Capturing the world with Photography, Painting and Drawing

Irish Landscapes

2019 – A new light , sunrise over Kilkenny’s fields …….

Starting my 2019 Blogging …..

I always like to start my blogging for a new year by changing my site heading image.

This year my first image taken and posted – my new site header image was taken on Sunday Morning at first light, I was on an early morning walk and the weather was cold with a full covering of cloud. I had just about completed the 5km walk I had planned to do and had almost given up on capturing any images as the light was just so unexciting when the sun came bursting through an opening in the clouds and located itself just about some trees in the distance.

I have taken a little time off-line over the Christmas and New-Year period just to give myself an old fashioned way to celebrate and recharge my batteries, I spend some great time with family and friends 🙂 and as a result I feel great and am looking forward with new energy to 2019 and the future 🙂 , my blog and my love of photography still play a massive part in these plans 🙂

I also noticed that the number of likes and visited to my Blog (started in 2011) went well over the 350,000 mark while I was away – I would like to say a massive THANK YOU to you all for this, I don’t post here with such figures in mind , I post to share the things I see and capture around me – That said ! Getting this level of interest and support with so many likes has been a massive boost to me and a huge reason to drive me on in keeping sharing my images and a love of both Art and Photography!

THANK YOU SO MUCH !!!!


Happy Winter solstice 2018 everyone …….

Dec 21 2018
The Winter solstice
Nigel Borrington

The winter solstice (or hibernal solstice), also known as midwinter, is an astronomical phenomenon marking the day with the shortest period of daylight and the longest night of the year. It occurs when one of the Earth’s poles has its maximum tilt away from the Sun. It happens twice yearly, once in each hemisphere. In the Northern Hemisphere this is the December solstice and in the Southern Hemisphere this is the June solstice.

The axial tilt of Earth and gyroscopic effects of its daily rotation mean that the two opposite points in the sky to which the Earth’s axis of rotation points (axial precession) change very slowly (at the current rate it would take just under 26,000 years to make a complete circle). As the Earth follows its orbit around the Sun, the polar hemisphere that faced away from the Sun, experiencing winter, will, in half a year, face towards the Sun and experience summer. This is because the two hemispheres face opposite directions along Earth’s axis, and so as one polar hemisphere experiences winter, the other experiences summer.

More evident from high latitudes, a hemisphere’s winter solstice occurs on the day with the shortest period of daylight and longest night of the year, when the sun’s daily maximum elevation in the sky is at its lowest. Although the winter solstice itself lasts only a moment in time, the term sometimes refers to the day on which it occurs. Other names are “midwinter”, the “extreme of winter” (Dongzhi), or the “shortest day”. In some cultures it is seen as the middle of winter, while in others it is seen as the beginning of winter. In meteorology, winter in the Northern Hemisphere spans the entire period of December through February. The seasonal significance of the winter solstice is in the reversal of the gradual lengthening of nights and shortening hours of daylight during the day. The earliest sunset and latest sunrise dates differ from winter solstice, however, and these depend on latitude, due to the variation in the solar day throughout the year caused by the Earth’s elliptical orbit (see earliest and latest sunrise and sunset).

Worldwide, interpretation of the event has varied across cultures, but many have held a recognition of rebirth, involving holidays, festivals, gatherings, rituals or other celebrations around that time.


Beyond The Door – Poem by Clark Ashton Smith

Beyond The Door – Poem by Clark Ashton Smith

Alas! the evanescence of a dream,
That, like a rose, shall never blossom more!
A glimpse of unguessed things, and then the door
Of waking sense clangs to. Alas! the Gleam,
The visioned Secret and the Light supreme,
That one at moments nears, when, lo! the pall
Of veiling darkness drops and covers all –
The darkness of the daylight’s aureate beam!

Leaving but an elusive memory –
A heavenly cadence, a supernal word,
Never but half-recalled. In dreams are heard
Who knows what tidings from Eternity,
Transcendant, strange! Alas! we may not bring
Aught past the gateway of Awakening!

