This Morning we had our first frost of the year 2019 and the view from the hillside of county kilkenny was amazing.
Here are three black and white images, I used black and white because I felt it captured the frosty landscape perfectly ….
A Frosty January Morning, Gallery
Mountain bluebells, Poem by Avetis Isahakian
Armenian Legends and Poems 
Mountain bluebells, weep with me,
And flowers in coloured crowds;
Weep, nightingale, on yonder tree,
Cool winds dropped from the clouds.
All dark around the earth and sky,
All lonely here I mourn.
My love is gone,–light of my eye;
I sob and weep forlorn.
Alas, no more he cares for me–
He left me unconsoled;
He pierced my heart, then cruelly
Left me in pain untold.
Ye mountain bluebells, weep with me,
And flowers in coloured crowds;
Weep, nightingale, on yonder tree,–
Cool winds dropped from the clouds.
Have you ever wondered why clouds cling to a mountain top, I took this Time-Lapse video this evening as the Sun started to set over Slievenamon, county Tipperary . As you can see as the clouds move away from the top of the mountain, they evaporate into nothing. I think this is because the air away from the peak is warmer?
I have been learning to create some time lapse video since the new year and have started to love creating some 10sec clips. For very reason that you start to see more clearly what is going on in the world around you when you view it accelerated, these clouds are a great example 🙂
A Panoramic image of the county Tipperary mountain slievenamon, We had a lot of Snow locally last Sunday and today Friday the only snow to be found was at the top of the mountain. Its a little Hard to present Panoramic images on a blog like this one, so I hope that you will click on the image to get the full size version.
This view is from the road at the bottom of the path used to walk to the top on the mountain, the path is up-hill all the way and as such while its not a long walk its a demanding one. When you get to the top however the views are well worth the energy and time spent 🙂
Day Six of the Black and white photo challenge and today , I went to the top of a local Hill, Carrigmaclea in county Tipperary. The light was amazing and perfect for black and white images. At the top of the hill as you can see there is a cross that was erected by people from a local church back in 1958 which was apparently a holly year.
“My Sweet Lord”
My sweet lord
Hm, my lord
Hm, my lord
I really want to see you
Really want to be with you
Really want to see you lord
But it takes so long, my lord
My sweet lord
Hm, my lord
Hm, my lord
Last week here the weather in Ireland took a wet and showery turn, its starting to feel very close to the Autumn now. As such it was a little harder to finish each of the outdoor sketches that I started, If I have to stop a drawing I intend to return to the same location the next time I have a chance. However the sketch above is one that I did manage to finish, even this one was interrupted for some 15mins while I put everything back into my waterproof pack and waited for the rain to stop.
The location of this sketch is on the hillside just south of Clonmel and the river Suir, with a great view of the woods and its trees, looking towards the mountain of Slievenamon above, about a 10 min walk from the car park.
In the last two weeks or so I have started adding in some graphics pens to my work, I am finding that using these pens helps me keep freely flowing and moving as I work, I will return to just pencils at some point but am really enjoying the look and feel of the lines that these pens are adding. With Pencil I feel I end up with more stopping and starting during working as I think about tone and depth. light and dark, while this is great just for the moment I want to think about form and shape alone.
I am happy with this finished drawing, looking at it I wonder if I have overworked it just a little but I think for the moment I am happy. These are sketches and not final works, I am very happy , more happy if something is to be found in them that I can learn from and progress with.
New site header August 2017, Landscape view from County Kilkenny towards Slievenamon mountain, county Tipperary
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 …..
“God spreads the heavens above us like great wings
And gives a little round of deeds and days,
And then come the wrecked angels and set snares,
And bait them with light hopes and heavy dreams,
Until the heart is puffed with pride and goes
Half shuddering and half joyous from God’s peace;
And it was some wrecked angel, blind with tears,
Who flattered Edane’s heart with merry words.
Come, faeries, take me out of this dull house!
Let me have all the freedom I have lost;
Work when I will and idle when I will!
Faeries, come take me out of this dull world,
For I would ride with you upon the wind,
Run on the top of the dishevelled tide,
And dance upon the mountains like a flame.
