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.
Bay Lough is the famous Corrie Lake in the side of Knockaunabulloga, part of the Knockmealdown Mountain range.
Bay Lough and its surrounds is a strong favourite with hill walkers and recreational walkers of all sorts. The walk to the lake from the car park is not too difficult and suitable for family outings. On any fine day you will see hundreds of walkers making the trip to the lake and walking to its furthest point (it is only possible to walk about half way around, the photo to your left is taken at the most distant point to which you can walk).
The name Bay Lough (or Baylough) is only tentatively connected to the lake. It is thought the name derives from an Anglicisation of the Irish word ‘bealach’ (pronounced ‘ba-lock’) which means ‘pass’ or ‘way’. Those mapping the area, who would have been English, no doubt presumed the word ‘bealach’ referred to the lough in the mountain. You’ll find this type of mistaken Anglicisation of place names all around Ireland for the same reason.
Bay Lough is located close to the hightest point of the pass in the Knockmealdown Mountains from Waterford to Tipperary and was along the regular roadway used for this journey. It is thought this path dates back to St. Declan, who travelled from Ardmore to Cashel along the route. You can still walk along St. Declan’s Way also known as Rian Bó Phadraig. It is popular with hikers who want to experience the historical heritage as well as the beauty of the area. The road from the car park to the lake, which can be continued past the lake and on to Mount Anglesby, was in fact the main road from Cappoquin and Lismore to Clogheen before the current road, going by the Vee, was constructed in the early nineteenth century. This old road is known locally as ‘the Soldiers Path’ and is now a forestry path. It is part of a number of spectacular walks around Bay Lough, see the Walks page for more information on these.
This area is a wonderful (and totally free) resource for locals and visitors alike. Should you wish to visit the lake it is most easily accessible from a car park on the Waterford side of the lake – this is the Loc8 Code for the lake –YZS-26-53G – just be aware that you can only drive as far as this Parking Area.
The lake has a strong historical significance both in South Tipperary and West Waterford. In local folklore it is famed as the lake to which Petticoat Loose was banished for all time, ordered to empty it with a thimble.
It is also widely held that the lake is ‘bottomless’ and that it is not possible to swim across it, despite its rather modest proportions.
This Morning the 6th February 2018, Images from the very cold and snow covered hills of the Nire Valley in county Waterford.
It was great to see the winter snows back again …..
The Day The Snow Finally Came
© Kathleen E. Sorensen
Published: March 13, 2017
“It’s the middle of winter,” they would say,
But I just stared in dismay.
“How could it be winter without a blanket of snow?”
They said, “We do not know.”
I waited hours, I waited weeks,
Yet you could still see those mountain peaks.
“The snow will not come this year,” I thought.
Not a single dot.
I wanted to build a beast of a snowman this year
And sled down those snow hills with no fear.
Ski around the maze of trails with ease,
Seeing all the lovable white trees.
Then one day I saw something fall,
And it was so very small.
There were millions of them coming.
Oh, it was stunning!
The sun made the snow sparkle like glitter.
It was a real homerun hitter!
Today the snow will fall all day,
Leaving a path of fun on its way.
I immediately had chills run up my spine.
This is my heart’s sunshine.
I love the snow so very much,
And I ran outside to hear it crunch.
I own a big thank you to great friend and fellow photo blogger Sharon Walters Knight for tagging me last week on my facebook page, to take part in a Seven day Black and White photo challenge, I am really enjoying taking this on as its making me truly explore subject just for black and white images once again 🙂
This image of Dunhill castle, county Waterford, was taken during the last hour of bright sun light, this time of year the sun is very low in the sky so there is some great light to be captured, even more so later in the afternoon. Here I just loved the way the sun reflected on the old stone work of this great old building just moment before it set some distance away over the coast to the south.
I Saw From the Beach
by Thomas Moore
I saw from the beach, when the morning was shining,
A bark o’er the waters move gloriously on;
I came when the sun o’er that beach was declining,
The bark was still there, but the waters were gone.
And such is the fate of our life’s early promise,
So passing the spring-tide of joy we have known;
Each wave that we danced on at morning ebbs from us,
And leaves us, at eve, on the bleak shore alone.
Oh, who would not welcome that moment’s returning
When passion first waked a new life through his frame,
And his soul, like the wood that grows precious in burning,
Gave out all its sweets to love’s exquisite flame.
Coumshingaun Corrie Lake in county Waterford is truly the land that time forgot !
In Ireland compared to some locations in North America and Canada it is impossible to be more than a few miles away from a town or a village, some locations in the north and far southwest of the country are more remote that here in the southeast county’s. Yet even here there is still the possibility of finding a remote feeling hidden away in a small location or two.
Coumshingaun Corrie Lake, county Waterford is for just one of these locations, the walk up to it from the valley floor and road below is no more than two kilometers, its a uphill walk from the car park located below the tree line, most people however given time would be able to do this walk !!. However in anyone’s book this is not going an an expedition 🙂
When you get there, the view of the lake at its surrounding cliffs is breath taking, the lake is a left over from the last ice age, some 15000 year ago, this is from a time well before Ireland had even a single human-being living here.
Most weekends you will find other Humans/people visiting here so if you want a true feeling of space and allown-ness then early morning, and weekdays evening is the best time to visit.
I love it here , its about an hours drive from home, yet it could be like a visit to Canada or Yellowstone park with a little imagination allowed to run out of control 🙂
Coumshingaun Corrie Lake, county Waterford : The land time forgot
Its an amazing thought but the rock that is sitting upon the larger rock to the left of this picture, could have been resting there for over 15000 years, these rocks are the remains of the last Ice-age in Ireland you can find many of them all over the country.