Clark Ashton Smith


“At the Gate” by Henrik Nordbrandt

AT THE GATE

1.
In the dream
at the gate to your grave
you stopped me
with the same words
I had spoken in a dream
where I died before you

so now I can no longer dream.

2.
Rusty, and on squeaky hinges
all the gates I have ever
seen, heard, or described
closed one by one
under a grey sky.

That is all there was
in my mind, earth.

3.
What can I say about the world
in which your ashes sit in an urn
other than that?

4.
On every trip you stay ahead of me.
On platforms I see your footprints in fresh snow.
When the train starts to move
you jump out of the back carriage

to reach the next station ahead of me.

5.
Outside the small towns with their sleepy street lights:
stadiums bright as capitols.

The lights glinted off your glasses.

Where else should you look for the ring
which, the night the power went out,
rolled under the bed and was gone?

6.
“I miss you, too”
were my last words
on the telephone
when you said you missed me.
I miss you too, Forever!

7.
You are gone.

Three words. And not one
of them
exists now in any other context.


Monday Poetry, In the winter forest, Emma Funnell

In the winter forest
Emma Funnell

The trees move in the Winter Forest,
They sway with the gental breeze.
Naked as the leaves fall to the ground,
And the water will slowly freeze.

The forest casts shadows on the snowy grounds,
As the light of a thousand stars shine through.
The angels dance and sing in the snow,
As the sky turns to a midnight blue.
One angel sings of the moon and stars,
Another sings of the sun.

They play in the trees and howl with the wind,
Their wings glistening as through the forest they gracefully run.
By day the Winter Forest is quiet and peaceful,
But by night it’s alive with games and song.
The angels, fairies, moon and stars,
Beckon you to come along.

Join in with their dance in praise of the night,
Run with the wolves fast and free.
When the sun comes up they will say goodnight,
Silent again the Winter Forest will be!

EMMA Funnell


Friday Gallery : A Novembers afternoon at kells Priory, county Kilkenny …..


October Hills John Rollin Ridge, 1827 – 1867

October Hills
John Rollin Ridge, 1827 – 1867

I look upon the purple hills
That rise in steps to yonder peaks,
And all my soul their silence thrills
And to my heart their beauty speaks.

What now to me the jars of life,
Its petty cares, its harder throes?
The hills are free from toil and strife,
And clasp me in their deep repose.

They soothe the pain within my breast
No power but theirs could ever reach,
They emblem that eternal rest
We cannot compass in our speech.

From far I feel their secret charm—
From far they shed their healing balm,
And lost to sense of grief or harm
I plunge within their pulseless calm.

How full of peace and strength they stand,
Self-poised and conscious of their weight!
We rise with them, that silent band,
Above the wrecks of Time or Fate;

For, mounting from their depths unseen,
Their spirit pierces upward, far,
A soaring pyramid serene,
And lifts us where the angels are.

I would not lose this scene of rest,
Nor shall its dreamy joy depart;
Upon my soul it is imprest,
And pictured in my inmost heart.


An Autumn Sunset By Edith Wharton

Autumn sunset
County Kilkenny
Nigel Borrington 2018

An Autumn Sunset

By Edith Wharton

I

Leaguered in fire
The wild black promontories of the coast extend
Their savage silhouettes;
The sun in universal carnage sets,
And, halting higher,
The motionless storm-clouds mass their sullen threats,
Like an advancing mob in sword-points penned,
That, balked, yet stands at bay.
Mid-zenith hangs the fascinated day
In wind-lustrated hollows crystalline,
A wan Valkyrie whose wide pinions shine
Across the ensanguined ruins of the fray,
And in her hand swings high o’erhead,
Above the waster of war,
The silver torch-light of the evening star
Wherewith to search the faces of the dead.