I would take the world
And break it into pieces in my hands
To see you smile watching it crumble away.
Once a fly dancing in a beam of the sun,
Or the light wind blowing out of the dawn,
Could fill your heart with dreams none other knew,
But now the indissoluble sacrament
Has mixed your heart that was most proud and cold
With my warm heart for ever; the sun and moon
Must fade and heaven be rolled up like a scroll
But your white spirit still walk by my spirit.
When winter sleep is abroad my hair grows thin,
My feet unsteady. When the leaves awaken
My mother carries me in her golden arms;
I’ll soon put on my womanhood and marry
The spirits of wood and water, but who can tell
When I was born for the first time?
The wind blows out of the gates of the day,
The wind blows over the lonely of heart,
And the lonely of heart is withered away;
While the faeries dance in a place apart,
Shaking their milk-white feet in a ring,
Tossing their milk-white arms in the air;
For they hear the wind laugh and murmur and sing
Of a land where even the old are fair,
And even the wise are merry of tongue;
But I heard a reed of Coolaney say–
When the wind has laughed and murmured and sung,
The lonely of heart is withered away.”
― W.B. Yeats, The Land of Heart’s Desire
The most amazing thing about living close to a mountain is that almost every time your lucky enough to walk to the top the weather is different, sometimes rain, sometime fog and others times bright sunshine.
The type of weather on the mountain, I love the most is the dramatic rain and mist ….
Early March walking along the banks of the river Suir, county Tipperary.
The trees are still bare but not for long now, we had the first dry day for a long time yet it was cool.
I love this river walk very much, a mountain view of Slievenamon county Tipperary, on the north side of the river and of the hills of county Waterford on the south side.
The river Suir, Tipperary, March 8th 2017 🙂
Wind Farms, Love them or hate them ?
They must be one of the most controversial additions to the modern landscape, many like them but more people dislike and protests against their construction.
Here in Ireland, over the last decade or so we have seen a massive growth in their development with our landscape increasingly covered with them !!
My personal feelings are more neutral than some, I feel it has to be remembered that Ireland has few natural energy resources and sourcing them from around the world is expensive.
There are also much more damaging methods of creating energy than these modern windmills.
The area of the hills above Kilmanagh, county kilkenny is currently having two news wind farms developed, these images below show one of them. The image at the top of this post shows the views of the area before the development started, clearly very stunning!, yet I still find the construction of these massive towers more interesting than not.
Wind farms, I guess – they are always going to be loved and hated at the same time !!!
New wind farm, county Kilkenny
Winter Is Coming once Again
The sky is filled with broken light,
The Sun is hidden by deep snow filled clouds,
There’s a chillness to the air,
I feel it everywhere,
All through the days and nights;
Winter is coming.
The Crows fly above Slievenamon
hunting harder then before, and the ground below
Is hard beneath wing and claw,
The trees stand bare of leaves and fruits,
And all around
Is still, Silent;
Winter is coming.
The sun will soon be gone,
Obscured by cloud,
The rivers and lakes begin to freeze,
The wind will bend the trees
Until they’re bowed
Winter is coming, once again.
Only the dead will feed hungry crows:
Mice, rabbits, sparrows.
The light fades from the Sun
Now darker days have come,
for the high crow, cold bites to the marrow,
And Winter is here.
Light is a way,
Light is a zone,
Light is a past,
Which shows the future.
Light is a mountain,
Light is a hurdle,
Light is a debt,
Which leads to the quest.
Light is a beginning,
Light is a end,
Light is a truth,
Which gives us a fruit.
Light is a flower,
Light is a fragrance,
Light is a life,
Which gives hope to survive.
Its A Sheeps Soul
By : fayaz bhat
O cherisher! Of hairy goats, rocky ridges,
Still vales and white-woolen sheep;
Of my love, of melodies, of muses, of her beau;
It’s the soul of a forgotten sheep
Looking for her poor pastor, his white drove
And, the rest in shade;
Or ‘tis a shepherd, a shepherdess more,
Singing in solitude, rhyme, underneath a tree
In the relaxed midday of jubilant springs,
Ballads, lounged beside the sitting slept sheep.