These two rocks can be found on the Coumshingaun Loop Walk in county Waterford, the walk contains many great views including Coumshingaun an ice aged lake, I will post some pictures soon that show this lake in its full glory ……
The Nire valley in county waterford offers some of the most amazing landscape views in the south east of Ireland, I used a Wacom MobileStudio Pro tablet to draw this sketch of one of my favorite positions, sitting on an old stone seat that looks across at the farm fields as they slowly make their way up into the hills above.
The Waterford / Deise Greenway
The Amazing new Deise Greenway is almost completed and for anyone who has not heard about this new public cycle and walking path in county Waterford Ireland, here is some basic information !
The History of the Greenway – A Railway history
Waterford to Dungarvan
The Railway Line from Dungarvan to Waterford was constructed during the 1870’s and was officially opened on the 12th August 1878 with the first train departing Waterford at 10.10 and arriving at Durrow just over an hour later.
The building of the Railway was a remarkable project in that it had to be contructed over very harsh terrain. From the Dungarvan side, two causeways had to be contructed, one over the Colligan estuary and one through the sea at Barnawee, a very impressive viaduct has to be built at Ballyvoile and an even more impressive tunnel, 480 yards long, fully lined was constructed just a little further down the line. Another viaduct at Kilminnion and an almost 100 feet high curved viaduct at Kilmacthomas to name just a few. It headed down towards the lovely station at Kilmeaden and then on the riverbank of the River Suir below Mount Congreve into Waterford City.
The Railway line was not just of national importance, it was also our line with the UK with many Irish people emigrating there but many used it to come over and back. In March 1967, the last passenger train left Dungarvan station for Rosslare. But it reopened again with the opening of the Magnesite ore processing plant at Ballinacourty but this plant closed in 1982. Engineers ran occasional locomotives on the line up until 1990.
CIE own the line but Waterford County Council acquired a license from them at the start of this century to make it into a pedestrian walkway/cycle path for tourism and leisure.
It has impressive history, a history we can not neglect by not taking an interest in the line, we need to preserve it for the people as an amenity for the people.
Rebirth of the rail line – The Deise Greenway
The Deise Greenway is almost complete so last weekend we took a walk along the section from Ballyvoyle brick-lined tunnel down to Dungarvan Bay. This section of the route is just fantastic to walk as it induces the Ballyvoyal tunnel and viaduct and then the wonderful views of the waterford coastline above the town of Dungarvan.
Below are some of the pictures I took on Sunday ……
One of the walks I always love doing with Molly our Golden retriever is through the woods at Glenpatrick, County Waterford and up into the mountains above. There are some great old mountain paths here that wind their way through the Comeragh Mountains and the landscape views are just wonderful.
One place I love to stop and rest and let Molly swim for a while is at an old bridge, the images posted here are takes from this bridge, its a great spot on a sunny morning but wild on a stormy winters day.
Images from the Bridge : Gallery
Monday morning and what better way to start a new week than a walk through the hills above the town of Clonmel , county Tipperary.
This old walk goes over the foot hills just below the Comeragh mountains and into county Waterford and offers some of the best views in the South of Ireland, I share some of it here with one of my most loved Mountain Poems by Douglas Fraser, written in 1968.
Freedom of the Hills
By: Douglas Fraser – 1968
Mine is the freedom of the tranquil hills
When vagrant breezes bend the sinewy grass,
While sunshine on the widespread landscape spills
And light as down the fleet cloud-shadowed pass.
Mine, still, that freedom when the storm-clouds race,
Cracking their whips against defiant crags
And mists swirl boiling up from inky space
To vanish on the instant, torn to rags.
Snow and mist in the Mountains.
When winter grips the mountains in a vice,
Silently stifling with its pall of snow,
Checking the streams, draping the rocks in ice,
Still to their mantled summits I would go.
Sun-drenched, I sense the message they impart;
Storm-lashed, I hear it sing through every vein;
Among the snows it whispers to my heart
“Here is your freedom. Taste – and come again.”
The Unnamed Lake
By : Frederick George Scott (1861-1944)
IT sleeps among the thousand hills
Where no man ever trod,
And only nature’s music fills
The silences of God.
Great mountains tower above its shore,
Green rushes fringe its brim,
And o’er its breast for evermore
The wanton breezes skim.
Dark clouds that intercept the sun
Go there in Spring to weep,
And there, when Autumn days are done,
White mists lie down to sleep.
Sunrise and sunset crown with gold
The peaks of ageless stone,
Where winds have thundered from of old
And storms have set their throne.
No echoes of the world afar
Disturb it night or day,
The sun and shadow, moon and star
Pass and repass for aye.
‘Twas in the grey of early dawn,
When first the lake we spied,
And fragments of a cloud were drawn
Half down the mountain side.
Along the shore a heron flew,
And from a speck on high,
That hovered in the deepening blue,
We heard the fish-hawk’s cry.
Among the cloud-capt solitudes,
No sound the silence broke,
Save when, in whispers down the woods,
The guardian mountains spoke.
Through tangled brush and dewy brake,
Returning whence we came,
We passed in silence, and the lake
We left without a name.
A foggy September morning on Boats Strand
I was up early in the morning and went for a walk on Boats strand, county Waterford.
A mist hung over the Celtic Sea and over the land and cliffs, it was just wonderful, I took lots of images and wanted to share some of them here.
Boats strand, Image Gallery
Black and white photography remains one of by biggest photographic interests, I just love the tones that can be developed from some landscape images.
The day I took this image the weather was very mixed with showers and strong sunny intervals, this allowed for very mixed lighting on the fields below in the Nire Valley, Waterford. I processed this black and white image from the original colour photo sometime later, I just love the strong contrasts and tone produced.