II

Lagooned in gold,
Seem not those jetty promontories rather
The outposts of some ancient land forlorn,
Uncomforted of morn,
Where old oblivions gather,
The melancholy unconsoling fold
Of all things that go utterly to death
And mix no more, no more
With life’s perpetually awakening breath?
Shall Time not ferry me to such a shore,
Over such sailless seas,

To walk with hope’s slain importunities
In miserable marriage? Nay, shall not
All things be there forgot,
Save the sea’s golden barrier and the black
Close-crouching promontories?
Dead to all shames, forgotten of all glories,
Shall I not wander there, a shadow’s shade,
A spectre self-destroyed,
So purged of all remembrance and sucked back
Into the primal void,
That should we on the shore phantasmal meet
I should not know the coming of your feet?


In the October woodlands 3 :Lichens, but they aren’t quite what we thought they are !

A little more detailed this post than my usual Friday posts but I found this articular very interesting, if only for the fact that its amazing just how much there is to be found in our local woodlands and just how much study is being carried ou,t even after so many years to revival the hidden secrets to the life that surrounds us on our daily walks along a forest path …..

Lichens aren’t quite what we thought, shocked scientists discover

Most people know lichens, such as this wolf lichen, as those flaky, light green things that grow on tree bark. You probably learned in school that they’re a mutually beneficial partnership or “symbiosis” between fungi and algae, but many lichens have now been found to include a third partner, a yeast. (Tim Wheeler Photography)

Most people know lichens as those flaky, light green things that grow on tree bark, and learned in school that they’re a mutually beneficial partnership or “symbiosis” between fungi and algae.

But lichen scientists have made the shocking new discovery that many lichens are also made up of a previously undiscovered third partner — a new kind of yeast.

Not only does that potentially alter the fundamental definition of what a lichen is, but it “should change expectations about the diversity and ubiquity” of the organisms that form them, says a new study published Thursday in Science.

University of Montana researcher Toby Spribille samples Bryoria or horsehair lichens. He first started studying lichens 15 years ago in British Columbia. His new study was inspired by a mystery flagged by B.C. lichenologist Trevor Goward. (Christoph Rosche)

The new yeast has apparently gone undetected in lichens for more than a century, despite the fact that scientists all over the world have devoted entire careers to studying lichens closely with microscopes and genetic testing.

That seemed so unlikely that the scientists working on the project had trouble believing it themselves.

“It’s so surprising that you kind of doubt yourself for a long time,” said John McCutcheon, a microbiologist at the University of Montana and a research fellow with the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research who co-authored the new study published today in Science.

“We had to check our data more than 10 times,” recalled Toby Spribille, lead author of the paper. “It seemed to me so unlikely that so many people would have missed that.”
Lichen mystery

Spribille, a University of Montana botanist who first started studying lichens in British Columbia 15 years ago, was inspired by a mystery flagged by B.C. lichenologist Trevor Goward in a series of essays.
Wila or edible horsehair lichen, also known by the scientific name Bryoria fremontii, is a brown-coloured lichen that was an important traditional food for many First Nations in northwestern North America. (Toby Spribille)

It concerned two lichens that grow in B.C. and Montana and considered separate species for 100 years. One called wila or edible horsehair lichen, also known by the scientific name Bryoria fremontii, is a brown-coloured lichen that was an important traditional food for many First Nations in northwestern North America.

The other, called tortured horsehair lichen or Bryoria tortuosa, is yellow and poisonous. However, a recent genetic analysis showed that they were genetically identical — they were made up of exactly the same species of fungus and the same species of algae.

“There’s something really weird about that,” Spribille said.
Tortured horsehair lichen or Bryoria tortuosa, is yellow and poisonous. However, a recent genetic analysis showed that its fungus species and algae species are genetically identical to those in edible horsehair lichen. (Tim Wheeler)

He brought the problem up with McCutcheon, an expert in new, sophisticated genetic techniques that he typically uses to study insects.

