Allihies is just about as remote a place as they come in Ireland !!
This Charcoal drawing shows just one of the pump houses at Allihies, county Cork. I think there are about 6 of them still standing around this small village.
It was In 1812 when life in Allihies changed utterly as a rich copper deposit was discovered in the area and the biggest copper mining enterprise in Ireland was established by the Puxley family .
The steam engine and pump house both pumped water out from the mine shafts and was used to lower the miners into and out-of the mine, some 250feet below the hill side. Its hard to imagine now the life these miners had , many did not live that long while doing this kind of work.
The Landscape around the mines is just wonderful with mountains facing the coastline of west cork, again its hard to image how the noise and smell of these pump houses change this location and the view of hundreds of miners returning home after a days work must have been something to see, they shared small homes in the village, mostly twenty of them shared the same small houses.
Ardgroom Stone Circle, County Cork, Ireland
The Ardgroomon stone circle is located on the Beautiful Beara Peninsula, county cork. It has to be one of the most magical of all the Irish stone circle, it also has the best of locations and views, sitting about the Atlantic ocean. There is something so exciting and mysterious about visiting a stone circle. The Ardgroomon circle is located in an area were there is an abundance of these historic sites, as well as wedge tombs, ring forts, boulder burials and fulachta fiadhs.
As well as being used for the Solar Spring and summer Equinox’s along with the Summer and Winter Solstice, many of these stone circles would also log the Movement of the Moon, Planets and Stars as during the year they changed their positions along the horizon. The standing stones in a stone circle would have in combination with a feature on local hill sides, have been lined up with astronomical objects(Sun, moon, planets and Stars). This would have given an almost daily measurement for months of the year.
The reason that ancient peoples needed to log the movement of the heavens was mainly for practical reasons such as farming, they needed to know when to sow seeds, bring cattle down from the mountains and bring in the crops, also they needed to know how long their store of food had to last before the new growing season started, no imports in those days.
There are so many different Species of Wildlife at Corks Fota Wildlife park that you would need many visits in order to get to know as much as you can about them all, along with getting enough time to observer their individual personalities.
During last weekends visit I found so much that I liked about them all but for me the Red Ruffed Lemurs were very special fun to spend some time with. They never stopped moving around their island and their climbing and balancing skills were just amazing to take in.
Here are some basic details about these wonderful Lemur’s
About the Red Ruffed Lemur
Named for the long thick fur that grows around its head and body, the Red Ruffed Lemur is an agile primate that has made the island of Madagascar its home. Males and females look the same – its body is close to its feet, the animal has piercing (sometimes reddish) eyes and it usually weighs between seven and 12 pounds.
Ruffed Lemurs are found exclusively on the island of Madagascar off the continent of African, and are generally found in the upper canopy of the tropical rainforests on the eastern side of the island.
The species is considered to be crepuscular, which simply means that they are most active at dawn and dusk. Their diet consists mainly of fruits, seeds, nectar and plant matter and the animal scent marks its territories and uses an elaborate system of alarm calls to alert other group members if predators are nearby.
Female Red Ruffed Lemurs don’t carry their offspring like most other primates; instead, mothers give birth and leave their young in nests that are generally found between ten and 20 metres above ground level. However, infant mortality is high with about 65% of newborns not reaching three months.
The species is listed as being Critically Endangered after a significant decline in population in recent decades because of agriculture, logging and mining activities across its habitat. In fact, over 90% of Madagascar’s original rainforest is gone.
It is estimated that there could be as few as 1,000 to 10,000 left in the wild, while the Black & White Lemur is the most Endangered of the two Ruffed Lemurs.
Did you know?
The Ruffed Lemur feeds on nectar by sticking its long nose deep into the flower. The Lemur’s snout becomes coated with pollen in the process, which is then transported to other flowers – making the animal an important pollinator within its local habitat.
The Fota Connection
The Park is home to three of the 16 species of Lemur and two varieties of the Ruffed Lemur – the Red and Black and White species.
