The Kings River (Irish: Abhainn Rí)
The Kings river is one county Kilkenny’s many rivers, for me personally it is one of the most picturesque.
It has its source in the Slieveardagh Hills in south County Tipperary, having many tributaries of its own of which there are three main. These tributaries are not named, one started as a spring in the townsland of Ballyphilip, the two remaining tributaries rise in the townsland of Gurteen.
The Abhainn Rí flows south-east from the hills and crosses into County Kilkenny. It is joined by the Munster River before passing through the town of Callan. It continues eastwards from Callan, past Kells and joins the River Nore west of Thomastown.
The following images are taken at the old bridge at Ennisnag and show just how green the Landscape of county Kilkenny becomes down by its rivers in July.
About Peoples Art
At least once a year I try to visit the Peoples art exhibition and sale at St. Stephen’s Green in Dublin , this is a great day for an art lover as its one of the biggest open air art displays in Europe.
The images posted here are all taken on a very warm summers afternoon and I got lots of great images of the artists and their work along with getting to see some great painting and drawings from Landscapes to portraits.
People’s Art Dublin is a voluntary, part time, non profit making group, brought together by Dublin City Council to promote the visual arts to the public of Dublin. Each year after expenses are paid, donations are made to various charities.
The co-operation and assistance of Dublin City Council and The Office of Public Works ( OPW ) , which makes these events possible, is gratefully acknowledged by all the artists involved.
Any artist can apply to exhibit but there are some rules that apply, it costs each artist just €25.
Happy Easter to everyone.
The great Easter holiday weather in our part of Ireland has finally broken with rain this evening for the first time in about two weeks, we had a wonderful morning however as the sky was blue and clear and the sun rise was wonderful.
One thing I love to do on an Easter Sunday is to get outside an experience our local landscape, This morning setting off to walk up Slievenamon our local mountain about 10km from home, many people had the same idea and it was great to meet and say hello to people doing their first big hill walk of the Summer.
The Images below I hope go a little way to sharing the landscape and views from this wonderful mountain, They include some images of the Burial cairn at the very summit of Slievenamon.
Happy Easter !!
Easter Sunday on SLievenamon : Gallery
The Easter weekend is traditionally to first weekend of warm summer days here in Ireland, its a great time to get out and about and what better place than going down to the beach.
With a population of only 4.3 Million the beaches are never to full at this time of year, yet the weather can be very good. The images in this post were taken this Morning at the small fishing town of Dunmore east and the near by beach of Forenaught, a small and private little place that’s great for a morning swim.
Grand Union canal, Harefield (1988 to 2014)
Up until some 18 years ago I lived and worked in Harrow , Middlesex, North London. Working in the IT industry with long hours and shift work included. I really Valued my time off and would spend a lot of my weekends out walking in the country around North London. The Grand Union Canal was one of my most visited locations , it runs from Inner London to Birmingham in the Midlands of the UK.
Recently I took some time off to visit the Canal again after some twenty six years, It was great after all this time to get back and walk some old steps, I had no idea what could have changed. When I got back I remembered that I must have some old images taken during my original walks here.
So when I got back home to Ireland, I found some black and white images of an old canal side factory that marked the start of my walks, the images below show just how little the building has changed. It looks like it is just used for smaller office units these days but apart from this, its still very much looks like the place in my film images.
It was great to walk these old places, I have very good memories of walking and doing my best to relax after a long working week and to get a fresh image of the old canal in my mind was just great.
Film Gallery (1988), using a Nikon FM2 and Ilford XP2 Black and white film
Digital Gallery (2014), using a Fujifilm X100.
The Spring and late Winter is one of the best time of year to visit Spain, the following images are taken in a the small coastal town of Cartagena , a very friendly and lively little town that has a colourful history including having been of the the key ports for the Roman empire.
“Much of the historical weight of Cartagena in the past goes to its coveted defensive port, one of the most important in the western Mediterranean. Cartagena has been the capital of the Spanish Navy’s Maritime Department of the Mediterranean since the arrival of the Spanish Bourbons in the 18th century. As far back as the 16th century it was one of the most important naval ports in Spain, together with Ferrol in the North. It is still an important naval seaport, the main military haven of Spain, and is home to a large naval shipyard.
