thirty minutes through wood-lands and up a mountain track, finally reaching a gate. The site that welcomes you in May is that of a field full of blue bells and an old derelict farm cottage. This cottage would be able to tell some amazing stories and if it only could!

Above the field are the mountain slopes that I am much more use to seeing, with mountain heather and scrub lands, streams and baths.

I have visited this field many times, its a great location during the summer and a wonderful escape and resting place after a walk to the top of the mountain.

I just wanted to share one of my most loved local locations here and also one of my most loved Poems by R. S. Thomas, which I feel is perfect for this post ….

The Bright Field

by R. S. Thomas

I have seen the sun break through
to illuminate a small field
for a while, and gone my way
and forgotten it. But that was the
pearl of great price, the one field that had
treasure in it. I realise now
that I must give all that I have
to possess it. Life is not hurrying

on to a receding future, nor hankering after
an imagined past. It is the turning
aside like Moses to the miracle
of the lit bush, to a brightness
that seemed as transitory as your youth
once, but is the eternity that awaits you.

The field a Gallery

In the Blue bells field 6

In the Blue bells field 4

In the Blue bells field 1

In the Blue bells field 2

In the Blue bells field 3

In the Blue bells field 5


Finding the Silver light of other days , Gallery and a Poem by : Thomas Moore

Finding memories in the light of the old farm 3
Memories of silver light, Glencommon, County Kilkenny
Landscape photography : Nigel Borrington

On the top of the hill at Glencommon, county Kilkenny is the Ghostly remains of an old farm.

Last Sunday morning I took a walk up the hill in the mist with my camera and took these images, it was a very haunting experience but one I really enjoyed.

The poem below by Thomas Moore came to mind as the mist of the day seamed to recreate the past of this wonderful old place, how many memories it must hold yet all of them lost in the mists of time.

The Light of Other Days

By Thomas Moore
1779-1852

Often, in the stilly night,
Ere slumber’s chain has bound me,
Fond Memory brings the light
Of other days around me:
The smiles, the tears
Of boyhood’s years,
The words of love then spoken;
The eyes that shone,
Now dimm’d and gone,
The cheerful hearts now broken!
Thus, in the stilly night,
Ere slumber’s chain has bound me,
Sad Memory brings the light
Of other days around me.

When I remember all
The friends, so link’d together,
I’ve seen around me fall
Like leaves in wintry weather,
I feel like one
Who treads alone
Some banquet-hall deserted,
Whose lights are fled,
Whose garlands dead,
And all but he departed!
Thus, in the stilly night,
Ere slumber’s chain has bound me.
Sad Memory brings the light
Of other days around me.

Finding memories in the silver light , Gallery

Finding memories in the light of the old farm 10

Finding memories in the light of the old farm 9

Finding memories in the light of the old farm 8

Finding memories in the light of the old farm 7

Finding memories in the light of the old farm 6

Finding memories in the light of the old farm 5

Finding memories in the light of the old farm 4

Finding memories in the light of the old farm 3

Finding memories in the light of the old farm 2

Finding memories in the light of the old farm 1