The Ruffed Lemurs are maintained on separate islands alongside each other in the lakes area as they are territorial animals, while Fota has been actively involved in a series of projects aimed at preserving what remains of their natural habitat in Madagascar.
During last weekend we visited Fota wildlife park in county cork and spent many great hours getting to know many of the animals they have in their care.
The Siamang Gibbon at the park are all member of the same family 🙂
Here are some details and fact about them , just to help you get to know them a little better 🙂
About the Siamang Gibbon
With a Latin name that means ‘Dweller in the trees’, the Siamang Gibbon is a tailless, black-furred ape that can grow to be twice the size of other Gibbons. Like other apes, the Siamang Gibbon has quite an upright posture and well-developed brain. However, it can weigh up to 14kg and has a special throat sac to amplify its call, which can be heard up to two miles away in the forest canopy.
Native to the forests of Sumatra, Malaysia and Thailand, its home range overlaps with both the Lar and Agile Gibbons 0 though because of its largely leaf-eating habits, it does not compete for what the forest has to offer the other species.
Siamangs are very agile and acrobatic creatures and their extra-long arms help them swing up to 15 feet in one move. Its arms stretch out to help with balance while walking and because it uses its hands so frequently while traveling, the Gibbon tends to carry items with its feet.
Siamang Gibbons are considered to be Endangered as 70-80% of their primary habitat has been lost to palm oil production in recent decades. The illegal pet trade has also taken a toll on wild populations, but there are a growing number in existence in captivity across the world.
Did you know?
The Siamang Gibbon mates for life with both parents playing a role in rearing offspring. Breeding males and females also sing duets in order to maintain their bond and establish territory boundaries.
As a fellow ape, the Siamang is also the closest related animal to Mankind in the Park.
The Fota Connection
One of the noisiest crews in the Park, the Siamang Gibbons are hard to ignore and have been at Fota right from the beginning.
They feed on fruit, vegetables, nuts and willow branches and can often engage in long bouts of calling out if the Park is busy and they feel their territory might be under threat. Situated on Monkey Island, their location allows visitors get right up close.
During the last weekend we visited Fota wildlife park in county cork and spent many great hours getting to know many of the animals they have in their care.
The weather was perfect during the time needed to walk around all the islands and planned routes around the park, with many of the animal on open display and very easy to view you get a very personal experience.
The image above is of a female Bennett’s Walley, with two of her babies resting Snuggly in her pouch, I felt very lucky to get a great view of the three of them as they all napped in the midday sun 🙂
About the Bennett’s Wallaby
Sometimes called the Red-necked Wallaby, the species has a mainly grey coat with reddish shoulders and a black nose and paws. The male’s body can measure up to 90cm in length and weigh up to 18kg; the female, in contrast, is smaller – though both have five clawed-tipped fingers that are used for feeding and grooming.
A native of the east coast of Australia and Tasmania, the Bennett’s Wallaby is noctural – resting during the day and coming out to feed at night. Largely a solitary animal, it follows a herbivorous diet and gains most of the water it needs through the food sources it consumes. Breeding can occur at any time of the year with females giving birth to one offspring – known as a Joey – once every 12 months.
The Wallaby’s ears are very sensitive and are its first line of defence in that it will bound away from a predator as soon as it hears one nearby. Each of its hind legs has an elastic tendon that allows the species catapult itself forward as its tail acts like a rudder, enabling the Wallaby to change direction quickly.
Once hunted for their meat and fur and persecuted by ranchers and farmers, Wallabies are now a protected species. The move has seen their numbers in the wild increase in recent years and as the species is tolerant of alternative habitats, it is of Least Concern on the Endangered List.
Did you know?
Similar in size to a grape when born, Joeys grow to 2,000 times its birth weight during the first six months of its life. They begin to leave their mother’s pouch from about seven months and are fully independent at a year old.
The Fota park Connection
The Park’s Wallabies are free ranging and now number between 50 and 70 animals around the island. More easily spotted in the early morning or late evening when the Park is quieter, this species feeds on the grass of the African Savanah or Woodlands areas and tends to be timid and hard to get too close to
I will post lots more images of all these great creatures at Fota park and do my best to introduce them to you 🙂
The Mountain Road
Poem by Enid Derham
Coming down the mountain road
Light of heart and all alone,
I caught from every rill that flowed
A rapture of its own.