Traditional DNA analysis relies on probes or lures to fish out certain characteristic regions of genetic material, partly based on what scientists expect to find — like calling out names in a dark room to see who’s there, Spribille said.

Newer techniques instead look for all genes that are in the process of being translated into proteins via “messenger” molecules called RNA. Spribille likens the technique to turning on the lights.

McCutcheon says that gives a sense of what an organism is doing at any given time.

To the researchers’ surprise, the RNA they found came not just from the fungus and the alga known to be associated with the lichens, but a mysterious third organism.

Further analysis showed it to be a new kind of yeast, belonging to the taxonomic group Basidiomycota, the same one that button mushrooms belong to. It was not at all related to the yeasts used to brew beer or bake bread. Yeast cells and DNA were extremely common in the yellow, poisonous lichen, but rare in the edible brown lichen.
A fluorescent microscope image shows the location of different cell types in a bryoria lichen, cut at the ends and lengthwise through the middle. Green are the yeasts, blue are the fungi, red are the algae. (Toby Spribille)

After running the experiment enough times to convince themselves the signal wasn’t due to contamination and pinpointing the yeast cells in the outer skin of the lichen, the researchers decided to see whether other lichens from around the world also contained the yeast. Sure enough, many did.

“Each lichen has a specific strain of the yeast,” McCutcheon said. “These form several new fungal families.”

DNA analysis suggests the yeast has been part of lichens for more than 100 million years — since the end of the Early Cretaceous, when dinosaurs like spinosaurus and allosaurus roamed the Earth, and flowering plants first appeared.

Spribille said the discovery “seriously challenges” a lot of assumptions that have been held by lichenologists for a century.

“At the next level up, it gives us insight into how one of the most fascinating symbioses works.”
‘Really major finding’

Goward, whose essay inspired the research, said he was delighted by the discovery.

“It’s all very exciting to me,” he added. “If Toby’s idea proves to be correct, this is the second really major finding that changes how we see these organisms” — after the 1860s discovery that lichens weren’t one organism, but made of two separate organisms, an alga and a fungus.

Irwin Brodo, an emeritus scientist at the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa who has devoted himself to the study of lichens for decades, said the discovery was “plausible” but “not proven yet.”

Brodo, who first gave the horsehair lichens the name Bryoria, said he was surprised that the new yeast cells were discovered in a part of the lichen that a lot of lichenologists, including himself, have examined carefully.

“I never saw them,” he said.

But he added that the presence of the yeast might also explain other longstanding mysteries about other lichens that look very different but have been found to be genetically identical.


These Autumn evenings , Image and Poem by (John) Robinson Jeffers, (1887-1962),

Irish Landscape Images
Autumn eveings County Kilkenny
Nigel Borrington
Oct 2018

Autumn Evening

Though the little clouds ran southward still, the quiet autumnal
Cool of the late September evening
Seemed promising rain, rain, the change of the year, the angel
Of the sad forest.

Autumn Evening
Nigel Borrington

A heron flew over with that remote ridiculous cry, “Quawk,” the cry
That seems to make silence more silent. A dozen
Flops of the wing, a drooping glide, at the end of the glide
The cry, and a dozen flops of the wing.

I watched him pass on the autumn-colored sky; beyond him
Jupiter shone for evening star.
The sea’s voice worked into my mood, I thought “No matter
What happens to men . . . the world’s well made though.”


To Autumn, a poem by John Keats

To Autumn, By John Keats

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For summer has o’er-brimm’d their clammy cells.

Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
Or on a half-reap’d furrow sound asleep,
Drows’d with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers:
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
Steady thy laden head across a brook;
Or by a cyder-press, with patient look,
Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.

Where are the songs of spring? Ay, Where are they?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,—
While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
Among the river sallows, borne aloft
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft;
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.


A Friday morning poem, “Friday Morning” – by: Ghada Shahbender

The Red Cottage door
Irish Landscape Photography : Nigel Borrington

Friday Morning – Poem by Ghada Shahbender

A blank wall the ugly color of dust
Two drain pipes covered in pigeon droppings and rust
I roll down the shutters to keep Friday morning out
The humid air, the children who swear and the parents that shout.