Or; ‘tis that boy in the wild highs
Playing floyera reclined on the mossy rock—
Goats bleat and forget to graze;
Waking up the beasts, waking up the breeze,
Eared by the deer, cheered by the crows,
’lauded by the woods, echoed by the vale.
Free her! Guide her! For it says so sweet:
My abode’s among the weeds,
The wild flowers grow, the stony meads live.
Irish Landscape Photography : Slievenamon Bog, County Tipperary, The Bog Lands a Poem By : William A. Byrne
The Bog Lands
By William A. Byrne
THE purple heather is the cloak
God gave the bogland brown,
But man has made a pall o’ smoke
To hide the distant town.
Our lights are long and rich in change,
Unscreened by hill or spire,
From primrose dawn, a lovely range,
To sunset’s farewell fire.
No morning bells have we to wake
Us with their monotone,
But windy calls of quail and crake
Unto our beds are blown.
The lark’s wild flourish summons us
To work before the sun;
At eve the heart’s lone Angelus
Blesses our labour done.
We cleave the sodden, shelving bank
In sunshine and in rain,
That men by winter-fires may thank
The wielders of the slane.
Our lot is laid beyond the crime
That sullies idle hands;
So hear we through the silent time
God speaking sweet commands.
Brave joys we have and calm delight—
For which tired wealth may sigh—
The freedom of the fields of light,
The gladness of the sky.
And we have music, oh, so quaint!
The curlew and the plover,
To tease the mind with pipings faint
No memory can recover;
The reeds that pine about the pools
In wind and windless weather;
The bees that have no singing-rules
Except to buzz together.
And prayer is here to give us sight
To see the purest ends;
Each evening through the brown-turf light
The Rosary ascends.
And all night long the cricket sings
The drowsy minutes fall,—
The only pendulum that swings
Across the crannied wall.
Then we have rest, so sweet, so good,
The quiet rest you crave;
The long, deep bogland solitude
That fits a forest’s grave;
The long, strange stillness, wide and deep,
Beneath God’s loving hand,
Where, wondering at the grace of sleep,
The Guardian Angels stand.
Peace hath an altar there. The sounding feet
Of thunder and the wildering wings of rain
Against fire-rifted summits flash and beat,
And through grey upper gorges swoop and strain;
But round that hallowed mountain-spring remain,
Year after year, the days of tender heat,
And gracious nights whose lips with flowers are sweet,
And filtered lights, and lutes of soft refrain.
A still, bright pool. To men I may not tell
The secrets that its heart of water knows,
The story of a loved and lost repose;
Yet this I say to cliff and close-leaved dell:
A fitful spirit haunts yon limpid well,
Whose likeness is the faithless face of Rose.
Flow from the Mountain Spring : Gallery
Mending the Wall
By Robert Frost
Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,
That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it,
And spills the upper boulders in the sun;
And makes gaps even two can pass abreast.
The work of hunters is another thing:
I have come after them and made repair
Where they have left not one stone on a stone,
But they would have the rabbit out of hiding,
To please the yelping dogs. The gaps I mean,
No one has seen them made or heard them made,
But at spring mending-time we find them there.
I let my neighbour know beyond the hill;
And on a day we meet to walk the line
And set the wall between us once again.
We keep the wall between us as we go.
To each the boulders that have fallen to each.
And some are loaves and some so nearly balls
We have to use a spell to make them balance:
“Stay where you are until our backs are turned!”
We wear our fingers rough with handling them.
Oh, just another kind of out-door game,
One on a side. It comes to little more:
There where it is we do not need the wall:
He is all pine and I am apple orchard.
My apple trees will never get across
And eat the cones under his pines, I tell him.
He only says, “Good fences make good neighbours.”
Spring is the mischief in me, and I wonder
If I could put a notion in his head:
“Why do they make good neighbours? Isn’t it
Where there are cows? But here there are no cows.
Before I built a wall I’d ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out,
And to whom I was like to give offence.
Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,
That wants it down.” I could say “Elves” to him,
But it’s not elves exactly, and I’d rather
He said it for himself. I see him there
Bringing a stone grasped firmly by the top
In each hand, like an old-stone savage armed.
He moves in darkness as it seems to me,
Not of woods only and the shade of trees.