The confluence of civilizations as well as its strategic harbour, together the rise of the local mining industry is manifested by a unique artistic heritage, with a number of landmarks such as the Roman Theatre, the second largest of the Iberian Peninsula after the one in Mérida, an abundance of Phoenician, Roman, Byzantine and Moorish remains, and a plethora of Art Nouveau buildings, a result of the bourgeoisie from the early 20th century. Cartagena is now established as a major cruiser destination in the Mediterranean and an emerging cultural focus.”
Cartagena : Street Photography Gallery
Poem : Forgotten Old Doors
Old building on the Street some think it’s beautiful, others, just drab.
Many tread these thresholds, worn like tattered lace.
old address update in a compelling space.
Green’s a fitting color for a door, so is white.
A wisp of green in the morning light.
Kernels of romance in dilapidation, hint at the intent of this creation.
How many souls passed through this door? Closed for good or will there be more?
Memories of work, hope and laughter, dreams and wishes that bathed the rafters.
Evocative of a simpler time.
Speedy technologies permeate mine.
A rusty spigot, red weathered board. How long has this old place been ignored?
Cooler dressed in rust, corrugated tin, small dab of spring vegetation sneaks in.
And at the end of yesterday, memories within.
Your may think the during the still month on January the woodlands are died and that nothing is growing, yet a closer look will bring you some well deserved surprises.
January for the woodland fungi is a perfect month, the winter rain and relative warmth of the trees bring perfect growing conditions, these Birch Polypore were growing in a woodland at the foot of Brandon hill, County kilkenny.
The fruiting bodies (basidiocarps) are pale, with a smooth greyish-brown top surface, with the underside a creamy white and with hundreds of pores that contain the spores. The fruiting body has a rubbery texture, becoming corky with age. Wood decayed by the fungus, and cultures of its mycelium, often smell distinctly of green apples. The spores are cylindrical to ellipsoid in shape, and measure 3–6 by 1.5–2 μm.
P. betulinus has a bipolar mating system where monokaryons or germinating spores can only mate and form a fertile dikaryon with an individual that possesses a different mating-type factor. There are at least 33 different mating-type factors within the British population of this fungus. These factors are all variants or alleles of a single gene, as opposed to the tetrapolar mating system of some other basidiomycete species, which involves two genes.
Range and ecology
The geographic distribution of Piptoporus betulinus appears to be restricted to the Northern Hemisphere. There is some doubt about the ability of isolates from the European continent, North America and the British Isles to interbreed.
It is a necrotrophic parasite on weakened birches, and will cause brown rot and eventually death, being one of the most common fungi visible on dead birches. It is likely that the birch bracket fungus becomes established in small wounds and broken branches and may lie dormant for years, compartmentalised into a small area by the tree’s own defence mechanisms, until something occurs to weaken the tree. Fire, drought and suppression by other trees are common causes of such stress.
In most infections there is only one fungal individual present, but occasionally several individuals may be isolated from a single tree, and in these cases it is possible that the birch bracket fungus entered after something else killed the tree. These fungal “individuals” can sometimes be seen if a slice of brown-rotted birch wood is incubated in a plastic bag for several days. This allows the white mycelium of the fungus to grow out of the surface of the wood. If more than one individual dikaryon is present, lines of intraspecific antagonism form as the two individual mycelia interact and repel each other.
The fungus can harbor a large number of species of insects that depend on it for food and as breeding sites. In a large-scale study of over 2600 fruit bodies collected in eastern Canada, 257 species of arthropods, including 172 insects and 59 mites, were found. The fungus is eaten by the caterpillars of the fungus moth Nemaxera betulinella.
A January Poem
By – Nelda Hartmann
Bare branches of each tree
on this chilly January morn
look so cold so forlorn.
Gray skies dip ever so low
left from yesterday’s storm.