Newspapers, a cigarette and a huge coffee cup
Heart pouring to Kika, waiting for my children to wake up.
Remembering the years when they came to my bed at dawn
Droopy eyes and toothless mouths open wide in a sweet breathed yawn.

They have grown up and I have aged.
The boys actually drive and the girl is engaged.
I tell the parrot it’s been a wonderful trip.
I pick up my coffee and take another sip.


An October Sunset, Duncannon Beach, County Wexford, Ireland

A collection of images, all taken on my favorite beach in county Wexford – Duncannon beach, with its fort overlooking one end of the beach and a view down toward hook head at the other. The Sunsets here in October can be amazing and full of Autumn light 🙂 🙂

There are also pictures here of Molly, our much loved golden retriever, she is sadly no longer with us but she is always remembered and missed for moment like these ones. It was always great fun watching her exploring beaches and the sea, she love swimming so much she would spend hours returning sticks and balls from the water 🙂 🙂


To Autumn – Poem by William Blake

O Autumn, laden with fruit, and stainèd
With the blood of the grape, pass not, but sit
Beneath my shady roof; there thou may’st rest,
And tune thy jolly voice to my fresh pipe,
And all the daughters of the year shall dance!
Sing now the lusty song of fruits and flowers.
`The narrow bud opens her beauties to
The sun, and love runs in her thrilling veins;
Blossoms hang round the brows of Morning, and
Flourish down the bright cheek of modest Eve,
Till clust’ring Summer breaks forth into singing,
And feather’d clouds strew flowers round her head.

`The spirits of the air live on the smells
Of fruit; and Joy, with pinions light, roves round
The gardens, or sits singing in the trees.’
Thus sang the jolly Autumn as he sat;
Then rose, girded himself, and o’er the bleak
Hills fled from our sight; but left his golden load.

William Blake


Sonnet to Collecting Seashells

Sonnet to Collecting Seashells

During youth I was quite the collector
of ocean cretin’s annealed sandcastles
Though the hosts inside could not be cheaper,
their fleshy coats were worth all the hassles

Content I was amassing worn seashells;
daily did this fine collection accrue
Though furnished, barren felt those wooden shelves,
as even pearls are lesser than a jewel

Still, the sand was warm; the waves were soothful
and regardless of what hollowness struck,
the beach granted a chance to feel fruitful
so long as one had either skill or luck

Alone was I, but daresay not lonely,
but I was not happy until married.

Original Poem


The Angel – A poem by William Blake

A September Sunrise, County Kilkenny
Landscape Photography : Nigel Borrington

poet William Blake
#11 on top 500 poets

The Angel – Poem by William Blake

I dreamt a dream! What can it mean?
And that I was a maiden Queen
Guarded by an Angel mild:
Witless woe was ne’er beguiled!

And I wept both night and day,
And he wiped my tears away;
And I wept both day and night,
And hid from him my heart’s delight.

So he took his wings, and fled;
Then the morn blushed rosy red.
I dried my tears, and armed my fears
With ten-thousand shields and spears.

Soon my Angel came again;
I was armed, he came in vain;
For the time of youth was fled,
And grey hairs were on my head.

William Blake


Monday Evening Poetry : A Night in the Field, Jay Parini, 1948

Suntsets over Country Kilkenny
Nigel Borrington 2018

A Night in the Field
Jay Parini, 1948

I didn’t mean to stay so late
or lie there in the grass
all summer afternoon and thoughtless
as the kite of sun caught in the tree-limbs
and the crimson field began to burn,
then tilt way.
I hung on
handily as night lit up the sky’s black skull
and star-flakes fell as if forever—
fat white petals of a far-off flower
like manna on the plains.