He will not go behind his father’s saying,
And he likes having thought of it so well
He says again, “Good fences make good neighbours.”
rides the foothills
beneath gray waters
the warming sea
in constant current
with ripened need
she lives to die
The last Sunset of May 2016
The last days of May 2016, here in Ireland have been blessed with prefect springtime weather, bright and warm until well into the evening time, so yesterday evening when we both got home around 6pm we decided to pack a small meal and get outside to walk up our local mountain of Slievenamon, county tipperary.
It was a perfect evening and the views from the top of the mountain were just stunning in the evening sun. On getting to the top we eat our food and just enjoyed walking around the summit, taking in the 380deg view of the landscape below.
This was a perfect way the end the Month of May 2016 🙂 🙂
Slievenamon, county Tipperary : The last Sunset of May 2016, Gallery
A simple old story this one but filled with such a simple truth.
Folktales and Fables : The North Wind and the Sun
The North Wind and the Sun were disputing which was the stronger, when a traveler came along wrapped in a warm cloak. They agreed that the one who first succeeded in making the traveler take his cloak off should be considered stronger than the other.Then the North Wind blew as hard as he could, but the more he blew the more closely did the traveler fold his cloak around him; and at last the North Wind gave up the attempt. Then the Sun shined out warmly, and immediately the traveler took off his cloak.
And so the North Wind was obliged to confess that the Sun was the stronger of the two.
The story concerns a competition between the North wind and the Sun to decide which is the stronger of the two. The challenge was to make a passing traveler remove his cloak. However hard the North Wind blew, the traveler only wrapped his cloak tighter to keep warm, but when the Sun shone, the traveler was overcome with heat and soon took his cloak off.
The fable was well known in Ancient Greece; Athenaeus recorded that Hieronymus of Rhodes, in his Historical Notes, quotes an epigram of Sophocles against Euripides which parodies the story of Helios and Boreas. It relates how Sophocles had his cloak stolen by a boy to whom he had made love. Euripides joked that he had had that boy too and it did not cost him anything. Sophocles’ reply satirises the adulteries of Euripides: “It was the Sun, and not a boy, whose heat stripped me naked; as for you, Euripides, when you were kissing someone else’s wife the North Wind screwed you. You are unwise, you who sow in another’s field, to accuse Eros of being a snatch-thief.”
The Latin version of the fable first appears centuries later in Avianus as De Vento et Sole (Of the wind and the sun, Fable 4), early versions in English and Johann Gottfried Herder’s poetic version in German (Wind und Sonne) also give it as such. It is only in mid-Victorian times that the title “The North Wind and the Sun” begins to be used. In fact the Avianus poem refers to the characters as Boreas and Phoebus, the gods of the north wind and the sun, and it is under the title Phébus et Borée that it appears in La Fontaine’s Fables (VI.3).
Victorian versions give the moral as “Persuasion is better than force”, but it has been put in different ways at other times. In the Barlow edition of 1667, Aphra Behn teaches the Stoic lesson that there should be moderation in everything: “In every passion moderation choose,/For all extremes do bad effects produce”, while La Fontaine’s conclusion is that “Gentleness does more than violence” (Fables VI.3). In the 18th century, Herder comes to the theological conclusion that, while superior force leaves us cold, the warmth of Christ’s love dispels it, and Walter Crane’s limerick version of 1887 gives a psychological interpretation, “True strength is not bluster”. Most of these examples draw a moral lesson, but La Fontaine hints at the political application that is present also in Avianus’ conclusion: “They cannot win who start with threats”. There is evidence that this reading has had an explicit influence on the diplomacy of modern times: in South Korea’s Sunshine Policy, for instance, or Japanese relations with the military regime in Burma.
The Last afternoon of March 2016
This afternoon is bright and sunny
between the mountain clouds,
Springtime is in the air,
The weather is mild on this late March afternoon,
the breath of April is rising fast,
I am alone on the quiet mountain top
looking down on an old untried illusion
Some shadows sit on the green landscape below
memory’s rise from their sleep,
The crows fly above while others rest
on the stone walls of this mountain side,
In the air as hunting birds call
the fast hover of the kestrels wings.