The end of November and you would think that all the wildlife has vanished from the landscape , however you only need to take an early morning walk to realize that there are lots of wild creatures still around.
This morning on a walk through the hills near Kilmoganny, county Kilkenny, I was accompanied by this little Robin who hopped from tree to tree in front of me 🙂
Here is a little folklore about the Robin from an Irish point of view …….
If the soul and symbol of the old sun and the Oak King was the Wren, the Robin represented the new sun. The wren was said to hide in the Ivy, the Robin in the Holly. The Pagan Neolithic Festival of the birth of the new sun, symbolized by the Robin, was at the Winter Solstice (21st December). The Robin (the new sun) killed his father the Wren (the old sun) and that is how he got his red breast, ie, from the blood of his father. A Robin coming into a house was supposed to be a sign that someone was going to die there in the near future. Despite this association with death, the Robin was praised for being the only bird capable of singing all the notes of the musical scale. And furthermore, the Robin can sing for half an hour without repeating the melody, unlike the other birds.
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.
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.
The photos here are of a pair of Harris hawks.
I had a chance to get a private viewing of these Hawks and to take them on a “Hawk walk” around the grounds at Crag caves.
It was a fantastic experience and one I will not forget for a long time, just to get close to these birds of prey and learn lots about them and get to know their unique nature was very special.
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.
With wingspan so large
I did not see you
until you got up to go
In the night
You flapped your wings
And went out of sight
I did not know you were there
Right in front of me
This whole time
Seeming to be watching
But you withstood your time
And gave up
Before I could even
Then flew away
But the view
Of a great opportunity
by : William Cowper
There is a bird who, by his coat
And by the hoarseness of his note,
Might be supposed a crow;
A great frequenter of the church,
Where, bishop-like, he finds a perch,
And dormitory too.
Above the steeple shines a plate,
That turns and turns, to indicate
From what point blows the weather.
Look up — your brains begin to swim,
‘Tis in the clouds — that pleases him,
He chooses it the rather.
Fond of the speculative height,
Thither he wings his airy flight,
And thence securely sees
The bustle and the rareeshow,
That occupy mankind below,
Secure and at his ease.
You think, no doubt, he sits and muses
On future broken bones and bruises,
If he should chance to fall.
No; not a single thought like that
Employs his philosophic pate,
Or troubles it at all.
He sees that this great roundabout,
The world, with all its motley rout,
Church, army, physic, law,
Its customs and its businesses,
Is no concern at all of his,
And says — what says he? — Caw.
Thrice happy bird! I too have seen
Much of the vanities of men;
And, sick of having seen ’em,
Would cheerfully these limbs resign
For such a pair of wings as thine
And such a head between ’em.