A ripe moon lifted in the east,
its eye so focused,
knowing what I knew but had forgotten
of the only death I’ll ever really need
to keep me going.

Did I sleep to wake or wake to sleep?

I slipped in seams through many layers,
soil and subsoil, rooting
in the loamy depths of my creation,
where at last I almost felt at home.

But rose at dawn in rosy light,
beginning in the dew-sop long-haired grass,
having been taken, tossed,
having gone down, a blackened tooth
in sugary old gums, that ground


Ireland’s Historic Buildings : Pearse’s Cottage (Teach an Phiarsaigh),Rosmuc, County Galway

Patrick Henry Pearse (also known as Pádraig or Pádraic Pearse; Irish: Pádraig Anraí Mac Piarais; An Piarsach) was born in Dublin on the 10th of November 1879 and he died in Kilmainham Gaol(Jail), county Dublin on the 3rd of May 1916. He was primarily an Irish teacher but was also a great barrister, poet, writer and original Irish nationalist. He was one of the leaders of the Easter Rising in 1916. Following his execution along with fifteen others, Pearse came to be seen by many as the embodiment of the rebellion.

Patrick Pearse’s Cottage at Ros Muc, county Galway in the heart of the Conamara Gaeltacht, ( an Irish speaking and strongly Irish cultural area) was used by Patrick Pearse (1879 – 1916), while he spent time teaching and marking students papers.

The cottage and its interior, although burned during the War of Independence, has been perfectly reconstructed and contains an exhibition and a number of momentous of Pearse’s life.

The cottage was Pearse’s summer residence between 1903 and 1915. It was also as a summer school for his pupils from St Enda’s in Dublin where he worked during the main Academic year.

The historic cottage, has been developed as a national monument and tourist attraction as part of the 1916 centenary commemorations; and is a key ‘discovery point’ on the Wild Atlantic Way route.

I was lucky enough to visit the cottage last week and enjoyed my time here very much, the staff helped greatly when it came to understanding the life of this great Irish man and his time spent here.

If your in county Galway, you just have to call in and spend some valuable time here !

Pearse’s Cottage (Teach an Phiarsaigh), County Galway, Gallery


Images from the top of “The Reek” “Croagh Patrick”

Croagh Patrick
The Reek
County Mayo
Nigel Borrington 2018

This time last week during a weeks holiday to both counties Sligo and Mayo, in the norths west of Ireland, we hiked up Croagh Patrick or “The reek” as locals know of it. This mountain is one of Irelands Highest peeks and is most famous for being climbed by pilgrims on Reek Sunday every year, which is the last Sunday of each July. On this Sunday, thousands of pilgrims climb Croagh Patrick in honor of Saint Patrick who, according to tradition, fasted and prayed on the summit for forty days in the year 441.

It has been a personal aim to walk the peeks of a list of mountains in Ireland for a couple of years and “The Reek” is just one of these mountains to hike in the next couple of years.

The weather on the day was perfect and we started our walk about Midday having driven some 80km to the main car park used to start the hike. The start of the walk is good, being flat for a while and then only slowly rising in level, so you get a little time to warmup before the main slopes higher up the mountain side. Once you hike the first slopes the path levels off for a while until you come to the bottom of the main peek.

I really enjoyed this hike, its hard – no getting away from that fact but when you do finally get to the top the views are amazing, you can see most of county Mayo and well into county Sligo from here. there is a step that surrounds a small chapel that you can sit on to eat and have something to drink. We rested here for about 10 mins before walking around the top of the peek.

As you can see these images below are mostly taken at the top, when I finally go to open my bag and get my camera out. As I said you truly feel on top of the world here, this point is some 764 metres (2,507 ft) above sea level, not the highest mountain in the country by about 250 meters but here you start your walk at sea level so it could well be the highest distance you have to walk to get to the top…..

I will let these images do the rest of the talking for me other than to say , this is one of the most enjoyable walks of my life and I cannot wait to walk more Irish mountains in the months yo come ..