Yet in the heart of each tree
waiting for each who wait to see
new life as warm sun and breeze will blow,
like magic, unlock springs sap to flow,
buds, new leaves, then blooms will grow.”
Happy New year everyone, I hope you all have a wonderful 2014 !!!
The last Daylight of New Years even 2013
It Christmas eve, so I felt it was time for a winters poem and a picture.
Happy Christmas everyone!
Snow on snow
By : James Hart
Snow on snow
Flakes gently falling
Like leaves from a tree
Before they land
On the snowflakes underneath
Each one different
Like leaves on a tree
A white carpet
Pure white till soiled
By children’s shoes
They love its touch
Ooo snowball fights
Snow doesn’t hurt
Snow is soft and forgiving
They are selfish and cruel
So let it snow
Snow on snow on
Snow on snow
Well we are only 6 days away from Christmas day and like most people I have been wondering if we will get some snow for Christmas . This year however here in Ireland none has been predicted and it looks like there will only be rain.
So I thought I would post some pictures of the local fields back on Christmas day in 2011, covered in a wonderful white blanked of snow.
Gallery of a snow covered Landscape, Christmas 2011
Carey’s Castle rests in a woodland setting near Clonmel in Co. Tipperary, the Glenary River running past the castle and adding to a very peaceful atmosphere here. A walk of around 500m down a wonderful woodland trail is well worth the effort when the trees part and Carey’s Castle appears before your eyes.
The Castle was built sometime during the 1800s by the Carey family who live locally, they were schoolmasters in the area. A mixture of architectural styles exist through out the grounds, including Romanesque and Gothic windows, Gothic arches, a Celtic round tower and a Norman Keep, which all adds up to make a beautiful building in a wonderful location.
The Castle and it grounds were occupied by monks at one stage and the remains of and older walled garden exist at the back of the Castle in the woods.
Carey’s Castle, Gallery
Five images from the Comeragh Mountains
Just a mini gallery of black and white images taken in and around the Comeragh mountains, during the winter months last year.
This coming year I will continue to capture this wild place. some how the winter feels very much at home in these mountains.
First heard of him from Uncle John
Something about a carpenter coming down
From back up in the mountains to work
In the town and on the camps down by the lake
Ate no meat, nothing from the deadly nightshade family
And didn’t drink but once a year
In a three day bacchanal on the summer solstice
I’d seen his work and it was damn good
He was something of a mystery to me
Came down to the lake and that’s where I met him
Working on the family camp
Alight in his eye and doing the work I should’ve done
He had but one good hand and the other
The right one, I believe, had a part of a thumb
And no fingers to speak of really
But Bert could frame an addition or
Build a deck as good and fast as anyone
Had his tricks, though, like the rubber band
Around his wrist to hold the nails his hand
Couldn’t grasp,and many more I’m sure
Tried to find his house once in the back country
To drop off an anti-war t-shirt I knew he’d love
Had the right address but got lost on the
Winding dirt roads and couldn’t find it
Told my brother James about it and he said
“Maybe you weren’t supposed to!”
Memories of a winters farm
This weekend two years ago I was staying at a farm located near Eryrys, Denbighshire, North Wales.
On arrival the weather was cold with some snow in the air but by the next morning it had started snowing heavily and did not stop for the full two weeks of the visit.
Farming in this kind of weather is very difficult and feeding the animals very much so, the following images are just some taken during the stay and I feel they captured the north Wales landscape during one of its hardest winters for some forty years.
The Old Mountains
by: Edwin Curran
The old mountains are tall, silent men
Standing with folded arms, looking over the world,
Lonesome and lofty in their manner.
They have seen empires come and go,
Civilizations rise and fall,
Stars break on their breasts.
They are full of history like great books,
And are merely the stone monuments that the kindly God
Built for the human race, to mark its grave tomorrow.
Thank you to Elen Grey !, for suggesting I use the word “Phoetry” in my Poetry and Photography posts 🙂 🙂
Beyond the Sea
Beyond the sea, beyond the sea,
My heart is gone, far, far from me;
And ever on its track will flee
My thoughts, my dreams, beyond the sea.