Heart and mind sang on together,
Rhymes began to meet and run
In the windy mountain weather
And the winter sun.
Clad in freshest light and sweet
Far and far the city lay
With her suburbs at her feet
Round the laughing bay.
Like an eagle lifted high
Half the radiant world I scanned,
Till the deep unclouded sky
Circled sea and land.
No more was thought a weary load,
Older comforts stirred within,
Coming down the mountain road
The earth and I were kin.
This last few days here in Ireland have been very wet and winter feels like it has arrived a little early, most of the Autumn leaves have been blown away from the high overnight winds and the cold nights, We have been left with a very wintry landscape.
Walking around Ireland at this time of year brings many great views and for some reason during these months I always feel drawn towards the old houses that still fill our local landscape. These old places are so full of memories and the atmosphere of long passed people and their lives.
Of course this is the also the perfect time of year for some evening ghost story’s, told around a fire while the rain hits the windows and the wind echoes all around your house !!!!
The Haunted House
Dwayne Leon Rankin, USA
Upon the hill, the house there stood,
Dark and left forlorn.
With vines that covered there the walls,
All seen full of thorn.
Surrounded by a gated fence,
No other entrance shown.
Dead leaves covered all the ground,
With weeds there overgrown.
Paint all pealed and windows cracked,
With shutters cov’ring all,
No noise from it was ever heard,
Not even birds sweet call.
Three full stories ‘gainst the sky,
Cheerless there and cold.
No one lived there was the word,
In stories that were told.
Tall old trees kept all in shadows,
Tangled bushes bare.
All dead and ugly there to see,
They say it once was fair.
Once it was a wondrous place,
Full of love and light,
Until one ev’ning came that call,
To give those round a fright.
A family lived there many years,
A husband and his wife.
With two small children of their own,
Living there a happy life.
But then one dark and dreary eve,
A scream rang out from there.
Terrible was that hideous sound,
Full of deep despair.
No one knew from whence it came,
That frightful mad’ning sound.
When they checked up in that house,
Not a soul was found.
No sign of that family seen,
Who lived there in that house.
Not a living thing was found,
Not even there a mouse,
All quiet there the house now stands,
No lights nor sound there heard.
Only there the rustling winds,
Nothing there occurred.
But for once a year there brought,
The same self night each year.
A lone sad waling sound would ring,
Out there loud and clear.
They used to check it out each time,
But nothing there was found.
The doors still locked with windows shut,
With nothing there around.
That house remains there all alone,
Haunted there they say.
Just sitting in all disrepair,
Empty to this day.
Kilcatherine Point, Eyeries, Co. Cork
Kilcatherine point is on the north side of the Beara Peninsula, west cork.
This is simply a beautiful place, the Irish Landscape at its very best, I was lucky enough to get some time here at the start of September. These images are taken at the top of a hillside overlooking the Atlantic ocean.
I often feel that there is no place on earth as perfect as Ireland when the weather is good and no place as dramatic as when the winter months move across.
The Beara Peninsula, west cork.
I have returned to Kilkenny last Saturday, following a perfect week spent on the Beara Peninsula , West Cork.
These two photos are the first I took at 6:30am during a great sunrise over the sea looking towards the Slieve Miskish mountains.
The Beara peninsula is one of my most loved locations in Ireland and it was so good to spend sometime visiting for another great peaceful week.
Where I want to live
with you my seventh heaven,
is not far from this everyday
life, but very near to it..
A hut, near a river
with crystal water,
fish playing there on
You and me with our little
daughter will live a
calm, calm life..
Over there we shall see
the forest, away from that
You will be back
in the evening,
and I shall watch
you coming eagerly…..
None will come on our way
No feud will be there.
other than ours!
A hut near a river,
the trees, blooming plants,
will enhance our happiness….
You, me and daughter,
three will be drinking
from the tumbler of life….
The flavor of Nature…
You, Me and…..