The Reek Wiki page


Croagh Patrick, County Mayo, A gallery


Irish Landscapes – Suir Valley, County Tipperary, call of the far away hills

Call of the far away hills
Suir Valley
county Tipperary
Nigel Borrington 2018

Shadows fall on the Valley
Day is done and the sun
Is slowly fading out of sight
I can hear, oh, so clear
A call that echoes in the night
Yes, I hear sweet and clear
The call of the faraway hills

There’s no rest on the Valley
There’s no rest for a restless soul
That just was born to roam
Who can say, maybe way out there
My heart may find a home
And I hear sweet and clear
The call of the faraway hills

There are trails I’ve never seen
And my dreams are getting old
And beyond the sunset
There are brand new paths
When a new dream or two
May just be one star away

I must obey the call of the faraway hills


William Butler Yeats country, Those Images A poem

Those Images – Poem by William Butler Yeats

What if I bade you leave
The cavern of the mind?

There’s better exercise
In the sunlight and wind.

I never bade you go
To Moscow or to Rome.

Renounce that drudgery,
Call the Muses home.

Seek those images
That constitute the wild,
The lion and the virgin,
The harlot and the child.

Find in middle air
An eagle on the wing,
Recognise the five
That make the Muses sing.

William Butler Yeats


On the Road past Lough Nafooey, Finny, Clonbur, county Galway


The Land of Beyond, Robert Service

The Land of Beyond
Robert Service

Have you ever heard of the Land of Beyond,
That dream at the gates of the day?
Alluring it lies at the skirts of the skies,
And ever so far away;
Alluring it calls: O ye yoke of galls,
And ye of the trails overfond,
With saddle and pack, by paddle and track,
Let’s go to the Land of Beyond!

Have ever you stood where the silences brood,
And vast the horizons begin,
At the dawn of the day to behold far away
The goal you would strive for and win?
Yet ah! in the night when you gain to the height,
With the vast pool of heaven star-spawned,
Afar and agleam, like a valley of dream,
Still mocks you the Land of Beyond.

Thank God! there is always the Land of Beyond
For us who are true to the trail;
A vision to seek, a beckoning peak,
A fairness that never will fail;
A proud in our soul that mocks at a goal,
A manhood that irks at a bond,
And try how we will, unattainable still,
Behold it, our Land of Beyond!


Irish landscapes, Curracloe beach,county wexford

Irish Landscapes
Curracloe Beach
County Wexford
Nigel Borrington

Curracloe Beach in County Wexford is one of the most popular beaches in Ireland. Located 2KM away from Curracloe Village, this soft-sand beach is frequented by sunbathers and nature-lovers alike.

During the summer months, you’ll find that the area is bustling with life, as holidaymakers leave their home counties to take up residence in the holiday homes, campsites, hotels and B&Bs that surround the area. Later on, during the autumn and winter months, Curracloe Beach and its nearby forest become a hot spot for dog-walkers, joggers and anyone else in pursuit of a peaceful stroll.

The area itself is suitable for bathing, as it has a Blue Flag certification. This certification, which is awarded by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE), serves as a notice to beach-goers that the area and its surrounding waters have lived up to a number of strict regulatory standards.

Its 7-mile-long beach is famous for its soft and fine sand, which puts it in contrast with many of the stony beaches that you will find around Ireland. The beach is guarded by a number of large and sprawling dunes, all of which are held together and stabilised by a seemingly-endless blanket of green marram grass. During the warmer months, these sand dunes prove to be extremely popular amongst visitors, many of whom will not pass up the opportunity to roll down them.

Curracloe Strand, Ballinesker, was used for the filming of the D-Day sequence in Saving Private Ryan, due to similarity to Omaha Beach in Normandy. Filming began June 27, 1997, and lasted for two months. The village of Curracloe lacked 3-phase electricity but when the film company decided to film there, it was connected.

Curracloe Strand was also used for the Irish beach scene in the movie Brooklyn.