Beyond the sea, beyond the sea,
The swallow wanders fast and free:
Oh, happy bird! were I like thee,
I, too, would fly beyond the sea.
Beyond the sea, beyond the sea,
Are kindly hearts and social glee:
But here for me they may not be;
My heart is gone beyond the sea.
Typhoon Haiyan, Meeting of Filipino people living in Kilkenny. ( Sunday 17th Nov 2013)
Photographs taken during a meeting of Filipino people living in Kilkenny, to raise awareness for the effect of Typhoon Haiyan, on their home lands.
Lighthouse on Valencia point, County Kerry
Valencia island is a wonderful part of county Kerry and just a wonderful place to visit, the light house on the island has been open to the the public for about two years and is well work a visiting for the tour.
I was very pleased with this image as a sail boat was just passing the moment I got the view of the lighthouse that I wanted.
Sitting above the River Nore and located on the edge of a hill that looks over the town of Inistioge, county Kilkenny is a 17th Century viewing tower.
The building would have been a family home when built, with its main living and sleeping area and outer rooms. It also has a cattle stable at the front of the building for wintering the family livestock.
The hill down to the river has been forested in modern times but before this would have offered full views of the town and the river Nore as it flows towards New Ross.
If you do visit Woodstock, Kilkenny, this little building is well worth a visit.
Happy Halloween! – welcome to Ninemile house grave yard, a place of rest OR is it ?
I few weeks back I visited this old Graveyard at Nine mile house, County Tipperary.
This place just has to be one of the most atmospheric Grave yards in the local area. It is full of very old graves and the remains of an old chapel who’s insides have been used as the location of some graves dating from the 1800’s.
This is a place of rest however and a very peaceful location, But on Halloween night, well I just wonder ? ?
For anyone who has been following my blog, they will know I love poetry, well last night I had a go at my own poem for Halloween!
A poem for Halloween
There is nothing in the dark…
Don’t run to the light, Run towards the night.
For ever fearing the Dark .
Don’t turn on a lights, Shining a torch into the blackness.
There is nothing in the Dark, No monsters to fear.
Nothing hiding in the blackness.
No evil demons
No open graves
No devils to consume your soul
No omen of death
Don’t look towards the stars, Fires of the heavens.
Hoping forever to be alive.
Don’t fear the blackness of the woods at night.
There is nothing in the dark,
nothing that is not just asleep in the day
and awake at night.
It is not the dark you should fear,
Fear the light.
In the dark there is rest,
A peace of your mind.
There is nothing in the dark but rest and a lack of light !
Killamery – High Cross
The Killamery High Cross is one of Ireland iconic early Christian symbols.
It is situated in an old graveyard in county Kilkenny, the location is just below the mountain area of Slievenamon on the other side of the Kilkenny, Tipperary border.
The cross is one of the western Ossory group of crosses. The cross stands at 3.65 metres high and the west face of the cross bears most of the figure sculpture. The east face pictured right, is decorated with three marigolds on the shaft and has a boss in the centre of the head surrounded by intertwining serpents with an open mouthed dragon above the boss. The cross is known as the Snake-Dragon cross. The cross has a gabled cap-stone and the narrow sides have double mouldings. At the end of the southern arm of the cross there is a panel depicting Noah in the Ark and the end of the northern arm features four scenes centered around John the Baptist.
There is also a worn inscription on the base of the western side of the cross which is said to read as ‘OR DO MAELSECHNAILL’ a prayer for Maelsechnaill. Maelsechnaill was the High King of Ireland from 846 to 862.
Forestry is one of the biggest and fastest growing industries in Ireland today, only some 10% of the Irish country side is Forested this being the second lowest in Europe.
This article on thejournal.ie covers this subject very well:
The Gallery below is of a Birch woodland near Huggins town county Kilkenny.
The foresters had been in and thinning the trees so that this area can develop into a wonderful open woodland space.
Kilkenny Forestry , Black and white Gallery